Review: Point Lookout DLC

Editor’s Note: This review contains a lot of spoilers. We know that some of you might prefer not to read them so we’re warning you before you start. It’s really funny though so I hope you decide to read it anyway. Or bookmark it and come back to it when you’ve played the DLC for yourself.

Next up on my Grand Tour of all the Fallout DLC is a trip to the deep south, a quaint holiday destination known as Point Lookout. It has all the usual features of a vacation resort; a nice hotel, a funfair, acres of dreary swampland and crazed lunatics with shotguns. For the purposes of this review I shall be using a simple code, wherever you see *!* please imagine me using the foulest and most offensive swear words possible.

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After downloading the DLC it’s another trek to find a boat to travel to Point Lookout and immediately Fallout manages to irritate through bad game design. Even though you have purchased the DLC you cannot use it until you have enough caps (over 400) to buy a ticket that allows travel to the new game zone *!*. As I had just stocked up on weapons and ammo I had to spend another twenty minutes wandering about shooting Raiders and accumulating enough cash to get a ticket *!*.

First impressions are good as the DLC starts with a small cut scene viewed from the boat docking at Point Lookout. A gorgeous piece of atmospheric music, all twangly guitars and strums sets the scene nicely – until it is cut off mid twang and never returns. This is a huge shame as wandering about the swamps would have been much more enjoyable with this eerie music. Jumping off the boat reveals a wrecked fairground complete with Ferris wheel and handy bed which I decided to sleep in, at which point the game crashed and I went back to the XMB *!*.

The plot for Point Lookout is very flimsy; you meet a ghoul called Desmond who lives in a mansion that is under attack. The first section of the game is one giant shoot-out in which you repel the ‘Tribal’ invaders. That’s it, shooting lots of Tribals. No plot, no wandering about, just a small mansion with lots of killing. After completing this portion of the game it’s off to a cathedral to meet some religious nutters who worship the Punga plant and they task you with a quest to find a giant Punga. To do this you have to travel through acres of endless swamps *!* fighting Mirelurks and Swampfolk.

If I were not reviewing the DLC, I would have given up at this point. The reason for my frustration is simple; My character was at Level 20, with full Power Armour and a selection of Mini Guns, Flame Throwers and Grenades. In the main game, nothing stops me, so can Bethesda please explain why the Swampfolk can finish me off in seconds? They are skinny, pot bellied hicks wearing only a pair of tattered shorts and no armour, yet it takes four grenades to kill one of them? *!* They can easily withstand a full round in the head from the mini-gun, this make no sense at all. If they were heavily armoured characters I could have believed they were resisting my attacks but when some reject from the film “Deliverance” smacks me twice with an axe and I’m dead it ruins the game. I think the following image sums it up,

wtf

Faced with a swamp full of Southern Supermen *!* I decided upon the easiest option, fired up a load of Stealth Boys and cloaked myself so I could sneak through the swap. Then another swamp, and then another swam until I reach the giant Punga plant – then you black out.

When you recover the game takes an amusing twist as you are totally off your face and hallucinating all sorts of weirdness. Trees grow from the ceilings of caves, Bobbleheads are scattered across the landscape containing messages such as “Oh no, mummy is dead boo hoo, she never loved you anyway!” and characters from the main game are floating in the swamp. Invisble things grunt and giggle at you and a super thin Slinky bounces about leading you to the  bomb from Megaton which then explodes.

Waking up again, you’re back in the cathedral and back in the real world minus a small chunk of your brain. The story continues and reveals that Desmond and the leader of the Tribals used to be colleagues but now hate each other. My interest waned severely when I found out I was stuck in between a petty arguement between two has-been scientists, it’s just not an interesting plot. Your character moves between both parties trading information and tasks. At one point you are asked to put a transmitter on the ‘Highest point around’. ‘The Ferris Wheel?’ my character says, to which Desmond replies ‘Yes of course’ which is utterly stupid as the lighthouse on top of the hill is obviously the highest point in the game *!*.

So let’s do the numbers; With the DLC you get three new perks, seven new items of apparel, thirteen new weapons and five trophies. The DLC is rather short, I completed the story in the space of one evening, but there are acres of swamps if you want to explore and couple of optional side missions.

What you also get is a lot of bugs. The DLC has some graphical issues – as you can see from the screenshots below (Excuse the poor quality, it was a case of me snapping quickly with the camera on my phone whilst they were on screen). Annoyingly, the Pipboy gets corrupted and half of it is missing *!*missinpip

Another glitch appeared when using the Auto Axe from the previous DLC as the Axe itself is not displayed on screen, just leaving a clenched fist. This bug does have one redeeming quality- the sight of a clenched fist bobbing up and down, complemented with some grunts and thuds from you character makes it look like you are masturbating attackers to death.

rude

Other bugs included:

  • The third wave of the last Mansion fight never started, I had to go back to save game and fight the first two waves again. *!*
  • Freki the dog lost its animation and just glided about, very amusing but still a bug.
  • My shotgun would not fire, despite being in good condition and full of ammo – the game went in to slow motion after lining the shots up in V.A.T.S. but nothing happened. *!* *!* *!* *!*
  • Using the Flamethrower on a yokel resulted in large black squares appearing across his body rather than flames.

Personally I found it a chore to finish the story and only recommended it to Fallout fanatics. My travels within the world of Fallout will now continue, next stop: Outer Space.

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