Fallout 3: The Pitt (Review)

This is more like it. The first of the Fallout 3 expansion packs that feels truly worthy of the Fallout name. The Vault Dweller is off to Pittsburgh, or what’s left of it. Now aptly renamed as The Pitt, slavers have taken over the city and its still working steel foundry.

You have answered the call for help from one of the escaped slaves who wants to start a rebellion against their masters. As if the misery of working in the Pitt isn’t bad enough, they face the prospect of becoming a Trog, the equivalent of the Capitol Wastelands ghouls, due to a radiation related disease. There’s a cure for this condition but their masters aren’t exactly sharing.

It’s an interesting set-up and it’s ripe for some proper Fallout decision making. Will you help free the slaves, or will you go and tell on them to get in with their masters? There are some real moral problems to consider surrounding the cure too. It’s worth having a few save slots to give yourself the chance to go through all the possibilities.

You’ll want to save often though if you experience the now standard buggy playing issues of Fallout’s DLC. The game almost offs itself for the final mission. You might get lucky and not experience it, but it’s a serious issue for those that will.

You start off by having to disguise yourself as one of the slaves in a seriously dodgy outfit (see left pic) to try and get in undercover. You can fight your way in but you’ll just get knocked out. Either way you get everything taken off you once you’re in. You get it all back in the end but you might as well go in with as least as possible to leave plenty of room for the goodies you’ll pick up on your visit to this industrial city.

The foundry is a unique experience in Fallout 3. For so long you’ve been scrounging around countless empty factories that haven’t been operational for years, but now you’ll stare in wonder at the fully functioning foundry with smoke in the air, huge buckets of molten steel whooshing by overhead, steel presses and furnaces revealing their fiery insides as the slaves work themselves ragged under armed guard.

It’s a small return to how the world might have been before the bombs dropped and a chilling reminder of how some of the worst people have become the most powerful by exploiting the weak in Fallout’s universe.

You’re put to work too (remember you’re an undercover slave) by the slavers. You’re given an auto-axe to fend for yourself and shoved outside in your gimpy outfit into the Steelyard to collect Steel Ingots. You only need ten to complete the task but there over 100 out there. It’s worth looking for as many as possible because you get rewarded for every ten you find with weapons and armour that make the later arena gladiatorial matches an absolute sinch.

Outside, looking for ingots is where you’re probably going to spend most time in the Pitt as it becomes an obsession to find them all. Good thing it’s well designed then, with the best details being the shattered landscape of the city but with the still smoking chimneys of the factory showing the only signs of lingering life. You can get a fantastic view of the skyline from the top of one of the towers.

Watch your back though as the place is swarming with Trogs, good thing your auto-axe will make mincemeat of them with its spinning blades. It’s particularly nasty when the game slows down time for one of your sweeping blows.

As you work your way through the missions you’ll have to make up your mind about whose side you’re going to be on for the finale. This DLC has the best plot and graphics so far, but you may reach the end unsatisfyingly soon if you decide not to bother searching for all the ingots. On the plus side, unlike the Anchorage DLC, you can revisit the Pitt afterwards to pick up any items you may have missed. Don’t kill the guy you sell the ingots to though dumbass.

7.5/10

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One thought on “Fallout 3: The Pitt (Review)

  • 21st October 2009 at 5:18 am
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    Excellent. I’m looking forward to my copy of the GOTY version and am pleased that they’ve added an arena. Hey, there’s no television, what else are they going to do to entertain themselves.

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