REVIEWS -- Fallout 3: Point Lookout -- PC
The best Fallout 3 DLC to date
by Lazare Gvimradze
Fun factor: Fun
Worth to: Buy
The best add-on for the greatest RPG of 2008 arrives, expanding and freshening an already rich experience.
Fallout 3 was a major hit last year. From the art direction, styIe, and gameplay, to the insurmountable amount of hype to which the game practically lived up to, it represented an almost perfect example of an epic comeback. To be honest, it would stand out for a long time without notable expansions, but Bethesda saw the potential and knew, by their own experience (The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion), that creating add-ons on the engine would be quick and productive, resulting as of this day in five full-scale DLCs introducing new chapters to the story, new locations, new quests, and new characters. This review will look at the fourth add-on, named Point Lookout.
The best add-on to date
After installing the expansion, our hero catches a radio transmission inviting him on an exploration trip to the south of D.C, via a motor boat. The area beyond mostly consists of moors, misty hills and zones where radiation has not been present at its fullest. Upon arriving, we are greeted by a deserted coastside fair (complete with a ferry wheel), inhabited by a lone shopkeeper clearly having a bad habit of fortune telling. Apart from the creepy place, we will meet a problematic Ghoul living in an abandoned mansion, suffering attacks from fanatic tribe members. It is around him that the main storyline evolves.
Which, by the way, will send you on a rollercoaster ride (considering the length of the add-on), starting from basic “defend” missions ending with infiltrations, device installments and moral choices. Apart from a surprising lack of side-quests (not that they are completely absent; the five-six present are very original, but still, it’s Fallout!), it is the only expansion which, in my opinion, captures the very same mysterious atmosphere the original possessed, when you are unsure what to expect after that hill or those trees. Uncertainty. And that’s what makes it the best add-on the game got so far.
There are no notable changes in gameplay, apart from a handful of new rifles, an axe, and a bunch of new clothes including a confederate hat. There is also a new kind of fruit called Punga, which is the jewel of Point Lookout, guaranteeing a steady income for the boat owner.
The most important change though, is that we get a whole lot of new enemies. The half-mutants (“Swampfolk”), like Trackers or Scrappers, are mutilated men dressed like farmers bellowing gibberish (they really are funny). Some of them are tough, but if you’ve dealt with enough Supermutants back in Fallout 3 there won’t be a problem. There also are “swampy” variations of Ghouls and Mirelurks, where some of the former even don what appears to be a rusty power armor, thus ensuring much better protection than the ragged ferals back in the Wasteland.
The presentation didn’t suffer major changes, it’s the same atmospheric landscapes and crappy animation, but the color gamma has been enriched with more grey, making the creepy area believable. A tiny variation has been added in the score, which pleases.
All in all, it’s a decent treasury for people who have completed the original and need those additional XPs to reach renewed level heights (there are three new perks available, so that’s quite possible), meet new characters and freshen the exploring beauty of the original Fallout 3. Between the first two and this expansion, I definitely recommend Point Lookout.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Review Date: 15-09-2009
Numbers of Players: 1
Players Online: No
Notes: Expansion, Fallout 3 Required
The standard mediocre presentation and bad animations are once again saved by the incredible atmosphere.
New items, foes and skills proved to be just enough to freshen the Fallout 3 experience, providing intense action and faster pacing.
The new story bears a touch uniquely similar to the original, creating a mysterious new area just as fun to explore.
Colossal voicework and minor touches to the score and ambience show this add-on from a side even a full-scale game would be proud of.
It’s the same old Fallout 3 experience tightened and darkened up - more than enough for a worthy five hours of play.