The follow up to Operation Anchorage, Bethesda has released the second extra downloadable content for their smash hit, Fallout 3. The Pitt definitely takes the gold over Operation Anchorage except for one problem: glitches.
Formerly known as Pittsburgh, The Pitt wasn’t directly hit with nuclear bombs but instead suffers from decay, a mysterious sickness, and above all, slavery. This DLC starts as a distress call from the player’s PIPBOY within minutes after loading a save file, similar to Operation Anchorage. A lone slave somehow managed to escape to the Capital Wasteland, sending out a distress call to anyone to aid the Pitt from a tyrant and help cure a horrible disease that affects everyone. Of course your hero is up for the challenge and meets up with this escapee at the northern most part of the map. Using a hand-cart from a broken railroad station, the player makes the trip to this infected industrial area.
Instead of being a linear path like Operation Anchorage, The Pitt is much more open ended and offers many more choices in both gameplay and moral decisions. Not solely based around combat, the player will need to do some investigation work, can participate in a tedious side mission (collect 100 pieces of steel) which unlocks a specific Achievement, fight through a coliseum, infiltrate a slave camp, and will be forced to make a very difficult mission-ending decision. The Pitt really highlights the most entertaining elements of Fallout 3’s best missions.
This DLC also rewards the player with a couple new unlockable perks along with some new weapons and armor. The highlight weapon by far is the auto-axe. This baby is guaranteed to tear through even the toughest of baddies in seconds with its wicked spinning blade. There is also the opportunity to collect a bunch of unique items, weapons, and armor by trading too.
Instead of a one shot deal like Operation Anchorage, the player actually has the opportunity to travel back and forth from The Pitt and the Capital Wasteland at will once the mission is completed. And with additional story elements and things to collect, there are plenty of reasons to make the trip the back. Making this dynamic DLC is a great way to please purchasers and really make the game feel like a part of Fallout 3 as opposed to just one extra external mission.
While The Pitt definitely has a lot of meat on the bone, the overall package suffers tremendously from glitches and programming errors. In fact, I experienced more bugs with this DLC than I did with the entire content of the Fallout 3 disc. My game froze several times, both during regular gameplay and even during the loading screen. The audio hiccups, like characters repeating the same lines over and over or not speaking captions, will have players scratching their heads.
Besides some errors within this DLC, this extra mission will also affect your game in the Capital Wasteland. For starters, my companion (Fawks, one of the best NPC ever), left my party never to return. Secondly, upon finishing the mission, I was unable to secure all my original possessions. Without giving away spoilers, all your equipment gets stripped from you when you first enter the main area of the DLC, but there is a note that basically promises to give it back. But when I went to leave, the safe that stored my luggage was magically gone. Beyond frustrating.
Without stopping to smell the roses, expect a solid 3-5 hour quest. But if you pursue the collection side mission and consider the added value after the main mission is complete, spending at least a half dozen hours in The Pitt is easy.
If there weren’t so many glitches, then I would strongly recommend the purchase of this extra content. And just for the record, I played this DLC on a 360 unit that is only a few months old, so no, it is not an early three-red lights indicator. Providing more entertainment than Operation Anchorage, I would definitely recommend this DLC over the original. However, players might want to hold off until a patch is released. Knowing Bethesda, they are probably working on these problems now, but until something is officially announced/fixed, buying this extra content is kind of a gamble. The gameplay is definitely there, but the programming is not. Be warned and save often if you do.