Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

Review

posted 8/14/2009 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: 360
The final DLC for Fallout 3 takes you to a place high above the planet to a place vastly different from what you are used to. Mothership Zeta makes the Lone Wanderer a victim of an alien abduction, but you know you're going to make the aliens regret ever beaming you up. Mothership Zeta is the fifth DLC from Bethesda, but the title proves the quantity doesn't equal quality.

For people like me who didn't explore the alien crash landing site in the Capital Wasteland, Mothership Zeta starts there and takes you to an alien spaceship high above the Earth. As with almost every other piece of DLC, the Lone Wanderer receives a mysterious signal that directs him to a location. Upon arriving at said location the main character then proceeds to get transported up and away to an alien holding area. Of course you get to see yourself on an examining table, and the aliens' love for probes comes into play briefly. On board the spaceship, you'll find out that you are not alone, and there are various other captives from different time periods along for the ride. You're tasked to free the captives, eliminate the aliens, and stop their threat to Earth.

One of the unique things about Mothership Zeta that I like is the use of all brand new assets for the monsters and environment. The all-metal interior is a stark contrast to the decaying and destroyed surroundings of the Capital Wasteland. It's not too bright, but everything is well-lit so there's little time spent fumbling in the dark. The textures used all invoke a sense of something not of this world, with the control panels and walls lined with metal, lights, and alien icons. It is nice to be able to see something different rather than rundown buildings, dirt, and dead shrubbery.


Littered throughout the ship are recordings from various captives. Some are actually pretty funny to listen to, and they give you a little bit more background information since all the aliens speak in an unrecognizable language. It's one of the few times in Fallout 3 where I did seek out a few and actively listened to the aliens making the humans talk about their experience. One of my favorites is the one where you hear an alien voice being answered by the moo of a cow, which goes to show you that all aliens love cows. A lot of what you do learn about these guys will be from these recordings as you won't understand anything the aliens say to you.

The designs of the aliens are pretty consistent with what we see in sketches from real-life recounting of alien abductions and a few movies. Some are green, while the abominations are more pale skinned but they all exhibit the typical alien shape we are all familiar with along with the big round black eyes. These guys aren't that tough, unless you run into those with personal shield systems, but a gang of them can bring down the most hardened Vault Dweller with a constant barrage from their alien blasters. Some can cloak and sneak up on you which can be a bit annoying. For the most part, the aliens that don't have personal shields are about as tough as regular mercenaries with a little bit more firepower. The few variety of alien character designs do makes the encounters interesting, and the abominations (alien/human hybrids) can be a little bit creepy to look at, but those are about the only new enemies you'll encounter with the DLC. I was hoping to see a few more different things in the Experimental ward of the ship, though alas nothing of interest appeared in that area other than the abominations. Some of the Capital Wasteland’s common enemies still appear in the DLC to add a small bit of variety.
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