Fallout

Old World Blues and the whole story behind the Think Tank is so brilliantly done. I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Old World Blues changed the way I look at New Vegas and even the rest of the series as a whole. I’d been enjoying the game, but Old World Blues, combined with how it links to Dead Money especially, really took it to another level for me. The more I think about it the more I love it.

It's so cool how the Think Tank are directly and indirectly responsible for so many things in the game, and even potentially other things in the series. I mean think about it, there’s so much weird shit in Fallout, so who’s to say the Think Tank aren’t responsible for some of it given their track record. There’s the bigger things like all the crap they did for the Sierra Madre and then there’s the smaller stuff like being responsible for cazadores and nightstalkers. I just find it funny how I found those two creatures, in particular, to be the most irritating enemies in the game long before I knew where they came from and it turns out they came from the same guy.

It’s interesting to see them as a sort of foil to the Institute too. The Think Tank have more resources and they’re arguably more intelligent, but they were held back by their own insanity. Obviously, I’m not on board with the Institute or their ideas either, but they were focused on benefitting mankind (even if their methods were questionable ), whereas the Think Tank just do whatever the hell they want, for seemingly no reason at all. If not for Mobius then the Mojave and possibly even the rest of the wasteland would have been completely doomed and this is pretty much a fact if you consider the scrapped ending of them escaping Big MT as canon. The fact that Ulysses recognised this too and feared them because of it is a great detail I found. It’s just so interesting that everyone in-game is so focused on the other factions and what they could mean for the wasteland, when behind the scenes one of the most dangerous factions ever is being held back by ONE person. Not only that but that one person is completely insane himself. It makes you wonder how many other factions are out there, hidden, with the potential to destroy everything.

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The members themselves are also really interesting. They’re all terrible people and there’s absolutely no disputing that, it almost makes you wonder what the world would have been like had they been benevolent. I’m reluctant to call them evil though, in the state that you meet them in anyway, because it’s like they can’t even comprehend the concept of morality anymore. Maybe they never could. I don’t see anything malicious in them anymore, which makes them so much more interesting as characters and as ‘villains’. They do all that they do with this detachedness and lack of purpose, which arguably makes them scarier. They have emotions of course but these don’t matter as they’re so caught up in their own egos and obsessions that they never stop and question what they’re doing. I like how it’s implied that they were always like this and that the time they spent as brains in jars, combined with the constant looping and memory loss only intensified it. The looping and isolation effectively squeezed out almost all of what remained of their humanity and left them husks of who they were, with only the most dominant parts of their personality left. That’s such a cool concept to me. As these husks they’re more dangerous (due to there insanity and complete lack of humanity), but it’s also what’s keeping them contained.

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And then there’s Mobius. I really love him as a character, personality-wise and how he plays into the overall story. Of course, he’s arguably a bad person too, or was as he was still part of the Think Tank after all, but he’s the only one who ever redeemed himself in any way. I mentioned how he was the only thing keeping the other think tanks from completely wreaking havoc on the wasteland which is such a terrifying thought. It’s not like he’s some really capable and moral person or anything (not anymore). He just had more empathy than the rest of them. When he realises that the Think Tank know about the outside world and know how to get out, he’s just like “Oh well at least I tried.” Even though he’s the only one with any sense of morality, even he’s fallen victim to his own mental deterioration and views everything through this detached lens now. I like the implication that he still cares for his friends and that he feels bad for what he had to do despite all that they’ve done, it’s oddly sweet despite how messed up the entire situation is. Oh, and the loop names were a great touch.

And I’ve not even touched upon the humour, which was such a breath of fresh air, especially after playing through Dead Money. Finding little hints of what Christine, Elijah and Ulysses were up to there was really fun too. So yeah, I love the characters, the themes, the story, the humour, the way it works into the other DLCs and the game as a whole. It’s by far my favourite DLC (followed by Dead Money) and it’s probably the only one I’ll replay if I ever do another playthrough of New Vegas.

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