To say that I have been raring to get back into Fallout 3 is an understatement. As the Scourge of Humanity, it’s only right that I make my way to the Pitt, a den of raiders, wildmen, slaves and suffering. With my end-game save prepped and loaded and the patched download installed, the only thing left that I needed was a radio signal… that elusive tease of a radio signal.
I wandered about the wasteland for a few minutes without a hint of a radio signal before I decided to check online to see what was going on; I had jumped from one spot on the map to another, loading and reloading, but nothing. After reading that a few people had to wait up to five minutes before receiving an on-screen notice, I figured something wasn’t right. I decided to try one more time, and after another 15 minutes of hoofing it, I went ahead and redownloaded. Everything was the same as before, with a message saying the new content was loaded and the game was started with my same save game, only this time I received the signal within a minute of my travels. A slight hiccup, and slightly frustrating, but nothing a relaxing headshot didn’t smooth over.
The future Pittsburgh is a pretty impressive place, considering it is managed by a bunch of mangy raiders. The dilapidated structures are suitably impressive, as well as incredibly dark, with numerous scaffolds and makeshift bridges connecting the various buildings together and holding up what’s left of the downtown area. Slaves toil away, extracting raw materials and making weapons, while overseers sneer and patrol about, nestling their power axes and shotguns. The leader of the Pitt, Ashur, sits high above the workers, managing production and fiddling with chemicals. It’s Ashur’s latter hobby that concerns you, because you’ve been tasked with finding a cure for mutations that he has caused by a runaway slave named Wernher.
It wasn’t easy helping out, being the ruthless killer that I am, but I have a soft spot for the slaves – and an undying hatred for the raiders. Having to run about and gather ingredients and intel is a small price to pay to be able to curb-stomp some leather fiends. Somehow getting list in confined areas and losing my equipment for a bit – argh, hate it when that happens – is worth the payoff of traversing old Pittsburgh. The mutants that scamper about the restricted areas do a good job of creating the sort of zombie frenzy that carries so many a poor horror movies, and the story of helper robots run amuck is also great. There is also an arena that adds a nice Thunderdome flavor, but is ultimately too limited to be of lasting interest.
The quest for a cure and the liberation of the slaves isn’t all that more involved. Aside from having to contend with the raiders and mutants, there are also the wildmen: people that have gone insane and live in the more dangerous areas, killing whatever they run across. Playing the game with a high-end character was great, stomping everything in my site, but new characters will have to be careful when venturing beyond the confines of the raiders’ steelmill. The featured addition for the loot fans out there is the AutoAxe, but few other additions have been added to tempt players.
Completing the main quest earns you the favor of the locals. You can also finish collecting iron ingots that go towards an achievement and trade-in gear from the raider equivalent of a middle manager. The production facilities open up to you as well, allowing for the production of munitions whenever there is a sufficient stock of raw materials. The area remains open for you to travel back to, if you ever feel the urge - or if you ever want to check out the amazing view from the wildmen’s tower. The moral choices and dialog trees aren’t as open or interesting as the original campaign, but about on par with what I expect out of a content pack. At around 4 hours, maybe 5, there is just enough to get you back into Fallout before having to go back and be crushed all over again by the ending.
Overall: 7.5/10The summation of the arena is appropriate for the Pitt as a whole: good, but not enough of a reason to return once you’re done. The pack serves its purpose of opening up the Fallout world and expanding on the backstory, but it ends up being primarily for the diehard fan.