Fallout 3: The Pitt

Take a visit to hospitable Pennsylvania

You have to hand it to Bethesda – they’ve choosen a part of the US that really lends itself to surviving a nuclear apocalypse seemingly unscathed. That, and getting the designers of The Pitt to actually play Fallout 3 all the way through, so they could get a feel for what people might want to play.

The Pitt is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – an already desolate city, made only slightly worse by the fallout, and is overrun by raiders. Said raiders have enslaved members of The Pitt’s population who haven’t been infected by a virus that turns them into trogs – mutated humans who live underground.
You’re lured there by a chap called Wernher, who has escaped the city in an attempt to find help – and a cure to the plague that he’s certain the city’s owners possess.

This leads you to mucking in as a slave, and one of the few missteps of the expansion. Bethesda needs to allow players to take all their gear into expansion content. Even if you walk in and shoot down all of the guards, you’re powerless to stop three sissy-boys from clubbing you unconscious and removing your gear. Frankly, this is insulting – we still have my power armour from Anchorage, and we want to use it.

Despite this, The Pitt is a functional and enjoyable expansion. It condenses and presents its own version of Oblivion’s arena as The Hole, and the new weapons (especially the AutoAxe, a one-handed chainsaw-thing) are great fun to use. The quest itself fails to enthrall, though – you’ll beat it for the sake of beating it, as it’s easy and short (about four hours long) and fun enough, but it fails to excite. Even the big secret and the big decision you make at the end are as predictable as they come.

Also, the last time we checked, Pittsburgh covers an area of 58 square miles, not a set of claustrophobic corridors and a large courtyard. The Pitt is good fun, if a little short for the money. What Fallout 3 needs is an expansion like The Shivering Isles, with real meat to it. For now, you’ll have to make do with this – a good, but short and somewhat bland extra mission.

Apr 13, 2009

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