Thursday 13 October 2011

Gaming Reviews

Fallout: New Vegas – Lonesome Road
Available now on Xbox Live Arcade and PC, coming soon to PSN
Review by Rob Wade

Lonesome Road sees you contacted by a man who calls himself Ulysses, and claims to be the Courier who turned down the job that you took on to begin the Fallout: New Vegas experience. He promises to answer why he refused to deliver the Platinum Chip--but only if you make one last journey into the canyons of the Divide. Bring all your gear and weapons but leave your companions behind...this is one road you must walk alone.

Ok, so you don’t really walk a fair bit of it alone. Lonesome Road works like a lot of the DLC thus far in that you get a temporary partner that follows you around as the storyline permits. In the case of this one, your companion is an early prototype of everyone’s favourite eye robot, ED-E (*applause*). Anyway, Lonesome Road gives you a 5-level bump to your cap, some brand new weapons and some “new” enemies. I say this because all the enemies in the DLC are based off existing templates of various enemies that already exist in the main game. The Marked Men are Ghouls, the Tunnelers are based off the plant things you come across in one of the vaults, and the Deathclaws are the same motherfuckers who have (if your experience was anything like mine in the main game) fucked your shit up at every possible opportunity.

When compared to the other DLC, Lonesome Road ranks in below Honest Hearts and Old World Blues in my estimation, for a couple of reasons. First, the character of Ulysses, while cool (and with a voice that could make a kitten purr) is not as compelling as the Burned Man. Second, the sense of humour (which is in this DLC, don’t get me wrong) is not as good as the previous piece of DLC, Old World Blues. However, the DLC has some definite positives.

One positive is the ability to find out a considerable amount about ED-E’s backstory. From the creation of the prototypes, to the reason that the eyebots are out in the Mojave Wasteland, all the way to what “Navarro” is all about (and it’s not to do with the Jane’s Addiction guy this time). If you like to know all the backstory possible behind characters and such, then this will give you some of that.

On a personal weapon-happy note, there are a couple of awesome guns in this one, as well as plenty of extra ammo and instances of the better guns that don’t get a lot of circulation in the existing Mojave Wasteland. As a fan of the Anti-Materiel rifle for the reason that it’s like a Sniper Rifle but with an even bigger punch, I was pleased that the game placed a ton of them in the DLC for me to pick up and improve my gun with. There’s also some new melee weapons, including a chainsaw, which has a certain visceral thrill to it, particularly when taking out the Tunnelers. There’s also a series of 30 mini nuclear warheads to be ‘sploded with a Laser Detonator, which can make for some excellent massive explosions, which can be particularly handy in taking out some of the aforementioned motherfucking Deathclaws, or Marked Men snipers up in towers who would be otherwise more difficult to access.

This DLC also does tension really well in the underground sections. A word to the wise, though. There’s a huge fucking Deathclaw which is tucked away in an underground section, and you can easily come a-cropper from the encounter with it, particularly as you get only one warning which you can easily miss out on by not interacting with the necessary things. Imagine my delight, considering how much trouble I have with the game on a regular basis.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating: Lonesome Road is definitely worth checking out if you crave more New Vegas action. If you’re happy to get your fix from the 60+ hours available to you in the base game, that’s great. As DLC goes, this one’s probably the 3rd best, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out, maybe in the sales. 7/10


In feudal Japan a young soldier begins an intense affair with an older married woman. Driven by passion, obsession and jealousy they decide to violently murder her husband and dispose of the body in a nearby well. Claiming her husband is working away from home the couple carry on their affair in secret. Three years later her husband returns from the dead to haunt the illicit couple, feeding off their guilt and pushing them deeper into the dark realms of insanity.

With films such as Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Gohatto and the infamous In The Realm Of The Senses, director Nagisa Oshima is one of the most celebrated and controversial figures in Japanese cinema. Made in 1978, Empire Of Passion is an atmospheric, unsettling and unforgettable experience. A huge influence on contemporary Asian horror it has lost none of its beguiling power.

Thanks to our friends at Studiocanal, we've got two copies of Empire of Passion on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Thursday 20th October, making sure to put "Empire of Passion" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a copy of this awesome movie!

Don't forget to put "Empire of Passion" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Empire of Passion is available from 17th October, courtesy of Studiocanal.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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