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