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Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta
Score: 72%
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG/Action/Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

It appears that Bethesda Softworks' newest DLC for Fallout 3 has your character infiltrating new territory, or should I say new inter-terrestrial territory? Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta is an interesting tangent from the rest of the downloadable content available to date as it begins with your abduction from an alien race hell-bent on the destruction of Earth.

Because you are no longer in the Capital Wasteland for this add-on, you're treated to a completely new environment, meaning new assets all around. The entire storyline does take place in a spaceship, so you can expect a lot of sci-fi elements to ogle at. However, the environments are at the same time very, very repetitive and the fascination with new surroundings soon wears off. Still, the scenery is a welcome departure from the post-apocalyptic, run-down look that you're used to. Another negative is that the alien race has but a few different models too look at. I wish there had been a bit more variety, but the characters were generally well-created.

The audio elements of Mothership Zeta play out fairly well. The voicework is once again driving for the story, although there were a few times when I felt that the main little girl's lines were a bit over the top or somewhat corny. The aliens are completely unintelligible (by design), which is an interesting choice to not have a translator to decipher their gibberish. Still, you almost knew exactly what they were telling you due to tone and context, as well as a little help from the other Non-Playable Characters.


Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta is an interesting mix of Fallout 3 gameplay with a completely new and different storyline from the original premise. After being abducted by aliens, you'll find yourself in a holding cell with another abductee. With your help, she devises a plan to lure the aliens into the cell and beat them down to escape from their clutches. As you work your way through the holding cells, you'll come across more NPCs that have been abducted and frozen from years past. With the help of these characters, you'll begin a grand mission of getting back to Earth by working your way through the spacecraft's corridors to blow up the generators that run in every part of the ship.

For each area, you'll be allowed to take a fellow abductee to help you with an extra hand of gunfire. You'll also be able to get the aid of a robotic drone after gaining control over them. Guiding you along the way is the little girl, however, so making sure that you talk through conversations with her are essential.

Using the tried and true gameplay of the Fallout 3 core, Mothership Zeta expands on the formula with some new weapons, items, aid and apparel. While the variety of weaponry was nice, admittedly you'll really only need to use the Alien Atomizer, a single-handed energy weapon, because none of the enemies set before you are overly difficult.

So is Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta worthy of a download? Absolutely, but don't expect a difficult go of it. What you will get for your money is the originality (well, as far as the Fallout universe goes as least) of traveling to space for this latest mission.


Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta is not difficult by any means. My character began the journey at a level 9 status and ended on level 13 when all was said and done (although one perk was an automatic increase in level). While I do recommend saving often and NOT overwriting your main save (I read online about a possible glitch that may have you stuck with no way to open a key door if you allow one NPC to die in battle -- note that this did not happen to me), the game itself was rather easy and I only found my demise a handful of times.

There was only one particular spot, in fact, that I felt anxious by any means, and I did make it through without death befriending me. The lack of difficulty simply comes from one source: the corridors and other tightly-spaced areas throughout the majority of the spaceship prevent too many aliens from attacking you at the same time, thus simplifying the way you go on the offensive. Unlike other DLCs, Mothership Zeta also did not generally send waves of enemies at the same time, but instead they came one after another, allowing for relatively easy defeat.

In fact, I was even sorely disappointed in the final battle. While the anticipation of facing down a "boss" battle weighed on me toward the end of the storyline, actually coming face to face with him was no more difficult than that of a general alien henchman. In a word: Disappointing. The only real "difficulty" (and I use this term loosely in this case) was navigating the spaceship's strangely similar environment. However, by using the Local Map in the PIP-Boy, this was soon a thing of the past as well.

Game Mechanics:

Since Mothership Zeta is an add-on to the Fallout 3 architecture, you can expect the same controls that you faced with the original title. Once again, I have been having problems with the DLCs in that they don't allow you to drop items at certain times and I have yet to figure out if this is a bug or by design. One thing is for sure, however, and that is that during these times, the interface of the PIP-Boy doesn't display the shortcut button presses (I am again using the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller through the PC) correctly, making me assume that these are genuine issues. After installing Mothership Zeta, I also had problems getting Fallout 3 to launch correctly (it was getting stuck on the Loading Extra Content popup), but after a few forced-quits and re-launches, it finally fixed itself.

Other than those technical problems, this DLC's design was outstanding. The small price for this add-on is again worth every penny as it will add approximately 5 hours to your gameplay time. The new content is also a nice diversion from the destroyed Earth scenarios, although I was a little skeptical of taking my character into the final frontier. Generally these storylines are at the end of the lifecycle of a series (think of movies like Jason X and Hellraiser: Bloodline, and Leprechaun 4: In Space, just to name a few stinkers) and have less-than-stellar runs. Mothership Zeta did a pretty good job at keeping me interested in the storyline, even if it was a bit silly.

For the money, Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta is definitely worth a download. As long as you don't expect any epic battles, you won't be disappointed.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele
Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista; 2.4GHz Processor; 1 GB RAM; 6 GB Free Hard Drive Space; NVIDIA GeForce 6800 / ATI x850 minimum; ENHANCED FOR MULTI-CORE
  Test System:

Dell Vostro 1700 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7100; Dual 1.8 GHz Processors; 2 GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT; Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with PC USB Wireless Receiver

Windows Fallout 3: Point Lookout Microsoft Xbox 360 Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

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