Bethesda has to be one of the best developers to support their product. As if the retail disc did not have enough content, Mothership Zeta marks the fifth, and last, batch of DLC for the wondrous Fallout 3. While no where near as large and enjoyable as Point Lookout or Broken Steel, Mothership Zeta is still a nice addition to the game.
When the content is loaded into the game, a mysterious radio signal will call the player to a crashed spaceship in the northern section of the wasteland. Before you know it, you are beamed up to an alien spaceship, anal probed, and placed inside an alien prison cell. It becomes your mission to bust out, kill all the aliens, and find a way back to Earth. Because of this simple mission structure, Mothership Zeta is very linear and based almost entirely around combat and plays out similarly to the Operation Anchorage DLC.
To add a plotline, the player is tasked with escorting a few NPCs to key areas of the ship. Often aiding in combat against the hordes of little green men, the colorful non-playables will also help unlock doors, tell you where to go, and will even set up a make shift camp on the ship.
The spaceship itself looks nice, but definitely gets repetitive by the end. In fact, the interior structure was probably purposely made to look the same just to make the “collect all tapes” Achievement a little challenging.
One of the biggest draws with any DLC is the extra weapons and armor that are exclusive to the extra content. Each new weapon is solely based around alien technology, but strangely enough, none are as powerful as the alien pistol that can be found in the main game, which makes them almost useless (although they are worth a nice penny). There is some cool new armor to find, like the samurai suit, but it is almost like the game does not want you to take advantage of this nifty new stuff. Once the DLC is completed, the player can travel back to the spaceship, but most sections are locked out. This means that lots of items will probably get left behind. Combine this fact that the mission has only one ending and there is little reason to go back once completed.
Uniquely, there are some memorable moments, like fighting off waves of incoming aliens by firing up corresponding force fields. The end of the mission even has the player fighting in a real-life version of Space Invaders. There is even a Star Wars reference if you find your way into the trash compactor.
While not as buggy as The Pitt, there are still some glitches in Mothership Zeta, although they’re not game ending. There is also a strange sense of morality in this extra content too. Killing armed aliens is fine, but the player will lose karma if a worker alien is killed. This doesn’t really make sense because they are just as guilty as the armed aliens. It seems like a very forced way to included Fallout’s morality system into this specific extension of gameplay.
Next to Operation Anchorage, Mothership Zeta sits on the low end of the DLC totem pole. It is very linear, does not offer much replay value (can be beaten in about 5 hours or so), and has repetitive presentation. But there are some cool new items to pick up along the way and as a whole, is a pretty creative idea to throw into a game about nuclear fallout. While it is definitely not the best DLC, the cheap $10 price tag can definitely make you consider the purchase.