Single Status Update
It took about nine hours of gameplay, but I was able to knock out all of the trophies for Dead Money, the first of four DLC expansions for Fallout: New Vegas. For those who have never played the DLC and don't wish to have it spoiled, I have hidden away most of my post behind the spoiler tab below:Spoiler
By putting forth some extra effort (and having high enough stats/SPECIAL ratings), I was able to keep all three of the in-game companions for the DLC (Dean Domino, Christine, and Dog/God) alive for the ending of the DLC and had fun taking down the frustrating Father Elijah in the vault far below the halls of the Sierra Madre Casino & Hotel. As a whole, I would give this DLC expansion a 6/10 final score. The story (and scenario) is good, but several things within this DLC make it somewhat frustrating to play (see below):
First off: that annoying bomb collar you get stuck with for pretty much the entire DLC. Thank god it is all over with, for I was losing my patience having to deal with the bomb collar and all of the annoyances that come with it (a bunch of radios/speakers around both the Villa and Casino effectively triggering your collar to explode if you don't leave that area within 10-ish seconds or destroy the source of the interference first). The number of times I died (at least seven times) from my head being blown into a million little pieces by the exploding collar caused me to get a bit frustrated, but it made me have to approach the DLC in a slightly different manner than I usually play. I could have finished this DLC in about 5 hours had I rushed through it (if I knew where all of the damn radios/speakers were so I could avoid/destroy them quickly), but I ended up putting an additional four full hours into beating the DLC by taking it slow and being extremely careful wherever I went on the map.
Secondly, I never want to have to deal with those annoying Ghost People that roam various parts of the DLC ever again (none of them can be permanently killed [keep coming back to life after 9-ish seconds of being "unconscious" on the ground] unless you dismember them or blow their heads off, which led to wasting a bunch of .357 Magnum ammo via the Police Pistol you get to use in the DLC). The ones that throw the gas bombs (which explode and set you on fire) were particularly annoying to deal with, especially if you are busy dealing with the other Ghost People in combat (the ones that throw spears at you from a distance or the ones that get up close to punch you with the bear trap gauntlets they have).
Another frustrating thing is that they like to move around erratically (staggering/swaying motion) and jump around randomly whenever you set them off [DANGER] to attack you. This made killing a few of them harder than it should have been (since I don't always rely on V.A.T.S in combat...I like using the iron sights on various guns from time to time) and I ended up wasting quite a few bullets trying to dismember them (blowing off one of their legs or head). I was glad when the DLC came to a close and I realized that I wouldn't have to put up with these bothersome enemies ever again.
Lastly, the damn hologram guards (the ones you encounter within the Sierra Madre Casino and down in the area near the Vault). Not only are they invulnerable to any damage (no matter what you do, they can never be harmed due to being hologram projections), but they shoot freaking lasers out of their heads whenever you trigger them into attacking you (they turn yellow if you get too close & they notice your presence, and they turn red when they attack you). You have to avoid them by sneaking around and finding the transmitter that projects them into the world. By using your skill to disable it or by simply destroying the transmitter (I would make it explode by shooting it), the holograms disappear permanently and will no longer be a nuisance to you.
Unlike my time with the base game (where the game crashes/freezes my PS3 roughly every 40 to 55 minutes of gameplay now that my save file is around 9MB), the performance of the game in regards to the Dead Money DLC was pretty flawless. Outside of a few areas in the DLC (two areas in the Villa, three areas within the Casino) where the frame rate dipped down into the low-20's, I didn't encounter a single occurrence of the game freezing or crashing. I am happy to say that as of today (5/4/2021), Dead Money has been the best performing DLC expansion from either Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas that I have ever had the pleasure of playing.
Next up: making the long trek to Utah with the Happy Trails Caravan in Honest Hearts, the second of the four DLC expansions for Fallout: New Vegas. I managed to put about 15 minutes into the DLC on Monday before I had to head off to work, so I look forward to experiencing the rest of the DLC in the coming days. I will be busy exploring around the canyons in Zion to learn the fate of New Canaan and finally meet the legendary Burned Man that the slaves of Caesar's Legion whisper about amongst themselves from time to time. Fingers crossed that I have a bit more fun with it than I did with Dead Money and that it doesn't have too many performance issues (now that my save file is closing in on the 10MB mark, nearly 2MB past the point where the game starts having performance woes on the PS3) when playing it. I should hopefully have this DLC done by Saturday (depending on how busy I am this week and if I have free time to game with during the next four days. If not, then I will plow through the entire DLC on Saturday in one extended gaming session).