DICE 2009: Fallout 3: The Pitt Impressions

So we're here at the 2009 DICE Summit in Las Vegas and Bethesda had a suite set up to show off the upcoming DLC for Fallout 3, The Pitt. So, unlike the last DLC for Fallout, Operation Anchorage, which is set before the events of Fallout 3, The Pitt is set during the events of the game...

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So we're here at the 2009 DICE Summit in Las Vegas and Bethesda had a suite set up to show off the upcoming DLC for Fallout 3, The Pitt. So, unlike the last DLC for Fallout, Operation Anchorage, which is set before the events of Fallout 3, The Pitt is set during the events of the game. You're contacted by a slave named Wernher who's managed to escape his captors. The guy's pretty needy and asks you to help him retrieve a cure for mutations from the Pitt leader. The request translates into a nice, meaty quest that's chock-full of the stuff people want out of Fallout: moral ambiguity, mystery, exploration, and plenty of opportunities to shoot things.

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The demo we played started out just after you kick off the quest line and have travelled, via rail, to the Pitt entrance with Wernher. He helps you deal with raiders as you head to the entrance and offers many fun and exciting tips about what to expect in the Pitt.

Here's the biggest problem: Your best bet to get in is to look like a slave, so this means giving up all your worldly possessions. We tried this a few ways and got the option to try and sneak a gun or a knife in (always handy when going undercover) before deciding to try our luck with just our wits. After a bit of walking, we got to the bridge leading into Pittsburgh and navigated through some low-key hazards: mines, dogs, and some raiders that didn't pose too much of a problem. Things changed when we got closer to the chain link fence and saw a small group of slaves trying to escape.

We'll be honest, we got a little trigger happy and plugged a few of 'em full of lead. (What? They surprised us, and it was dark.). The upshot to the accidental killing was that we got a slave uniform (an optional quest) that we could wear while trying to get in. The guard was appropriately disparaging and shoved us on to the Pitt, after taking all of our stuff.

Once we went through the doors, we got a look at the uninviting hell that is Pittsburgh.* We explored an outdoor courtyard area that had slaves and raiders interacting. Most slaves were working while being harassed by raiders; as we were wandering, we actually saw a pair of workers get harassed, then killed by a raider. We went on to explore different areas: downtown, uptown, and the mill. We also had a chance to mingle with our fellow slaves. Chatting up folks painted a unique picture of life there, with some slaves being resigned, even happy, about their current lot in life, while others appeared to be plotting some kind of revolutionary action. We're big fans of the promise of moral ambiguity in the content; you'll eventually have to decide if you're going to help the slaves or partner up with raiders and do some oppressing.

*(By that, we mean, Pittsburgh in Fallout 3. In Fallout 3.)

Unsurprisingly the Pitt has a pretty bleak and oppressive feel to it, which comes through clearly from a visual perspective. The slaves look pretty messed up, the raiders are spooky, and the environment has got that very special "exploded yet lived-in" you've probably come to expect from Fallout. Overall the Pitt's looking cool, and we're really anxious to download it when it gets released this March; so we probably won't feel too bad about forking over the 800 points for the Xbox 360 version. There's a fair chunk of content such as new weapons, plus achievements and perks, so there's a lot to like.

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