[Join Steve Kelso and Chris Carter, as they both review Fallout 3's The Pitt DLC pack for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Kelso's review was written months ago when the DLC dropped on the 360, and Chris Carter's is brand new. Intro by Steve Kelso.]
Part of what makes Fallout 3 such a unique title is the world in which it sits. Washington D.C. is a reality, where the steampunk science fiction is the product of Bethesda Game Studio’s imagination.
Although The Pitt is much smaller in scale than The Capital Wasteland, it does not make it any less enjoyable to explore. Forget the negative hype that surrounded the launch of The Pitt; the patch has been applied, and the review is in.
Steve Kelso (Xbox 360):
Accessing the downloadable content is done with relative ease. When you load the save-file of your choosing the game will make you aware of someone broadcasting on a radio frequency.
When you tune into the frequency, a man named Wherner let’s you know how you reach him and you begin your decent into post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh. Before leaving D.C. you’ll complete a short quest, and then you make the journey.
When you first arrive in The Pitt you’ll realize that it does look a lot different. Thankfully Bethesda didn’t forget about all of the other colors in the rainbow, and the uses of orange, red, and blue can be seen throughout the DLC. It seems like such a small thing, but after wandering the Capital Wasteland for over fifty hours of gameplay time the difference is noticed and appreciated.
Because your inventory is taken away, you begin with nothing but your experience and a pistol. At first I was worried things would be back to square one, but quickly you discover that things are slightly different in the Pitt in comparison to back home in D.C. You immediately find yourself among the slaves doing hard, dangerous labor.
While completing various tasks you’ll have opportunities to explore and build up your inventory again. Although the map is significantly smaller than D.C., there are still a lot of places to explore, and this time you just keep moving upwards. Each of the maps have tall buildings with steel catwalks to explore that keep going up, and up.
Without giving too much away, one of the key differences between wandering the wasteland and being a slave in the bit is that you have come to be a liberator. If you have beaten the main quests in Fallout 3 you will quickly realize that even though you may have helped save humanity, you are still just considered a Wasteland wanderer. In The Pitt this all changes. You are the catalyst for the entire adventure, and everything rests on your shoulders.
The interactive speech options provided by Bethesda do not match that new “liberator” status at all. I feel that Bethesda tried to call you something new, but did not change the game enough to make you feel it. Throughout the campaign you’re never really inclined to do anything at all besides explore and find new items for your inventory.
Much like the Capital Wasteland has Super Mutants and lesser ghouls, The Pitt has a new entity known simply as “Troggs”. These Troggs are humans that have been so scrambled by radiation that they become nothing more than an animal.
Troggs are easy to kill when there are just two or three, but if you become overwhelmed by them the situation changes quickly and you best run to the nearest door to get out of there. When you have your inventory taken from you, you no longer have any Bobby Pins either. As luck would have it Troggs are a perfect way to refill your inventory with pins and stimpaks, along with some other surprising items.
If you talk to anyone who is considering the purchase of this DLC pack they’ll quickly talk about the issues that the developers experienced after it launched over the Xbox Live Marketplace. Bethesda quickly fixed the problem, and there is nothing wrong going on with this great, new content. Throughout the entire quest, I never encountered something that was not my own fault for causing to happen.
The length of time it takes you to complete the quest and unlock the achievements purely depends upon you! Most will go into this downloadable content at or near level twenty. It is more than likely that at that point it will only take you three or four hours to complete.
After completing the tasks you will walk away with a few special weapons and permanent changes to your person. None of it is bad, and will only serve to make you a stronger wasteland wanderer. One such weapon is an AutoAxe that they call a “Man Opener”. It is an excellent item for dealing with animals, and lower-level enemies.
If you enjoyed all that Fallout 3 has to offer you, then you will not be disappointed with The Pitt. Don’t let the negative stigma regarding the launch bother you. It is a quality content package that is well worth the 800 Microsoft Points.
Steve Kelso gives The Pitt an 8.0/10.
Chris Carter (PS3):
The Pitt feels distinctly different than any other section of Fallout 3 (yes, it’s a severely more visceral experience than being held captive by The Enclave), in the sense that it immediately makes you powerless, and strips all of your equipment for a great deal of time, forcing you to live as a lowly slave. It’s up to you, wastelander, to become the ultimate champion of The Pitt, find a cure for the horrible deteriorating Pitt plague, and free the slaves once and for all. Heck, you’ll even have a number of interesting moral choices to make along the way. Are you up to it?
Well, you just dropped $10 on this DLC: I hope so! After nabbing the quest in the usual way, you’ll find yourself face to face with the disgusting smoke stacks and crimson-orange skies of The Pitt. Right off the bat, you’ll enjoy how excellent this new area looks, and it’s really a refreshing break from the typical green/grey color scheme you’ll find out in the Capital Wasteland.
But you won’t have time to adore the mesmerizing landscape for too long, as you’ll become a slave almost immediately, and be forced to gather materials in an area filled with dangerous creatures. While this doesn’t sound all that exciting, it’s just one of the three story arcs found in The Pitt, and actually has more bite than it seems at first glance. To my relief, all you have to do is gather ten iron ingots to progress on with the main story, and the area you gather them in was so detailed, I stuck around for quite a while. As an added bonus, there are 100 ingots in total for you to find (which a reward given for each set of 10), which will most certainly appeal to the collection junkie inside everyone.
As you progress through The Pitt, you’ll sift through a small web of intrigue, and even a huge plot twist. All of it progresses in a fairly quick manner, so you won’t find yourself bored as you’re running around the new war-torn playground. I won’t spoil much, but there’s also an arena section that really lets Bethesda get back to their Elder Scrolls roots.
The atmosphere is another aspect of The Pitt that simply needs to be praised in particular. Simply put, it’s done so well that it evokes feelings of survival horror better than the last Resident Evil game. Unfortunately, the DLC pack does fall short in the sense that it only takes around two hours to complete, but you should find a little solace with the realization that there are a few extra things to do after you’re done with the main story, and you get some pretty killer rewards to carry on to your main save file.
Speaking of rewards, The Pitt offers some of the best of any of the DLC, easily making it worthwhile for any Fallout 3 enthusiast. Throughout the campaign, you’ll aquire an auto-axe, special “Pitt” themed armor, a free deathclaw gauntlet, tons of extra stimpaks and supplies, and two permanent (and worthwhile) perks. There’s also a small amount of additional quests you can complete, and as an added bonus, you can return to The Pitt at any time. Additionally, Underworld scrap metal collectors will also be pleased to find that The Pitt is absolutely full of the stuff.
Bethesda really put a lot of care into The Pitt. The excellent setup, twist, unique art direction, and chilling atmosphere are all aspects of a great piece of DLC that simply shouldn’t be missed, despite the pack’s short length.
Chris Carter gives The Pitt an 8.5/10.