Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta

It's with a bit of sadness that I escaped from Mothership Zeta, Fallout 3's fifth downloadable offering

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Bethesda Softworks Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta

Pros

  • Giant death rays are always cool, NPCs have some depth, cool sci-fi moments

Cons

  • Too linear, not a challenge for higher level characters, corridor wandering ad nauseum

Bottom Line

The last Fallout 3 DLC takes you off the irradiated world and into the final frontier, but it looks like it ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Still, any excuse to play more Fallout 3 is a good thing all around.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

No one has poured more love into a game than Bethesda has with Fallout 3, they're proud parents and it shows. With five batches of quality downloadable content, not only has the life of a great title been extended, but by offering its DLC at a consistent pace and an affordable price, Bethesda has created a model for all other developers to follow.

So it's with a bit of sadness that I escaped from Mothership Zeta, Fallout 3's fifth downloadable offering. I'm bummed not only because its the last episode I'm going to get, but also because after so much solid content my time in the Capital Wastelands ends so meekly.

Fallout 3's final round of DLC starts much like the first four. There's a strange radio signal that needs looking into, and you're just the person for the job. You'll quickly find a crashed spaceship and as soon as you get close, Scotty beams you up. The next thing you know you're surrounded by little green men holding large, sharp objects, all of which seem to be pointed at your groin.

Your mission is to escape from the enormous alien spaceship you're on and get back to Earth. Throughout the course of finding your exit you'll meet some colorful NPCs, pick up powerful new weapons, stop a giant death ray from harming the Earth, blast a variety of E.T.s, and blow up more generators than you care to count.

Another Fallout 3 DLC winner, right? Not so fast, Dogmeat. While the premise for Mothership Zeta sounds great, its execution is lackluster. MZ has all the ingredients but just doesn't cook up a good batch of UFO abduction intensity.

The alien threat lacks menace. They're about the size of the average fourth grader and about as tough and smart as one too. These guys are supposed to be dangerous? Ha! Easy to destroy, green-hued Verne Troyers that sound like Ewoks and don't bother to take cover are hardly intimidating. Sure, there are a few other varieties of alien folk running around, but they're not a problem either.

Gameplay in Mothership Zeta is too linear. Granted, you're on a spaceship, there's not exactly a lot of places you can go, but endless corridor wandering and MZ's repetitive combat doesn't help. Throw in an abundance of resources (containers with ammo, weapons recovered from dead aliens, healing archways) and MZ feels more like a walk in the park, instead of a dangerous journey through a vessel that's home to ass probing aliens.

The combination of inferior enemies and missions that lack imagination is a big disappointment, but Mothership Zeta does have its bright spots. NPCs give MZ depth. Not only are they helpful, but they also provide some humor with their occasionally oddball behavior and frequent space flick references (you'll get your own version of Newt from Aliens). MZ also features some truly sweet sci-fi moments. Looking down at the Earth from up above is breathtaking, space walking is fun, and being a hero on a grand scale feels cool. Unfortunately, those moments don't come frequently enough.

Taken as a whole, the DLC for Fallout 3 has been fantastic. But this final round of content just doesn't feel like the ending most gamers are looking for. Unlike Broken Steel (which should have come first) and Point Lookout (which should have come last), the fun in Mothership Zeta is few and far between. And while set in just as unique an environment as The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage, MZ lacks their sense of purpose.

While not without value, instead of wrapping up my time in the Capital Wastelands in a nice big irradiated bow, Mothership Zeta just left me wondering how much fun being in space could've been.

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