Delayed by a month and then, on release, hit by some apocalyptic bugs that rendered it unplayable, Fallout 3‘s second batch of DLC, The Pitt, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a good start. Aside from initial problems, though, has Bethesda served up another slice of Armageddon pie that deserves to be sampled, or is The Pitt just a hole to throw your hard earned cash down?
The Pitt introduces us to the ruined city of Pittsburgh, now called The Pitt. Unlike many of the other cities in America, Pittsburgh was spared most of the nuclear barrage and much of the city remains intact, if a little shoddy. However, while the city came out relativity well off from the explosive payloads, it certainly didn’t get away unscathed, and thanks to a combination of masses of factories spewing out all manner of toxins, and the radiation fallout from the bombings, The Pitt is not a nice place to be.
The population of The Pitt is split into two main groups – the slaves and the slavers, or masters. The slaves live and work in the downtown area, presided over by some thoroughly nasty guards who don’t hesitate to put a bullet into someone who’s not working hard enough. The masters, on the other hand, make their home in the uptown area, which is elevated high above the streets using a series of walkways. The lord of the city, and ruler, Ashur, resides in Haven, a large skyscraper that sits in the Uptown area.
Although this pecking order clearly establishes leadership and submissive roles, both groups are at the mercy of the plague that’s gripping the city. This, when it takes over a person, gradually turns them into a feral state, and they become a ‘Trog’, the DLC’s main new enemy addition. The Trogs are mutated humanoid assistants that crawl around on all fours and leap at you with great speed, kind of like Resident Evil‘s Lickers or Hunters.
The main thrust of the new quest is to find a possible cure for the plague, and you’re initially hired by Wherner, a former slave who’s escaped The Pitt and has come to the Capital Wasteland to find help. After receiving his distress signal on your Pip-Boy’s radio, you rescue him from an attack, and can then return with him to The Pitt to begin your adventure outside of the DC wastes.
The Pitt costs 800 MS Points, and, like Operation Anchorage, offers three or four hours of extra content for most players. Along with a handful of new quests, the DLC features a few new armour types, a couple of new weapons and some new character skins. Of course, you’ll also get to roam around the ruins of Pittsburgh, which are very different from anything in the DC wastes, being heavily industrial, and still very much active.
Sadly, The Pitt‘s actual missions aren’t as good as the extra aesthetics that come with the DLC. While it’s great to explore The Pitt (which is surprisingly sparse to be honest), and to find and acquire the new items the DLC features, the missions are nothing but a long-winded ‘collect these items’ type, a rather weak arena combat quest and… well, actually, that’s it, really!
Some fans have argued that there’s more to the DLC if you take your time, but even if you speak to everyone and explore every nook and cranny of the tiny world, you won’t get much more out of the game. Yes, there’s a moral choice to be made, which can change the outcome, so there’s some replayability to the DLC, but this still doesn’t make the DLC much longer.
If you thought Operation Anchorage was short and were left wanting, then The Pitt will disappoint you even more. There are some achievements to unlock, which should please Gamerscore whores, and the new items and weapons, such as the Infiltrator silenced rifle and the barbaric ‘auto axe’ that will please Fallout fans, but for 800 MS Points, a little more actual content would have been nice. In truth, I preferred OA‘s extra items far more than The Pitt‘s, and have no doubt many others will too.
The Pitt, while it lasts, is actually pretty enjoyable, and the world looks great, with some nice touches, but Bethesda could have given us a little more meat, and so The Pitt isn’t the DLC I was hoping for. Let’s hope Broken Steel can finally give Fallout 3 the DLC it deserves.