Review by horror_spooky
Beam me back down, Scotty
Mothership Zeta was the last DLC expansion released for Fallout 3. I guess it was meant to send the game off with a bang, and while it is somewhat better than the first DLC Operation Anchorage, Mothership Zeta is a generally miserable experience that exemplifies the worst about Fallout 3 and fails to capitalize on its genuinely good ideas.
The concept of Mothership Zeta is a simple one. The player character is abducted by aliens and taken aboard a spaceship along with the other victims. The goal is to then escape the ship, meeting whacky characters along the way, and repel the alien threat. On paper, this sounds absolutely amazing for a big Fallout 3 fan like myself, but in execution, it hits the mark. It's way off.
I really enjoyed the design of the aliens and I also liked fighting them, for the most part. Having only the aliens and then boring robots to fight throughout the entirety of Mothership Zeta can get pretty old, but the novelty lasts for a while. These are traditionally designed aliens, the little green and grey men with laser guns and all of that jazz, so I think that went a long way in making me enjoy my encounters with them.
There is a lot of close-quarters fighting in Mothership Zeta. If Operation Anchorage was a callback to modern FPS games, then Mothership Zeta is a callback to 90s FPS games like Doom. If you have a shotgun and go through Mothership Zeta, it feels exactly like Doom, actually. So I enjoyed the combat here a lot more than I did in Operation Anchorage.
I think part of that is Mothership Zeta only robs you of your weapons and armor for the very beginning of the quest after the initial abduction. The other two DLC expansion packs that I've played by the time of this writing (Operation Anchorage and The Pitt), took everything away from you right off the bat, but Mothership Zeta lets you use your old stuff as well as the awesome new alien weaponry that is allocated.
That being said, by the time I was done with Mothership Zeta, my resources were completely drained. Going through same-looking hallways and fighting enemies that seemed to just keep spawning resulted in me having to waste a ton of ammo and supplies. I don't think the end rewards are worth actually having to use up all of your ammo and healing items to get through the DLC.
I really enjoyed the various side characters introduced here, but I think they are criminally underutilized. Their stories are interesting. But like I said, they're underutilized, and you spend most of your time going through repetitive, boring hallways shooting aliens.
Mothership Zeta has an explosive ending, and at least you can revisit the ship after completing the DLC. However, if you were wanting to collect all the audio recordings the first time around and miss one, it is likely that you will have to replay the entire DLC in order to collect them all.
Overall, Mothership Zeta has a few good ideas, but there's a lot of frustrating, boring hallways to get through in order to get to the good stuff, and the good stuff is not expanded on nearly as much as it needs to be for it to be worth much. The headaches far outweigh the enjoyment in this expansion.
Product Release: Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta (US, 08/03/09)
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