…a big swampy chunk of wasteland to explore complete with mutated hillbillies. Rather than the linear pieces of story presented in the previous three, Fallout 3’s fourth DLC expansion, titled Point Lookout, plunks you down in a large open-world area with a license to do whatever your post-apocalyptic heart desires. There is one major quest line that starts as you float on into the area and a few more out there to be found by intrepid adventures, but just as in the Capitol Wasteland you’re free to completely ignore all that stuff and just treat yourself to a game of ghoul baseball if your psycho addiction is in full swing.
What works here the best is what was missing from all the previous DLC, and that’s the same feeling of freedom that came with those first tentative steps out of The Vault. The world is your radioactive oyster, and Point Lookout has a lot of cool stuff to check out, like a creepy mansion, a compound full of whacked-out cultists, and an old government detention camp just to name a few. The new enemies, mostly a bunch of moonshine swiggin’ cannibalistic mutated hillbilly freaks, fit in perfectly with the murky motif, as do some new weapons like a proper double-barreled shotgun (as opposed to a certain half-assed sawed-off) and an appropriately menacing woodsman’s axe for all your chopping needs.
What Doesn’t Work
All considered, there isn’t too much to complain about in Point Lookout. The usual argument is there to be made about bang for your buck, but for a ten-spot you’re doing okay here. In comparison to the other DLC there isn’t nearly as much high quality swag to bring back to your other adventures, and nothing like the raise in the level cap that came with Broken Steel, which may be a minus for some. Also the enemies here can be pretty tough if you’re not well prepared, but hey, welcome to the end of the world, sweetheart.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that Point Lookout is probably the best model for Fallout 3 DLC yet. The intensely linear bits of story we got from the first three were an interesting change of pace, but the on-rails nature of their delivery just didn’t quite strike the right chord. The swag was better in the past, but the presentation here is the best so far. The swamp is a terrific setting, unlike anything we’ve seen before in Fallout lore, and between the main story line, the freeform quests, and just checking out the neighborhood, there’s definitely enough content here to justify a buy for true blue Fallout fans. As per usual, those less enthralled with the original should approach at their own risk.