x360a Review: Fallout 3's The Pitt DLC
Written Thursday, March 26, 2009 By Nate Gillick
After a file corruption problem that allowed thousands of gamers to download a faulty version of The Pitt, where we could experience the joys of floating red exclamation points, floating trees, the ability to walk off the map or swim in a river that gave off more than 500 rads a second, the real version of Fallout 3's second DLC quest line is finally up for everyone to enjoy. This time, the snowy plains of Anchorage are but a distant memory as players are slung in to the industrial haven known as "The Pitt."
Say hello to the Auto Axe
Similar to Operation Anchorage, the main quest line begins with a radio transmission calling for help. The citizens of the hellish ruins of Pittsburgh, now known as The Pitt, are a beleaguered group of people, forced into slavery and slowly dying from radiation and other environmental poisons. Desperately seeking a cure for their illnesses and release from their shackles, they have turned to you for salvation, and placed their fate in your hands. Gamers dissatisfied with Operation Anchorage's rather linear format will be happy to know that The Pitt represents a return to classic Fallout 3 form, with potentially agonizing moral decisions to make, and more than one possible ending.
Unfortunately, The Pitt's story suffers from pacing problems. Arriving in the Pitt in the guise of a slave, players will spend the majority of their time in the storyline climbing up the ranks of The Pitt's rugged society. However, once a certain level of prestige has been reached, the plotline suddenly accelerates to its conclusion, with an ending that feels too quick and tidy, and even though completing the story offers a few bonuses, there's nothing to see here once the quest is complete.
The wastelands of DC look positively cheery in comparison to the pervasive gloom of The Pitt, where a brown haze seems to permeate everything. Bombed out buildings, rubble-strewn streets, and people covered in hideous boils mark the city's distinguishing sights. The Pitt looks horrible (in a good way), as Bethesda managed to cram in as much devastation as they could into the place. At about 3-4 times the size of Megaton, The Pitt is a pretty large and interesting city to explore, but as mentioned previously, there's little reason to stay after quest completion. I was unable to find a single merchant, and while the ammo press to convert ammo from one calibur to another is a great feature, it's too out of the way to be often visited by DC wasteland explorers.
The Pitt's statue to slavery.
The Pitt adds new weapons to the Fallout 3 arsenal, including the Auto Axe; a melee weapon with rotating blades that promises to quickly relieve enemies of a limb or two, and the Infiltrator; a silenced assault rifle with a scope attachment. Both weapons are fun to tool around with, and the Auto Axe may very well be melee specialists' new favorite toy. The scope on the Infiltrator makes aiming much easier when not using V.A.T.S. targeting, making it a decent middle-range weapon, though the amount of damage it dishes out can't compare to the Chinese Assault Rifle.
One hundred new points are up for grabs in this quest line, with 80 coming for story completion, and the last 20 for finding all 100 steel ingots in the Steelyard. Whether having to hunt down 100 ingots is a challenge for exploration junkies or a cheap way to extend the amount of time players spend in the DLC is a matter of personal opinion, but since new items can be earned for every 10 found, at least there's some additional motivation to keep searching.
Ultimately, the amount of enjoyment you'll get from The Pitt can be correlated with how much you loved the main game. If you're a fan of Fallout 3, this is an enjoyable way to return to the game, though the story doesn't quite match up to the caliber of the better quests from the main game. Those who felt they didn't get their money's worth from Operation Anchorage are likely to feel the same way here, as this DLC pack also runs between 3 and 5 hours, depending on how much time you spend ingot hunting.