In the Fallout universe, nuclear war has ravaged the country, but religious faith abides. In Fallout: New Vegas – Honest Hearts, men of God struggle to find peace in a land where strife is inescapable–a powerful theme for a downloadable add-on. The story in Honest Hearts doesn’t take advantage of this fertile premise, but that premise still enriches this formulaic yet enjoyable adventure into Utah’s Zion National Park. As its name would suggest, some see this region as a promised land, and it’s here that two religious leaders struggle to maintain control in the face of a warring tribe that would drive them out. Zion is a big and atmospheric setting for a new adventure, and there’s enough new content here to keep you busy for four or five hours as you shoot up charging geckos and get to know the local tribes. That said, Honest Hearts doesn’t make a lasting impression; none of its characters, places, or events stand up to those of the main game or even those of Fallout 3’s better content packs. Yet, this enjoyable excursion gives you several welcome chances to exercise the power of choice, and it rewards you with new perks, new weapons, and an increased level cap.
The two men at the center of Honest Hearts are good, sincere blokes that nonetheless don’t see eye to eye on how to deal with the White Legs, a violent tribe of nomads eager to scalp anyone that dares oppose them. One of these men is Daniel, a Mormon missionary with close ties to a tribe called The Sorrows. The other is Joshua Graham, otherwise known as The Burned Man. Joshua favors an aggressive approach toward the White Legs, which is no surprise given his violent past with Caesar’s Legion. He is beloved by the Dead Horses tribe and preaches that mankind should shun the greed of the outside world. You stumble upon both men after the trading caravan you join falls victim to the White Legs, though neither makes a very strong impression. Joshua needs supplies like lunch boxes and walkie-talkies; Daniel sends you to find maps and disarm traps. These are nice men that nonetheless make you wonder how they managed to inspire the devotion of the locals. Joshua tells you that he was put on Earth to show people how to fight, yet he speaks in even tones, without an ounce of passion. For someone called The Burned Man, his personality lacks fire, and the tasks he needs performed are hardly extraordinary.