We don’t waffle much about Fallout 3 here, as it wasn’t a game that especially grabbed any of us. Which hardly matters a jot inna final analysis: the rapturous reception from other critics and gamers alike has meant Bethesda have cheerfully been DLCing up it to the eyeballs since release (with, I gather, wildly varying degrees of success). The upcoming Mothership Zeta caught my eye more than the others (aside from the ‘yeah, we did mess up Fallout 3’s ending’ admission that was Broken Steel), simply because it takes us out of that desaturated post-apocalyptic wasteland and onto a fully armed and operational alien battlestation, via the fun plot-twist of having you suffer alien abduction. Are there colours in space? Find out after the break…
Well, to call Mothership Zeta colourful would be pushing it, but certainly a switch to a pristine environment based around other-worldly tech rather than the 50s steampunkery of the traditional Fallout world seems to create a whole new sense of place. Apparently, Zeta will reuse very few existing Fallout 3 assets, and going on the most recent screenshots may even have dispensed with the sepia.
A genuine encounter with the aliens who’ve left so many traces of themselves on post-apocalyptic Earth but have very rarely shown up in person may a bit of a game-changer too. They’ve been something the games have used as a fun-but-sinister background element for some time, so to (hopefully) finally work out why they came to Earth and what they’re up to now will answer some long-standing questions. Fallout 3 actively presaged this with the Recon Craft Theta Crash Site special encounter, even including an alien corpse to gawp at. Which Fallout 1 had also done, interestingly.
So will Mothership Zeta do something with the playful governmental interference hints of the first game, or tread a whole new path? If the latter, this is a risk it becomes too incongruous with what has gone before.
A reason to go back to Fallout 3, then? Or just Oblivion With Guns On A Spaceship? We find out on August 3rd.
Official details of the 800 Micro-points add-on, because we all like lists:
Description: Defy hostile alien abductors and fight your way off of the massive Mothership Zeta, orbiting Earth miles above the Capital Wasteland. Mothership Zeta takes Fallout 3 in an entirely new direction – outer space. Meet new characters and join with them in a desperate bid to escape the Aliens’ clutches. To do so, you’ll wield powerful new weapons, like the Alien Atomizer, Alien Disintegrator, and Drone Cannon, and deck yourself out in brand new outfits, like the Gemini-Era Spacesuit and even Samurai Armor.
Story: A strange Alien signal is being broadcast throughout the Capital Wasteland, originating from a crashed UFO. Is it a distress call, or something far more sinister? That question is answered when you find yourself beamed aboard an enormous Alien spacecraft, with only one alternative – to fight your way to the bridge of the ship and secure your escape.
Find and exploit new and destructive alien technology, like the Alien Atomizer and Drone Cannon.
Explore the vast Mothership and learn the secrets of the Aliens’ master plan.
Thwart the Aliens’ attempt to stop your escape, and take over the Alien ship before it wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting Earth below.
Fight against the Alien Invaders, their robot drones, and turn their own horrible experiments against them.
Ally yourself with an unexpected array of characters, both from the Capital Wasteland and from Earth’s past.