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Welcome to the Workshop
Hello there, my name is DragonBorn96 and I'd like to welcome you to Gizmo's workshop. This is a feature that I, along with a few others users are currently working on, and it's all about game mods. Sadly at the moment I can only work with Fallout: New Vegas, though if anyone has a copy of other moddable Fallout games and would like to get involved, then send me a message and I'll see if we can include you.
Now, to the actual mod...
Beyond Boulder Dome is a fanmade DLC project created by a group of users on the New Vegas Nexus. This mod takes the player to an area that should sound familiar to those of you who read around our wiki, especially to those of you that have done any reading about Van Buren (the cancelled Fallout 3).
As the name implies this mod takes you to the city known as Boulder, a heavily radiated and dilapidated area in Colorado. Within this area, one can find the Boulder Dome, the namesake and centre point of this mod pack. Without trying to spoil too much of the story, here’s an idea of what you could be playing, right from the mod’s page on the New Vegas Nexus.
The NCR has a deadly and unmerciful mission, to stop the spread of the Seltsam Syndrome by eliminating all potential carriers. They have tracked the disease to its last known vestige, The Boulder Dome itself. The Colorado branch of the Brotherhood of Steel have also set their sights on the Dome. Its noble leader seeks to control the Dome for the good of the region, to bring peace to the chaos. Very close to a real, working cure for the Seltsam Syndrome, he offers a peaceful solution.Forced into the middle of things, is a simple courier, far from home. The decisions of the courier may slide the balance in many different ways, ultimately determining the fate of the scientists of The Boulder Dome."
Is it like the Van Buren Version?
Well I can certainly say that it borrows elements from the Van Buren. From the the location, to the plot in some instances. Players familiar with the concept for he Boulder Dome and it's area will certainly be able to recognise parts of this mod. Although it does deviate from the concept of the Dome, it's plot still follows the basic line the concept does. I do like this, as even though the developers have borrowed from the concept of the dome, they have still made an effort to make it their own and creating their own plot.
How does it play? What's the difficulty like?
This is where I move onto a negative. The quest line given to you during this mod certainly is extensive, and will have you going over the entire map as a good DLC should. However, I found myself confused quite a bit when going to certain objectives. The quest markers given to me just seemed to point at nothing. Of course, being able to put hours into this and still not be done is a large positive, by the time I had done the main quest, I had barely scratched the surface of the mod as a whole. I still had a lot of land to cover, a lot of quirky characters (all fully voiced!) to meet and plenty of stuff to do. But I can't help but feel like a large portion of the time I spent while playing this mod was trying to figure out what on earth to do, and where on earth to go! But hey, the challenge is all part of the fun of it. Eventually, despite the vagueness of some objectives, with a little bit of thought I was able to progress.
In addition to a whole new environment, we are faced with a plethora of new creatures that roam this new wasteland, and true to form, they are all trying to kill you. If I wasn't stopping to admire the brilliant new models created for these enemies, I was having my insides ripped out by the very same creatures. I was already equipped with what I thought was some pretty good equipment, and I found that some of the first enemies I encountered were actually a challenge! At the same time, I was at the higher levels, I was pleased to see that even when you can get the best equipment, there are still enemies that can give you a run for your caps.
Is it fun?
Beyond Boulder Dome is certainly a fun experience. Although there were a few moments where I was stuck in part of the map, with no idea where to go, the events, the characters and the general experience of playing this mod certainly meant that these small moments where I was troubled soon meant very little.
If it weren't for the cast in this mod, I'm certain I wouldn't have enjoyed this mod as much. For the majority of the time, I wandered through Boulder with two new companions. Going from a girl with cybernetics planted in her head to a tragic ghoul playwrite who tended to give me a monologue as soon as I said "howdy-doo". Jumping between sudden re-enactments of Shakespeare and then charging a gas-mask clad NCR Death Squad with a cane. Suffice to say, this tragic fellow soon learned why they were called "Death Squads".
It was great fun running back and forth through the ruins trying to collect my companions, or for the most part, trying to collect what was left of my ex-companions, that is when I'm not trying to hide from the Death Squads. The challenge in this DLC is truly what's fun, just trying to get from point A to point B in the ruins of boulder was an adventure in it's own right, the thrill was all in the chase. Where is the fun if I'm just plonked into the middle of Boulder, and then cruise through it? Because I don't know.
Where can I get it?
You can find this mod, as well as further information on it by following these links:
- http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/46907 - The mod itself on the New Vegas Nexus,
- http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/428728-wip-beyond-boulder-dome - Nexus Forum Page,
- http://beyondboulderdome.blogspot.co.uk/ - Developers blog,
To sum up,
- yes Brilliant visuals, new textures and models,
- yes Story that builds well on existing concepts,
- yes Professional, characters are fully voiced and well acted,
- yes Enemies for the most part present a welcome challenge,
- yes Extensive, to complete everything one must put quite a few hours towards this mod,
- no Some quests are unclear, and difficult to progress in,
- no The enemies are difficult to defeat and on some occasions border on insane, rather than challenging,
- no The portrayals of factions were a bit off, some seemed to act totally different that how they should've, and I didn't really like that as it made me quite confused at some points,