The final piece of the Fallout 3 downloadable content transports the player away from the Capital Wasteland the last place you expect, outer space. Miles above the cares and troubles of the wasteland, Fallout 3 invites the player to explore a new out-of-this-world adventure.
Bethesda once again proves how diverse the Fallout 3 gamespace can be with the last downloadable offering, Mothership Zeta. In an unpopular decision, all good thing have to end and it seems that Mothership Zeta will be the last add-on for Fallout 3. It's good a been run, and to end it all, Mothership Zeta is certianly an interesting offering. In Mothership Zeta a group of hostile aliens abductors the wasteland hero into a spacecraft high above Earth’s atmosphere. On this strange vesle you will have to free yourself from the alien cluthches and make it back down to the rotting surface of the earth. Similar to the first downloadable content, Operation: Anchorage, Mothership Zeta doesn’t feel like anything you’ve played before in Fallout 3. The bright colours, sophisticated weaponry, and new alien captivators easily grabs the attention your eyes by providing a nice diversion from wandering the dull landscape of the wasteland.
The Unlikely Soldier
Unlike the other expansion packs, I approached Mothership Zeta with a new character, a level 7 Evil character which is a departure from the high level 20s that I tackled the other add-ons. Taking on this alien horror story was a little scary at first since I was getting decimated wandering the upper sections of the Wasteland. Once I found the signal that transports you into the new content, I knew I was in for a fight... well, at least I thought I was.
To my surprise this fight I was expecting never really came. Into the enemies open arms I charged without mercy and I found the long halls of the enemies spacecraft to be easier desperately easier than Big Town's adventure into Germantown's Police HQ. Even without any substantial weapon in my equipment list, my new hostile friends involuntarily 0provided their weaponry that helped me take out each big-eyed alien in one or two shots, oh yeah and that is without a high Laser skill level! I was shocked considering how taxing the Point Lookout DLC was on my high level character who is outfitted with tones of gear from the previous expansion packs. Compared to other add-on content available for Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta proved to be a little weak on its storyline with a focus more on discovery and exploration.
You Never Know Who You'll Run Into
While you're making your great esacpe you will meet other prisoners who have been captured and prodded by the aliens. These survivalists will become allies who can help you in your escape, if you so desire. Two of the characters you meet right in the beginning, Somah who has been abducted and kept in your cell and a little girl Sally who was abducted around 2077, the period of the The Great War in Fallout 3. Sally who has latterly grown up on spacecraft helps you through the maze like halls of the spacecraft until the games big finally. Before the game ends, around the half-way mark you meet the other NPCs which are frozen characters from different time periods, and locations from Earth. Thawing out the cryo-tubes a host of new characters will also aid you on your travel making your party the most diverse grouping of people in all of Fallout 3. Discovering this group of frozen abductees was the highlight in my game, so I won’t spoil any more of the details. Now with a full cast of characters you start to cause some real havoc on the spacecraft. When finish Mothership Zeta remains present on the map, so you can hit up the beacon teleporter to jump back to the Mothership at any time.
Fill Those Pockets!
The ability to travel back to the Mothership you will be able to fill up your pockets with more than enough loot from the alien Mothership. Even during my first run through my pockets where absolutely filled with a number of goodies making my poor, unfitted character a rich man with a lots firepower to go around. Mothership Zeta is the most generous with their loot then the other downloadable missions. The main weapon the aliens will use is called the Alien Atomizer which is powered by new type ammo called an Alien Power Module. These are found on the ship in abundance, so don’t worry about leaving without ammo. I acquired over 2000 modules in my travels which will last a life-time out in the wasteland. The Atomizer and Disintegrator, its rifle form is good quality weapons that are most comparable to the Plasma weapons from the Wasteland. All the items found on the ship are useful after your ride has come to an end. If not for the enjoyment of something new in the Fallout world, some gamers might want to download this expansion to get their hands on a shiny pile of new weapons.
I Know "Xenotech"
A hundred new achievements can also been snagged up during your great escape. Three of those worth 80 points and will be handed to you as you play through the main mission. The optional achievement “Alien Archivist” is rewarded when you find all 25 of the Alien Captive Recordings that are strewn all over the ship. You can also grab up a new perk called “Xenotech Expert” which graciously gives a 20% boost to the damage while using the alien weapons. To collect on this perk you need to have some fun shooting down live targets from the wasteland in the Weapons Lab. Since you need to travel through this area in the main storyline, most players will pick it up if they are curious button pressers.
Where's the Twist?
The part of Mothership Zeta that I didn’t like was the repetitive combat that could have used a few alternative enemies. The variations on the space aliens just isn’t enough and with a open spectrum to create whatever they wanted. I think Bethesda missed the teleporter in not only the enemies, but in the storyline as well in Mothership Zeta. I mean you’re on a spaceship! and even though Zeta has its sweet spots of general interest, I felt like they could have done more. I was sure something more was going to happen with the little girl who has been kept alive for 200 years on the spaceship, and when nothing happens you have to question their motives. Why they didn’t get into the history of Sally? or provide more clues of what the aliens are doing with their interaction with "us earthlings". Out of all the missions I’ve been on in Fallout 3, the Mothership Zeta content is the one I wanted to learn about the most. Bethesda is this a missed opportunity, or saving up for Fallout 4? Either way, it’s a shame Zeta didn’t dig deeper.
Mothership Zeta is another drastic change to the dreary old Wasteland. Unfortunately being abducted on an alien spacecraft is a lot less scary then it sounds. As you submerge yourself deep into this alien’s domain you will notice that Mothership Zeta is light on the story, aside from the initial setup, and focuses more on the combat side of Fallout 3. After spending a few hours navigating this structure and killing off alien after alien, I felt like something was still missing as the big bang ending crept near. The twist I thought was surely on its way never came and before I knew it I was back in the Capital Wasteland fighting off oversized scorpions and Mutants. Even though I feel a little let down, Mothership Zeta still strong points and is worth the purchase if you have enjoyed the other add-on content for the game. If you haven't made the decision to purchase any of the content, give it a few months and you'll be able to enjoy all Fallout 3 has to offer with its Game of the Year edition.
Final Score: 7.0
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 08.10.09
- Lots and Lots of the new Loot!
- Space the new Fallout 3 perspective
- Fresh atmosphere and NPCs keep things interesting
- More achievements to hunt down, with a extra bonus perk
- Storyline is a missed opportunity. What’s up with Sally?!
- The enemies only consist of only alien humanoids and drones
- The content can be completed within 2-5hr