Second in Bethesda’s line of downloadable content packs for Fallout 3 has arrived. After that Crysis inspired, commie Chinese snuffing trash Operation Anchorage – one would hope this pack is better. At least it takes place in Fallout setting and not some military simulation. Regardless of that, this DLC pack is actually worse than the one before due to some oopsies. It costs 10$ or 800 Games for Windows Live points.

Games for Windows Live a.k.a. We’re Microsoft, buy Xbox 360

Forcing anyone to use something so hostile to players as Games for Windows Live system to download is quite irritating. When you finally manage to pass all the obstacles and badly designed menu to start the downloading, something interesting occurs. As there is no option to decide where it gets downloaded to – it finally ends up in some forgotten-by-all folder. Allegedly, the content should automatically end in the game. That wasn’t the case with our test system, equipped with Windows XP Professional.

Behind the seven hills and seven valleys... lies the Snowwhite...err... DLC folder

Behind the seven hills and seven valleys… lies the Snowwhite…err… The Pitt DLC folder

To spice things up, it does not show on Search – if you have "Hidden system files and folders". All the technicalities sometimes can be overlooked IF the final product is worth it in the end. But seriously, whoever designed Games For Windows Live – should get "What were they thinking" award. It is incredible that the company that produced Windows Update, probably the best updating service – managed to produce something like this.
 

This is Wehner… need help!
 

DLC pack mission begins with radio message similar to one we already had in Operation Anchorage which is kind of uninspiring. Someone named Werhner is asking for help in a message that loops indefinetly. As before you follow the ant lines to location and then the story begins. Some raiders are attacking Werhner and after you kill them he explains that he is a runaway slave. He wishes you to steal cure for some plague from Ashur, leader of the raiders who control The Pitt.

Look at me, am I pretty... isn't this a true Kodak Moment?

Look at me, am I pretty… isn’t this a true Kodak Moment?

There is a subway system that takes player to The Pitt along with point of no return until completion message. There is an option to enter The Pitt disguised as a slave, all guns blazing or by stealth but of course there is a tiny catch here. If you try to kill your way in or stealth inside some raiders attack you upon entering city and strip you of all your stuff. This is something that roleplayers all over the world really hate. Losing stuff even for an hour or two is a boring old cliché when the hero gets captured by the villains and is taken into slavery. In the case of disguising as a slave it makes sense or even being overpowered by guards if you rush in recklessly. As a stealther it is a bit redicilous to get caught, even more so if you are high enough in stealth and have lots of gadgets like Stealth Boy or Chinese Stealth Suit. This is the case not only in The Pitt, but also in normal Fallout 3 game when dialogue sequences break your stealth just for the story’s sake.

After that, welcome to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089530/ . Poor slaves are forced to work in downtown till they drop while cruel raiders rule from city’s upper areas. To spice the old story there is an added element of foul plague that turns people into ghoul-like creatures called Trogs. Some especially unlucky slaves have to go scavenge in Trog infested areas. Story is pretty linear and practically served to player from start. Some scavenging, arena fights against boring enemies (no special designed pit fighters), freedom and right to see the boss, Ashur and choosing side.  How the story goes and finally concludes from this point is quite "original" and "inspiring". Without revealing too much I will say there are no likeable characters in the whole pack and everyone is in it for himself.

Where is my Axe Blade.... well... kinda comes and goes...

Where is my Axe Blade…. well… kinda comes and goes…

New DLC gear is a mixed bag: rifle and gas masked raider armor are okay, but Auto axe is quite a failure. The damage it does is okay but its usage of action points is abysmal. Even with the Action Boy perk and 10 points in agility it has "oomph" for only one hit. To further add to its uselessness after killing one or two enemies, weapons blade bugs out and disappears. It would at least look good if it was released in working condition.

I'll take the baby, thank you very much

I’ll take the baby, thank you very much.

Trogs, the new enemies look decent enough though they got that Hollywood zombie treatment that is quite popular nowadays. They are all naked monsters that have no resemblance to people or at least wear parts of their former clothes. Similar to creatures from Will’s Smith’s try "I am Charlton Heston" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067525/  called I am Legend. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/
 

Conclusion

All in all, if these two GfW:Live-only DLC packs are the best Bethesda can do at the moment – I won’t be holding my breath for the third one.

Total Cost of Entertainment

Using our proprietary TCE (Total Cost of Entertainment) measuring system, we come to the score of 500 points. This score is actually going in reverse, with the perfect score being zero, and well, not so great score being anything more than 300. The translation is very simple: This game will cost you $5.00 per hour of fun. According to our standards, this is considered as Low Value.