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Posted by Brother None

Fallout 3 The Pitt Review

Written by The Dutch Ghost

After the disappointing first Fallout 3 DLC Operation: Anchorage we now review Bethesda’s second DLC; The Pitt.
Unlike Operation: Anchorage which initially designed as a more linear shooter during the Alaska campaign, the Pitt is intended to be more a more traditional experience like the main Fallout 3 game, offering the player more choices and options.

Like Operation: Anchorage The Pitt takes place on an entirely different map, the former city of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, which turned into an anarchistic warzone after the nuclear war, one in which mutation runs rampant due to the various toxins in the air and water.

The quest structure is similar to what people experienced in Fallout 3 and the previous DLC, after having spoken with the setup character the player must complete a number of quests in order to advance in the game, as well as optional side quests that can lead to extra experience and equipment.

The story

The first half of the DLC focuses mostly on building the character’s reputation in order to get access to another part of the map where the second half of the DLC takes place. This part is basically a fetch quest in which the player must collect a number of steel ingots in an abandoned steelyard in order to be allowed to enter the area, extra ingots can be collected for better equipment, scouring the steelyard also helps in finding health point restoring items, which the player can not get for the ingots.

Having finished the Ingot collecting quest the player is allowed to enter the arena, in which he or she must face a number of opponents in battle. An added incentive to finish the fights as quickly as possible comes in the form of a number of steel barrels emitting radiation being dropped into the fighting arena.

Once the arena is finished Uptown - the headquarters of the Pitt slavers and their leader - is opened for the player. In meeting the leader of the raiders, the player is offered a decision on helping either the slaves or the slavers.

Depending on which side the player has chosen, he or she must then deal with the slavers or slaves during an ensuing revolt. Should the player side with the slaves an optional area is opened for the player in which he or she has to finish one final quest to finish the scenario.

Once the main quest is over the player can opt to take an additional unending quest in which he or she can bring back teddybears for money.

Graphics & Sound

Visually the Pitt location is quite appealing, the use of warm colors give it an attractive ambience that makes exploring the city something to look forward to.

The design is in some ways far better than that of Fallout 3 and one can see it was shaping up well when the designers put the road and the bridge towards the Pitt together, the buildings and layouts of the streets also feel well thought out, with the structures the raiders later added - such as the hanging bridges - giving a clear impression of how the city is being repurposed by its new masters.

The steel mill and the abandoned steelyard have also been done well, even though it is a bit of a shame that exploring the steel yard becomes a singular fixed path with little alternate routes as the player has to search for steel ingots.

Even though its visuals are attractive, the Pitt does feel half finished, players only get to explore a small part of the city with most of the streets blocked off by rubble, much like the separate portion exploration of Fallout 3. And while some buildings such as the Steel Mill has been worked out well - as are parts of the raiders 'Uptown section - the slaves' Downtown section does not particularly give the impression of being a place where people have to live together.

The steelyard feels rather small and constricted when one looks at the closed off parts, giving an impression that it could have been a part of the explorable section but that they had to cut back on the size. This is also the case with a part of the city section the player passes by while approaching the Pitt, a section of buildings can be seen but are blocked off by a fence, shooting down any hope of getting to visit this part of the map as well.

The quality of voice acting really has not improved very much from Fallout 3, nor from the previous DLC. The exceptions are characters like Werhner and Ashur who convey some emotion in their dialog, but most of the other characters adhere to Fallout 3's standards, emoting badly or inconsistently. The raiders’ voices were always a bit average quality and the Pitt really doesn’t change that. And to make the experience a bit bizarre, if the player decided to aid the slaves and eliminate the slavers, the slaves keep repeating their plans for an uprising as they walk past the corpses of the slavers.

Like the previous DLC the Pitt also introduces new weapons and armor unique for the map, such as the Autoaxe, the Infiltrator assault rifle, and Iconoclast armor, in general this equipment are adaptations of weapons and armor found in the regular Fallout 3 but with additional capabilies, such as a scope and silencer. The Auto Axe is seemingly new but acts like a more powerful version of the Ripper.

It is a bit of a waste that this equipment does not make an appearance outside the the Pitt area once the DLC is installed to diversify the raiders in the main game.

Well, is it worth 10 Dollars?

When compared to its predecessor Operation Anchorage, I tend to be a bit more forgiving with The Pitt, as it offers more than a straight forward shooter experience, there are actually choices and role playing in this DLC.

There is a distinct shortened feeling to the Pitt, as every experience - be it a location or quest - promises some depth, only to let you skim across the surface, ramming you into the end before you well into the DLC.

A "return to the grey areas of morality" of Fallout 3 was one of the Pitt's promises, but like Fallout 3 itself the concept of "grey area" seems to have been missed pretty widely here. There's a certain half-heartedness to how the obvious bad guys (slavers) are supposed to be deep, and the other side is more annoying than it is good. Confused morality, surely, but deep? Not really.

An optional 'third' solution in which the player can bring both sides to some sort of agreement to work together is unfortunately lacking.

And though the Pitt offers more for the player to explore than most regular locations, as well as new weapons, armors and Perks, the gameplay experience will only last for a couple of hours for the average gamer.

I myself am of the opinion that the extra content of this DLC isn't worth the price tag of 10 dollars, as it simply offers too little in content and quality for that.
It all looks very nice but it is a very short in hours-to-dollar ratio, and there is practically no re-playability, so no reason to visit the location later again. Gamers are better off waiting until the price of this DLC has dropped to half the current one or if it is bundled more cheaply.

The Pitt is better than Operation: Anchorage, but it's still not very good.