First Fallout 3 DLC drops

Operation Anchorage now underway on Xbox 360 and PCs, with new achievements and pre-finale mission; still no plans for expanded PS3 play.

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As expected, the first batch of downloadable content for Fallout 3 went live on the Xbox 360 and PC today. The update is available via Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live for 800 Microsoft points, or $10 in real-world currency. Unlike the developer-publisher's previous game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and previous Fallout 3 patches, the add-on will not be available for download directly from Bethesda's store. As detailed on the official Fallout forums, some users have encountered errors when attempting to download the new content from GFWL Marketplace.

Titled Operation Anchorage, the new DLC will let players participate in a simulation re-creating a battle between Chinese and US forces in pre-nuclear-holocaust Alaska. February and March will see two more PC/360 Fallout 3 add-ons, the last of which will expand the main storyline, raise the level cap to 30, and allow players to explore the ruins of Pittsburgh.

[UPDATE] Bethesda has clarified to GameSpot that the first two Fallout 3 updates will not extend the game's story line, and must be played from a game save before the final mission, titled "Take It Back!" Only the third of the three updates, Broken Steel, will extend the storyline behind the aforementioned final assault. "The third one removes the ending because it tells the story of what happens after the end of the main quest," said Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines. "So it's not just removing the ending, but handling the ending. There's a difference."

Today's DLC enhances the critically hailed Fallout 3, which was named GameSpot's top role-playing game and PC game of 2008. Since its release last October, the title has sold a combined 1.7 million units in the US, according to the NPD Group. By Bethesda's account, it shipped over 4.7 million units worldwide on all platforms in its first week on the market.

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Unfortunately, there is no DLC in sight for those who bought the less well reviewed PlayStation 3 version of Fallout 3. Speaking with MTV last week, producer Todd Howard said there are "no plans" to extend the Sony console edition beyond its current form. And like pre-Broken Steel 360 and PC siblings, the PS3 Fallout 3 will not be playable after the main quest is finished. Howard did not say if Bethesda's deal with Microsoft--the financial details of which remain undisclosed--will prevent the DLC from being released on the PS3 via a non-downloadable route, such as a Game of the Year edition a la Oblivion.

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