|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Obsidian Entertainment|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks|
|Release: December 21st, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by James Trujillo
Welcome back to the world of Fallout: New Vegas. There's a two hundred year old treasure that's been lost, and it's up to you to recover it. Of course nothing in the Fallout universe is ever that cut and dry, and you'll have to face some of the most dangerous obstacles in order to complete this one-way journey. However, there will be a helping hand to guide you along the way.
After intercepting a lost radio signal, you discover a curious beacon announcing the grand opening of the illustrious Sierra Madre Casino. With interest piqued, the Courier sets off to find the source deep within an abandoned bunker, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Upon entering the fortification, you are immediately gassed and knocked unconscious, only to be awakened by the apparition of a man named Father Elijah. He begins to explain the newly-acquired, explosive collar that's been placed around your neck and that you must now do his bidding in order to survive.
All of your items and equipment will be removed on arrival, courtesy of Father Elijah, so it is best to keep this in mind when starting the new content. Like many adventurers before, you'll be waddling around like a fat penguin when everything is returned upon completing the mini-campaign. Rest assured; there are plenty of new items for your hoarding pleasure to be found within Dead Money.
The brand new Holorifle is one of the weapons you'll begin with immediately. It's an energy weapon that is a creation of Father Elijah's, and it packs one hell of a punch. There are also a few other arsenal additions that you'll uncover on your travels, as well as some fancy new armor and clothing with a variety of skill bonuses. You'll need all the help you can get, considering that you won't be the only one scavenging the Sierra Madre.
After the bombs dropped from The Great War, the resort town of Sierra Madre became frozen in time and its casino's grand opening never occurred. This triggered the resort to launch its state-of-the-art security system into action, and eventually lead to the failure of the climate control system. This caused massive toxins to encompass the city and formed what Father Elijah refers to as "The Cloud." If playing Dead Money on the hardcore setting, breathing in the air from the cloud will slowly erode your health over time, but will only cause death in highly concentrated pocket areas. It certainly adds to the difficulty of this already rough expansion, and is still just one of the many things to stand in your way.
Living within The Cloud is a mysterious group called the Ghost People, who are extremely savage. Not much is known about who they are or how they came to be, but they are highly resilient. The only way to actually cause death to the Ghost People is to kill them with explosives, dismember their bodies when they are knocked out, or burn them. They are surprisingly agile and sometimes travel in groups, so it is usually best to avoid them whenever possible. They are also known to set traps within their stomping grounds, so a highly cautious individual will likely stay alive much longer.