Review: Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

Continuing my travels through the Fallout DLC, it’s time to set phasers to stun as we beam up to Mothership Zeta. The usual trek through the wilderness concludes with the discovery of a downed alien spacecraft and your swift teleportation up to the Mothership. A small cut scene ensues in which you are strapped to a table before you black out, waking in a holding cell ready to begin your latest challenge.

The storyline probably took Bethesda all of five seconds to compose: you and a bunch of misfits from various time periods have been abducted by aliens and must escape. Your team includes a cowboy, a samurai, a medic from the Operation Anchorage battle (I think), a trader from your own time period and a small girl. Like most small girls she is horribly perky and annoying and it was very hard work not to shoot her in the head. At various points during the game the characters will help you out but for the most part it’s just you traveling from A to B, killing aliens along the way.

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The graphics are atmospheric and with the exception of the odd character model, all brand new, making a pleasant change from Fallout’s post apocalyptic palette. Sound design is rather amusing with the aliens jabbering in a squeaky language which is reminiscent of Ewoks on helium. As with previous DLC there a couple of set pieces including a spacewalk and a very silly section where you vibrate a smaller space craft against some pylons to fry waves of oncoming aliens. The end battle is a bit of a let down and is rather easy but does feature a gorgeous explosion.

Aliens come in three varieties, normal, shielded and ‘abomination’ which are the hardest to kill. Some fun can be had clicking various switches and releasing creatures that the aliens have previously captured; letting out a Super Mutant and watching him shred the aliens is good fun. Occasionally you may find a door and you can either open it and hope there are some goodies inside or rig it to explode when an alien runs past. As you are on a spaceship there are no Stimpacks or beds, instead there are glowing ‘healing arches’ that restore most of your health and ‘alien bio-gel’, great for stretchmarks.

As usual it’s two silvers and gold for your trophy collection for the story of the DLC, one other silver if you find all the collectables. There are no bonus perks, instead you acquire alien weapons which are quite powerful and have an excellent resale price. A cannon from a Guardian robot can be taken back to Earth and sold for more than a thousand caps, so if you’re short on cash a quick trip up to the spaceship to scavenge a load of weapons could be very profitable.

And… that’s about it. There is not much to the DLC other than running about the spaceship and killing aliens. It’s very short; I managed to finish it in one evening including an hour’s break for the X-Factor results and unfortunately there is little in the way of replay value as storyline leads you through 95% of the game area. You will be astounded to know Fallout did not crash, there were no animation errors, the frame rate did not judder and it played through without fault. Praise the lord!

Previous Fallout 3 DLC reviews:

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