A look at Fallout 3 DLC: The Pitt

April 14, 2009 | 13:00

Tags: #dlc #fallout-3 #gfwl #the-pitt #windows-live

Companies: #games

I finally managed to get Fallout 3's downloadable content to work. Once Fallout 3 decides it can automatically login to GFWL every time it starts, it consistently works - I didn't play with the settings, it seems have quite the mind of its own.

Anyway, gameplay.

You get dropped into "The Pitt", an area to the far north of the map controlled by slavers who run the only working steel mill in the Fallout 3 world, around post apocalyptic DC.

It's plauged by a leprosy-esque blight that changes people over time as they're exposed to an exotic cocktail of toxins unique to this particular area. First they turn into semi-ghouls and finally into crazy ape-like zombies called "Troggs" who quite fancy a limb or two with a side of brains.

Naturally, that's your limb, or grey matter, you tasty thing!

After being approached by a stranger and asked to get the cure from the head honcho of a group of slavers, you embark on a quick step trail of justice from bottom feeder to king of the slaves! RAWR!
[break]
You're given the choice to enter The Pitt looking like a run-away slave, but I decided to forgo this for my usual meet-and-greet method of separating people at the neck. This effort was short lived - but I did find a nice scoped and silenced assault rifle for my trouble - however I found there's just a single outcome (being beaten senseless in a cut-scene) once you actually get inside.

My weapons removed, I got into a slight state of panic wondering whether I'd get my kit that I'd worked for over hours of gameplay back again, but still I decided to trek on.

The story is pretty linear - talk to this person, collect these things; however since you're weaponless and looking like an extra from Conan the Barbarian, I strongly recommend exploring around and taking The Pitt on with plenty of health. This is because it can be a little difficult at first having the ape-like "Trogs" gang up on you unless you're careful. Killing guards out of sight of others is also a good way to get extra bling too - remember to play the engine limitations!

It's fun and interesting to "start again" at a high level - a mix between Half-Life and Dead Rising, forcing you to pick fights carefully for a change.

So, anyway, the first few hours seem quite linear but it does allow a little time to explore the ups and downs of a new, more enclosed environment. Eventually this leads to getting thrown into The Pitt Arena to fight it out in order to get an audience with Mr. King Pin, holder of "the cure".

Three bouts later against ever harder foes finally I got my kit back - how they fitted it all in a footlocker, I'll never know. Then you're made to trek it - and I mean literally run a marathon (remember the Q-key) - from downtown to uptown. This is what draws out the hours - running around, not shooting, not being hassled, just finding a way from A to B.

Finally getting to Mr. Big Wig and downing a few Nuka's to quell my thirst, I then found the legendary Bethesda bugs bit me and regardless of what I did - he'd just stand there grunting occasionally refusing to acknowledge my presence.

The only way around this was to introduce him to my scoped Magnum, inevitably creating a grapefruit sized hole in the side of his cranium. After finishing off a few others in the room, I went to get "the cure" which his wife was protecting.

Admittedly I felt worse about this than anything else in the game so far: she was a scientist and a mother also trying to cure her people, however what I had done to her husband had left her inconsolably angry. Sorry love, business is business, and I did make it quick!

"Cure" in my backpack and it was then back to running my arse off again, fighting back from uptown to downtown. This is far more entertaining than simply running around and racks up the experience points - especially if you've chosen the 10% perks previously. Then you're told to go back to the Mill, then back to uptown before fighting your way through again and racking up even more experience; the Flamer + Troggs = ching ching ching!

So how does it compare to the previous DLC expansion, Anchorage? Well, at least The Pitt is within the Fallout 3 universe and so it feels similar to the quests available in the main game. It's surprisingly long, too and restarting from no weapons is a challenge that seems quite appealing - at first.

The endless running around does make it drag on and despite the fact the levels are well made and inventive - making much use of height as well as width - the running feels like it's padding. There's no huge incentive if you're after new toys - I did pick up a +34 DR armour, but its looks are disappointingly regular, and the Infiltrator can be had within 10 minutes of starting.

Is The Pitt worth the 800 Points? Not for the hassle of going through Games for Windows Live to be honest. But, if you're a hardened Fallout 3 fanboy (or girl) then you will very much enjoy it because it's more of the same, yet something slightly different. I did enjoy it and it was particularly good for the XP.
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