Fallout 3 – Mothership Zeta
Gameplay 4
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Mothership Zeta is a bit of a step backwards as far as Fallout 3 DLC is concerned. The game still has the trademark humor and some interesting areas, but the endless combat and lack of side missions turns it into a grind at times.

Gameplay: Strips Fallout 3 down to a linear corridor shooter.

Graphics: Brand new visual assets and a suitably sci-fi environment.

Sound: Still good

Summary 6.3 Above Average
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Summary 0.0 Terrible

Fallout 3 – Mothership Zeta

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Release Date: 2010 | Genre: RPG / DLC | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

Mothership Zeta is the final bit of DLC for Fallout and after the previous four attempts, I was hoping that Bethesda had learned enough to let this one end with a bang. The premise is certainly promising enough. Your character follows a strange signal that leads to a crashed alien ship, but before you can loot anything you are abducted and stripped of all belongings.

Aliens are hardly newcomers to the Fallout universe, but an entire DLC set aboard an alien spaceship came as a surprise. I guess space really was the final frontier for Fallout 3 after all the adventures on, around and below the capital wasteland.

Visually the game is still recognizable as Fallout 3 but only just. The art style is quite different than the main game and previous DLCs, but is let down by the linear layout of the levels. The alien computers and corridors are suitably sci-fi looking, but after a while everything starts to look the same. The alien enemies are pretty cool, but once again if you’ve seen one you’ve pretty much seen them all.

Mothership Zeta follows in the disappointing footsteps of Operation Anchorage by offering a pretty linear corridor shooter experience. Fallout 3 was never a great shooter and stripped of the interesting quests and moral choices you are left with a linear slog through some uninspiring locations. You encounter some suitably futuristic alien weaponry and gadgets which are useful since your captives are bullet sponges. Weapons such as the alien atomizer and disintegrator are nice additions to your arsenal and you can even take over the alien ship as a home base for your character once you complete the DLC.

The lack of side quests means that most of your time in Mothership Zeta is spent vaporizing aliens and munching on disgusting alien food for health. The highlight is discovering some fellow captives who have been plucked from different time periods which provide a nice B-movie feel.

Sadly these characters are never really fleshed out and mostly tag along while you do the shooting. You can hunt around for some truly funny tapes that contain conversations between alien captives and their rather unfriendly captors.

DLC such as Point Lookout has shown what Bethesda is capable of so Mothership Zeta comes as a bit of a letdown. Instead of playing to the strengths of the game, the developers have once again tried to turn it into something that it is not. While not terrible, the game could definitely have ended on a better note than this.

*Review originally published 2010.

System Requirements

  • Operating system: Windows XP/Vista
  • Processor: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
  • Memory: 1 GB (XP)/ 2 GB (Vista)
  • Hard disk space: 7 GB
  • Video: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)
  • Sound: DirectX®: 9.0c
  • Controller support: Xbox 360 controller
  • Other Requirements: Online play requires log-in to Games For Windows – Live

Supported Video Card Chipsets:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 200 series, Geforce 9800 series, Geforce 9600 series, Geforce 8800 series, Geforce 8600 series, Geforce 8500 series, Geforce 8400 series, Geforce 7900 series, Geforce 7800 series, Geforce 7600 series, Geforce 7300 series, GeForce 6800 series
  • ATI HD 4800 series, HD 4600 series, HD 3800 series, HD 3600 series, HD 3400 series, HD 2900 series, HD 2600 series, HD 2400 series, X1900 series, X1800 series, X1600 series, X1300 series, X850 series
  • Operating system: Windows XP/Vista
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • Memory: 2 GB System RAM
  • Hard disk space: 7 GB
  • Video: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI 3800 series)
  • Sound: DirectX®: 9.0c
  • Controller support: Xbox 360 controller

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