Last year saw another huge lineup of awesome games come and go, and one of the best of the bunch was Fallout 3. So obviously when Bethesda announced their plans to continue Fallout 3 through DLC, I was very excited. Just looking at the screenshots of Operation: Anchorage was enough to make it an instant purchase for me.
Well now that I’ve completed Operation: Anchorage, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. I really wanted to love it, but Bethesda took everything that was great about Fallout 3 and threw it out the window. I’m sure that everyone is familiar with the setting of Operation: Anchorage, so I won’t bore you with those details. I just want to take a minute to vent on the shortcomings of the expansion.
Fallout 3 is a game that is strongly based on exploration, discovery, and story telling. As a matter of fact, almost all of Bethesda games encourage you to soak in the world at a very slow pace. Unfortunately, Operation: Anchorage is completely the opposite. Bethesda has given us a very linear, combat-based set of missions — even the looting and inventory system has changed. Since the entire expansion takes place in a simulator, you won’t be able to loot bodies or carry over any of your existing items, thus killing off any need to search rooms for special items.
You also won’t have any need for ammo or stimpaks. Instead, you will find neatly placed stations throughout the mission that refill both health and ammunition. These concepts might sound interesting if Fallout 3 was a FPS, but in the world of Fallout it just doesn’t cut it. It’s like downloading Gears of War content only to discover the combat system has become a turn-based RPG.
Despite having beautiful scenery, I really can’t recommend buying this content unless you find Fallout 3’s combat so engrossing that you need 4 straight hours of it. Hopefully Bethesda will come with a better effort in March when the next DLC pack is set to launch.