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SummaryAvoid. No, really, just don't.
The GoodFundamentally, Dead Money has a very solid foundation. It starts with the Sierra Madre Casino: The latest, ritziest most glamorous casino with riches to satisfy any man's lust. In this, you have all that you would want from an entirely new area of post apocolyptia to explore.
Add to that a wonderful back story to it as well, one of the best of any Fallout DLC, that tells of untold amounts of loot of offer to any man that can unlock it.
Then add an ensemble cast. You get to meet the highly regarded Father Elijah that you here about from Veronica in the main game, assuming you have her as a companion, anyway. There is also the crew of 'locals' that you recruit that help you that is more than your usual bog standard wasteland effort that add a sizeable chunk of depth to the story.
The BadDespite all of the promise from the above, what's wrong with Dead Money completely wipes out what is a whole lot of potential. Largely, this comes in the forms of gameplay mechanics added to the Sierra Madre.
First up, is 'The Cloud', a toxic, ground level fog that gradually corrodes your health away.
Secondly, there's the combination of a bomb collar and the sound transmitters. Step too far away, and BOOM! Given that exploration at your own leisure is one of the hallmarks of recent Fallouts, this isn't most welcoming. But this is largely annoying because you have very narrow corridors you can walk down, and they have gaps in them, so your often sprinting around blindly hoping to get back into the range of a transmitter before you get your head blown off. Which is frequently.
Thirdly, at the start of the DLC you get stripped of your weapons, ammo, food and stimpaks, and you have a holorifle given to you, which never has a decent amount of ammo and isn't very good for dealing with the permanently hostile Ghost People that populate the Sierra Madre.
Fourth, there are LOTS of bear traps everywhere. All these four things just were not executed very well. They make for a very irritatingly caution laden, nerve racking affair that feels really out of place in a modern Fallout.
Gathering supplies is also an irritant. The only place you can get food, stimpacks and ammo from are Sierra Madre vending machines that not just take Sierra Madre chips, but you also have to find unlock disks for the various essential supplies.
Father Elijah was also a major let down. For all Veronica goes on about him, you'd think he was a saintly hero. Where as here, he is little more than your run of the mill gibbering mad man.
The Bottom LineDead Money has a solid premise: A casino with untouched loot waiting to be claimed, the vaunted Father Elijah, A whole new area to explore, complete with a whole new back story with interesting characters to compliment it.
But ultimately, it tries to do too much to inject tension by various mechanics that it just becomes an irritating slog that when all is said and done, I was very frustrated with so little gain that it really wasn't worth bothering with. And for all the riches and spoils on offer, you'll probably end up with little to none of it. Unless you cheat. Even then, it probably won't be worth it.