Point Lookout is the fourth downloadable add-on for Fallout 3. Released on June 23, 2009, this DLC focuses on brand new locale: A Baltimore/Louisiana swampland that is bursting with surprises from the south: confederate style. It’s this new environment that adds a great deal of uniqueness and charm to Point Lookout, making it a memorable experience that adds exciting new flavor to the ever-expanding library of additions to Fallout 3.
You’ll receive a message telling you that a boat is docked at the pier south of Rivet City(ish) shortly after starting the game with the content loaded. When you go to investigate, you’ll find a jolly old ferryman who promises to take you to Point Lookout for riches, adventure, and all that jazz. After buying a ticket, you’re whisked away to a dramatic change in scenery, where the drink of choice is moonshine, everyone carries a harmonica, and there is more yeast than green snakes in a sugar-cane field.
Point Lookout brings with it more of that Fallout 3 experience you know and love: exploring the surrounding area, taking on quests, killing things in bloody explosions of gore, and looting to your hearts content, most likely in that order. So it’s a very good thing that Point Lookout manages to do the same things you love and would expect from Fallout 3 DLC while making it a whole new experience. You’ll face a handful of new and unique enemy types, take on a CRAZY new quest line, and have the option to partake in a new sport, of sorts, referred to here as a “safari”.
The main quest in Point Lookout is, however, really unique, albeit a bit on the short side. For how long it lasts, there are several exciting twists and turns, and it manages to always leave you on the edge of your seat and keep you guessing as to what will happen next. But it does end before things have a chance to really start cooking. The voice acting for the new characters is very well done and really allows each character to feel like they have a true connection with the environment that surrounds them. This, in turn, enables you to feel completely surrounded by the events that are set in front of you. There is also a massive amount of new items, some new weapons, and some new achievements which all factor nicely into the atmosphere to create a genuine post-apocalyptic southern experience.
Main quest aside, there are some really interesting side quests that take place in Point Lookout. One of them in particular takes you and puts you in the shoes of a secret agent who must follow a “trail of bread crumbs” to complete your objective. There are a few other side quests that don’t offer much more than stuff to do, and look shallow when compared to the quest that was previously mentioned.
The things that make Point Lookout really shine are the environment, the scenery, and new characters that allow you to become “immersed” in the swampland. The characters are all unique and interesting, offering their own piece of the puzzle as you try to find out what’s really going on. Indeed, there is an almost overwhelming sense of mystery that overshadows the experience, and it leaves you wanting to explore every nook and cranny to find clues to reveal more about the past, present, and future of your surrounding area. Quite sadly, this isn’t really addressed in the main quest, so you’ll have to do some searching to come up with any real findings. And even then, you’ll still feel a bit left in the dark.
All of the wonder and mystery must at some point come to an end, which Point Lookout does abruptly. Just as soon as you finish the main quest, complete a few side quests and kill your fair share of mutated southerners, the experience is over. The number of quests feels a tad on the short side considering the size of the map. It feels like there is a lot of room for expansion within the main quest as it shoots you off too quickly from point A to point B, not allowing you to really indulge in the unique playground that you’ve been given. This is a pity considering the extremely immersive and detailed nature of the setting. A few more side quests also would have been greatly appreciated, to allow further investigation into some of the events that precede your arrival. But it is DLC after all, and even at 800 Microsoft Points, you’re still left feeling that you are getting your virtual money’s worth.