Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s combination of amazing gameplay, writing, atmosphere and incredibly detailed open world created an experience unlike any I’d ever played before in gaming. Bethesda also released five DLC packs with the game, each adding a large amount of content. I decided to make another DLC recommendation this time, and give a brief overview of each of the add-ons, sorting them by Good, Mediocre or Bad.
One of the biggest problems with Fallout 3 was it’s ending. Originally, once you complete the game, that was it. You could no longer explore the world and complete any quests you may have missed. Broken Steel remedied this situation by giving players an entire new questline after the game’s end, and upping the level cap from 20 to 30.
The game’s extra content is another battle against the remanants of the Enclave forces that survived after your fight at the Jefferson Memorial. While it wasn’t a highly inspired story, or even that good of one at that, it was still a fun reason to return to the game. The real draws of this DLC were the level cap raise, playing after the end of the game, and one last battle alongside Liberty Prime. “EMBRACE DEMOCRACY OR YOU WILL BE ERADICATED”
Players who thought Fallout 3 was easy or lacked challenge will feel right at home in Point Lookout. This DLC took players to an irradiated Maine, which has a very bayou vibe to it now, complete with mutated locals, and creepy blue grass music. Point Lookout ups the difficulty by having higher leveled characters, less health packs, and less ammo scattered around. Players can bring their own gear along, but many will find the fighting to still prove far harder then anything they’ve faced.
What makes Point Lookout so good is it’s atmosphere. The green, almost irradiated, haze in the air at all time creates a sense of dread as you round each corner. The swamp lands that you travel through are filled with traps and creatures looking to kill you, and you will rarely see them ahead of time. Combine this dread with stronger creatures, less health, great new items, and a stellar story, and you have one of, if not the, finest pieces of DLC Bethesda has ever created.
Seeing how the entire country has survived after a nuclear winter has been one of the largest draws of the Fallout series to me. We have seen the west coast, we saw DC in Fallout 3, and Bethesda let us see the middle (east-ish) of our country with The Pitt. Players were sent into the remnants of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which has now become a massive, irradiated, mill.
The Pitt’s positives were it’s real lack of a good or bad way to do things. I won’t spoil the story, but it gives players a great choice in the end, that really leaves us to determine if what we are doing is right. It’s downsides are it’s just plain ugly color scheme and very linear nature. Fallout 3 is an incredibly open game, and forcing players into this corridor shooter and allowing very little exploring rubbed me the wrong way. Granted, you can explore the back of a mill and collect 100 ingots for an achievement, but it gets reeaaaallly tedious after a while.
The Chinese occupation of Alaska is one of the biggest unexplored pieces of Fallout lore, and Operation: Anchorage puts players into the shoes of a soldier on the front lines of the battle. I may have complained about lack of exploration in The Pitt, but it’s freaking Skyrim compared to Operation Anchorage. Anchorage has you playing through a simulation of the battle, and that means combat, combat, and more combat. You also do not get any decisions during the DLC, which is a sad sight for anything Fallout related.
The plus sides of Anchorage were it’s great setting, well designed missions, and awesome rewards for completion. I’m always a sucker for snow missions, so fighting in Alaska had me giddy. While the DLC was incredibly combat focused, it’s missions were very well designed. These missions allowed players to decide how the wanted to approach the objective, and gave multiple ways to complete it. Getting the classic Power Armour and Chinese stealth suit upon completion of the DLC were also great additions to my Fallout wardrobe.
You can’t see something like aliens being added to Fallout 3 and think of it being described as monotonous. Unfortunately, that’s the first word that came to mind when thinking of Mothership Zeta. The alien blaster was one of the funnest weapons in Fallout 3, and Bethesda decided to expand upon how it arrived by crafting an entire four or five hour DLC around it. Sound fun? It should have been……
Each section of the ships felt poorly designed, shoddily implemented, and seems like it was a rush job. The addition characters introduced were fun, but really uninspired. Their was no movement forward for the game’s lore, just a bunch of shooting at little grey men. No real choices were made in this DLC either, and the items you receive from it aren’t even that good.
I would recommend going on amazon and just buying the Game of the Year addition of Fallout 3. You get the amazing main game, and all five DLCs for under $20. Their is no better value currently in the gaming world (with the exception of the Humble Bundles). If I had to choose just one DLC to download though, it’d be Broken Steel. The extra levels add so much more to the game, and being able to player after the ending is a lot of fun.
by, Bobby Marquardt