Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage DLC Review

 

 

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Fallout 3 is a massive game that offers dozens of hours of pure Western RPG action. Like Oblivion, Bethesda has promised to deliver several packs of DLC. As of now, they plan to launch one piece of DLC every month ending with March. This first expansion titled, Operation Anchorage, will thrust you into a simulation taking place in Fallout’s past before the nuclear holocaust. You’ll be in charge of assisting the U.S Army in dealing with a Chinese invasion in Alaska, no Cyborg Palin included. Operation Anchorage focuses less on the choices, but more of straight action.

After purchasing the 800 point package and loading up the game, you’ll soon find out the Brotherhood Outcast’s are transmitting a radio broadcast asking for backup. After you rally with those dudes, you’ll be asked to embark in a military simulation program to unlock a door which contains advance technology.

Alaska’s white snow and blue skies are a welcomed vacation from the browns, and grays of post-apocalyptic D.C., and fitting with the subject matter Anchorage is a much more combat focused in terms of gameplay, but that’s also where the whole expansion falls apart.

Anyone who’s played Fallout knows that every quest offers multiple ways of completing it, unlike the three hour Operation Anchorage quest. This new quest typically boils down to you, and your American homeboys heading off to some Chinese military base to ruin their day. At no time do you make a choice, or utilize speech skills to affect the outcome of a situation, and more often times than not, Anchorage feels less like an RPG and more like a shooter.

With this quest line taking place inside a simulation, you don’t bring any of your equipment, and you don’t take anything out. This makes sense, but makes me wish Bethesda would’ve ditched the idea of a simulation, and find an alternative reason to travel to Alaska. Playing Fallout without looting bodies and managing ammo seems hollow. Restoration items are taken away, instead you run into a health replenish station every few feet, and ammo is ubiquitous. While Fallout’s items were never really interesting, taking inventory management out feels weird.

So the breakdown is this, you run from kill room, to kill room shooting an almost never-ending onslaught of Chinese reds. The choices are taken away; you always choose what weapons you want before each battle. The whole package feels empty and only rewards you with a decent stash of armor and weapons upon completing the simulation. It’s almost impossible to recommend, but is also the perfect excuse to revisit the Fallout universe. It boils down to how much you expect to get for paying $10.00. This action intensive mission is defiantly disconnected from everything Bethesda’s RPG is all about, but anyone needing an excuse to jump back into Fallout 3 this isn’t too bad of a deal. 100 extra achievement points is kind of hard to walk away from. Hopefully March’s DLC will be more meaningful.

-Steve

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