Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta - review

We’re not game designers, but if we were making a DLC pack about alien abduction set in the universe of Fallout 3 we wouldn’t make the following four dumb errors...

1) Kick off with a hackneyed surgery scene. 2) Present the ETs as unimaginative little ‘grey’ rip-offs with unappealing personalities. 3) Abandon the series’ outstanding role-playing roots for repetitive, rubbish corridor blasting. 4) Make every single quest a thankless exercise in marching halfway across the uniformly uninspiring Mothership to press a few buttons and wreck the odd machine.

Mothership Zeta – despite some serious potential – achieves the dubious honour of beating Operation Anchorage as the true stinker of the five DLC packs for Fallout 3. It ignorantly revels in every facet that Bethesda’s classic ever struggled with – from an overemphasis on combat through to poor opponent AI and trudge-heavy corridor questing – while ignoring everything that first made us bestow a 9 on the original, utterly brilliant title.

Mothership Zeta doesn’t just feel incongruous and ill-at-ease in the Fallout 3 universe, it also plays like Dogmeat’s arse. Fallout completists won’t be able to resist downloading, but that doesn’t excuse such a shoddy climax to this standout RPG.

Aug 20, 2009


  • Gingerbread - September 21, 2009 2:15 a.m.

    @ DeadGirls no fallout 3 is one of the best games ever made. It deserves a ten out of ten. I raped the game and got all 1550 achievment points and it was a very very enjoyable 120 hrs that i am glad i had done
  • BertTheTurtle - August 28, 2009 7:44 p.m.

    Well I thought it was fun. Still prefer Point Lookout though. Also, did anyone else think that outer space looked really fake in that room with the one staircase? I think they overdid the whole 3D planetarium effect there. Everywhere else it looked fine. I think its actually kind of cool the way it looks in that room.
  • Jaywaka - February 12, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    I did see what you mean, it was like it was a black wall with little star like glowing bits of light on it and one large light in the corner of the black room....thats the dodgiest part of that DLC ive seen....
  • Gingerbread - August 24, 2009 12:43 p.m.

    yea this dlc wasnt good at all all you did was shoot aliens and press buttons and travel so far just to go in the same looking hallway as you were in before. what a waste of $10!
  • Pelico - August 23, 2009 5:24 a.m.

    Obviously Mothership Zeta wasn't as good as some of the others, but if you purchase it KNOWING it's not the greatest, you won't be so disapointed, which ultimately makes you enjoy it more. Personally, I thought it was worth the 800 points, because it was a pretty decent change in pace for Fallout.
  • crumbdunky - August 22, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    I was one of the few, though there were some more who shared my opinion that Bethesda hadn't grasped the Fallout universe or atmosphere with ~Fallout3,who didn't really rate Fallout3. I just felt it was an OK game that didn't live up to either it's predecessors in the series(of which I'm a massive fan)or the pre release hype that I admit to getting caught up in. The shooting is woolly at best and VATS is underwhelming too. I finished the main game pretty quickly and as it was the summer drought I got the DLC(well the first three)the other week and if this is even worse than those it must be appalling. I'm not, by the way, saying F3 is a bad game it's just not a very good Fallout game imo and even fails to live up to Oblivion in my book and the DLC, largely, has done very little to convince me that Bethesda understand what the original Fallout games were about. I know I'll get lynched for this but I'm just being an old, honest Fallout and RPG fan who didn't get the kicks he expected when the game dropped and none of the DLC that I've seen has elevated the game above the merely playable-it's a decent enough gamebut I just don't get why people rave more about it than the amazing first and second games.
  • EnyoAyoSeshiAdele - August 22, 2009 9:30 a.m.

    why do you wait so long to review them I manage to finish most dlc's in a couple of hours
  • shadowless92 - August 21, 2009 9:24 p.m.

    i admit with GR it wasnt great and infact im not finding point lookout that gd i think all the dlcs just take u out of the feel of the game except broken steel the items are great though i noticed so many glitches in MZ and 1 is that when u look out at space when u move the stars move really oddly and doesnt work it looks like the spaceship is in a room painted black with stars on it quite odd and also general chases coat is glitched to be winterized combat armor and the picture for the drone cannon when looting is a box with a cross in it saying error and i did find that i cudnt be bothered after 10 mins and just wanted to complete it and get back to the wasteland i do love the guns though i was hoping for a friendlyy alien too but no luck i guess i feel like bethesda was lazy on this dlc sorry to go on and on im just saying =P
  • Ragingbull45 - August 21, 2009 6:29 p.m.

    i will not buy this
  • Wubbles - August 21, 2009 6:22 p.m.

    My eyes actually widened reading that, anal probe strap-line. I must be the only person who thought Operation: Anchorage was really cool, however. Maybe those bizarre ideas I have will apply here.
  • sixboxes - August 21, 2009 5:31 p.m.

    Hey Jordo141, you need to check out their review of the latest Watchmen episodic game to see the shortest. This definitely has more words, and more pictures to stretch it out. The screens make it look like something completely different from fallout - did it start out as a different game that they knew sucked too much to sell on its own?
  • Cyberninja - August 21, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    wow did not think fo3 could have dlc that bad
  • DeadGirls - August 31, 2009 7:17 p.m.

    Can we finally admit that Fallout 3 sucks?
  • kingius - August 24, 2009 1:18 p.m.

    Fallout 3 was an average game at best and did not deserve a 9 out of 10 rating. More like 6 or 7. It was big on ideas and low on execution, the world felt lifeless and soulless as did the characters. Some of the voice acting was so annoying that I had to switch the voices off.
  • PrivateYmo7 - August 24, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    Hey, GR! You're being too critical! Slow down! I think it's nice change the air a little bit(wasteland>space)and get alien weapons to use them in the Wasteland. All the DLCs for F3, in my opinion, are pretty fun and great.
  • Cwf2008 - August 24, 2009 2:25 a.m.

    I dont get it why all the negativity around this DLC? I personally liked it. Also am i the only one here who liked Operation Anchorage? That was a good DLC too...oh but i forgot not every game can be as good as Gaylo
  • CreeplyTuna - August 24, 2009 12:09 a.m.

    i will probably purchase this used at gamestop, install it onto my 360, then return it for a full refund. then it will probably be worth it=D
  • kc2 - August 23, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    @ crumdunky I agree, it's a fun game, sure, but really I never felt that immersed in the game, and it feels very underwhelming.. I felt oblivion was a much better game....
  • darksplurge - August 22, 2009 3:44 p.m.

    I don't think theres much to worry about,I'm sure someone will modify it to make it much better.
  • iKOemos - August 21, 2009 10:30 p.m.


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