x360a Review: Fallout 3's Point Lookout Review
Written Saturday, June 27, 2009 By Nate Gillick
Bethesda really knows how to support their games post-launch, and the amount of love they've shown for Fallout 3 through a continuing line of expansion packs is remarkable. We wish other developers would put as much effort into creating high-quality and unique content for their games post-release. Point Lookout, the fourth expansion to our 2008 Game of the Year, offers a visually appealing and unique experience for fans of the game, with more than enough content to make it worth picking up.
Meet the Point Lookout reception committee.
Each expansion to Fallout 3 has been more expansive than the last. Operation Anchorage was pretty confined, The Pitt added a small-scale new city, Broken Steel offered reasonably open areas and a new level cap, and now Point Lookout trumps all three with an enormous, open area to traverse, adding about as much real estate to the game as the other three expansions combined. The swampy region of Point Lookout has a unique look that sets it apart from the DC wastelands, with forested marshes, deserted plains, and rugged cliffs being battered by ocean waves. With dozens of locations to discover, explorers could easily be traversing the wetlands for hours hunting everything down. Mutated wastelanders and feral ghouls roam this region, and players will have to stay sharp to survive, as Point Lookout is the most challenging of Fallout 3's additional quest lines. If you've ever complained about Fallout 3's expansions not being "big enough," Point Lookout surely won't disappoint.
Upon arriving in Point Lookout, players will find themselves coming to the rescue of a foul-mouthed ghoul named Desmond. Holed up in a large mansion, players will have to help him fight off crazed members of a religious cult, who seem to want to burn the mansion to the ground. This opening sequence provides some great set-piece battles, culminating with a last-stand battle in the mansion's lobby. Moving on from this impressive opening, it will be up to the players to unravel the mystery behind this cult, and restore some semblance of peace to Point Lookout. Running about three to four hours, Point Lookout's story offers players the ability to choose their destiny, with multiple possible endings. There's no clear "good" or "evil" path here, which makes having to choose from the available options more interesting.
Like Broken Steel, Point Lookout offers additional content to keep things interesting after the core story has been completed. With five additional side-quests to complete and dozens of locations to discover, Point Lookout offers more post-story content than any other expansion to date. These quests are reasonably involved, taking a fair amount of time to complete, making them more rewarding and satisfying than "venture from point A to point B" fetch quests.
Can you survive the swamps?
Point Lookout adds a few new weapons to Fallout 3's ever growing arsenal, but they're unlikely to see much use by established characters who have seen much of what the game has to offer. The double barrel shotgun feels appropriate to the setting, and packs a nice punch, but it has to be reloaded after each shot, meaning the combat shotgun remains a more practical option. There's also a lever-action rifle, which is essentially a weaker version of Abe Lincoln's repeater. Point Lookout also offers a few new melee weapons, but nothing here can compare to options already available in the game, like the auto axes from The Pitt, so most players shouldn't expect to venture out into the swamps and come out with a shiny new weapon to replace existing favorites.
Four new achievements worth 100 points are included with Point Lookout. As always, there are a few achievements for completing quests from the main storyline, and there's a 40 point achievement for tracking down every location hidden in the swamps, which will keep explorers busy for a while.
Point Lookout provides players with an expansive new area to explore, an intriguing new story, and several side-quests to extend the amount of play time in the new content, making this the biggest and longest expansion yet. The new achievements are solid, and its nice to have a higher level of difficulty, though it's too bad that few people are likely to use any of the new items. If you're a Fallout 3 fan looking for some new territory to explore, Point Lookout is most certainly for you.