Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aaron’s Reviews: Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta DLC

Hey everybody Aaron here, reviewing yet another non-retro game. Next week I promise to do my monthly retro review, I’ll even give you a hint…it’s a Sega Genesis title involving a bat and acrobatics…and a circus…and, It’s Aero the Acrobat. I played only a level or two, but I’ve been busy, a lot of irons in the fire with graphic design and my own projects. This is what also put of this review for Mothership Zeta off for about five days, but here it is…so let’s get started with Fallout 3’s final DLC, Mothership Zeta.

Mothership Zeta is supposedly the last expansion for the Fallout series bringing the total cost, if you’ve shelled out for all of them, somewhere near the price of a new game. I’ve heard tell of another possible expansion in the future, but that just seems to be the musings of fans and friends. That being said, if this is the final expansion, then what a one to go out on.

*Just a warning, ahead thar be SPOILERS*

The mission starts with a radio signal that may be familiar to some players, those that have discovered the unmarked alien crash site. Somehow it has amplified to the point where it can be heard across D.C. Upon your arrival at the crash site you are suddenly pulled into a swirling tunnel of light which completely paralyzes you and eventually black out. The next few scenes are spent fazing in and out of consciousness, fuzzy scenes of aliens looking over your helpless body, and…yes even the horror of probing. They followed the classic textbook abduction story all the way here. When you are finally given back control you find yourself in a cell, stripped of your items. A fellow inmate informs you of your situation, and comes up with a plan for escape. Once out of the cell, the fun begins as you explore the ship and make the aliens wish they never picked you up in the first place. Shortly out of the cell you meet a little girl who’s been onboard the ship since just before the war, and she offers to help you get around the ship. Eventually with her help you make it to a place called the “Engineering Core”, sort of a mission hub for part of the game.

It appears the aliens have turned off the teleporter to the upper decks, and the only way to get up is outside the ship. The little girl leads you to section of frozen abductees, one of the being an astronaut and suggests thawing him for his assistance so you can progress through the ship. While this also defrosts three other abductees from various different times, it appears the defrosting process has killed the astronaut. So the little girl tells you to take his gear, and tells you that in order to go outside without being attacked by aliens you have to destroy the generators in three sections from the core. On your trip to each wing you can take one of the defrostees to help you. One is a medic from the battle at anchorage, one is a cowboy from the old west, and another is a samurai warrior from Japan…who doesn’t speak any English. (hence he doesn’t accompany you to a section, he is filled in for by your former cellmate, who was a slaver in the wasteland.)

After you destroy these generators you can leave the airlock, and walk in space outside the ship. After you get to the upper level, you activate a teleporter that beams up your friends from the lower deck. It is here where the truly stunning visual of the game shows itself, and the player can see an eerily beautiful vista of the post apocalyptic earth from space. As you progress further you find and disable the ships death ray…after playing with it of course. Leaves a nice sized poc-mark on the earth in god knows what country. Further along you discover another staple of alien abduction stories, weird cross breeds of aliens and humans called “Abominations”. These creatures are strong melee attackers, but are fairly susceptible to the alien weaponry and thanks to the mayhem you caused on your way up they’ve escaped their pens and are killing humans and aliens alike. Finally you make it to the top of the ship, and take out the aliens in command which is seemingly easy and anti-climactic. This is until a second mothership appears to take you out for all the trouble you caused, even if it means losing one of their ships. You and your crew of abductees use your captured ship to battle for survival against the hostile alien ship while also defending the bridge from aliens coming from all over the ship your on attempting to take back control. In the end, you destroy the mothership and save the earth from…whatever the aliens intended to do.

After talking with your comrades a beacon is launched to the surface of the D.C. crash site where you can get back to earth, as well as return to the ship in the future. Those abductees that stay on the ship collect weapons and tools for you each time you return.

*End of SPOILERS…Plot-wise*

The weapons in the game are great, especially if your character is proficient in energy weapons. Four weapons are introduced here, all using a different type of ammo from the alien blaster and fire lance. The weapons are the “Shock Baton” a melee weapon, “the Atomizer” which is like and energy pistol, “the disintegrator” is an energy rifle, and “the Drone Cannon” is a high powered heavy weapon. The content also boasts a lot of humorous contents and interesting sights. All the available audio logs are of different abductees being forced to make a record of themselves. Again some classic alien abduction archetypes appear here such as the log of a hillbilly, or the aliens interrogating a cow. Some of the odd sights include rows and rows of robotic horse toy as well as a pristine corvega car from the prewar days, and even an old style space rocket drop pod. (Presumably where the astronaut came from).

This really was a great DLC, truly a fun and enjoyable expansion , and has changed the make-up of my most recommended list of DLC’s for this game that you must have. This DLC would take the number two spot, just below Broken Steel for obvious reasons. The one downside of this DLC is that if you didn’t get the alien blaster from the site before you downloaded this expansion or are starting a new character you will not be able to get the blaster as the aliens pick you up as soon as you get close to the cockpit. When you return to earth the crashed ship and gun are gone as they were apparently recovered by your captors. This is no problem for those that have Broken Steel, as you can pick up a second alien blaster in the crawlers armory. But for those who have only Mothership Zeta this could pose a problem. So If you can get two DLC’s make sure one of them is Mothership Zeta, it is fun, over the top, and has an entirely different atmosphere than most of the game.

This has been Aaron,
See you next week with my Review of Aero the Acrobat…hopefully.

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