lies's Operation: Anchorage (Xbox 360) review

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  • lies wrote this review on .
  • 16 out of 21 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
  • lies has written a total of 9 reviews. The last one was for Halo 3: ODST
  • This review received 6 comments

Playing to your weaknesses

Fallout 3, the base game, has a lot going for it. A huge open world to explore, a ton of character customization options, competent conversation and morality systems, the list goes on. Fallout 3 was great because it could be approached in a variety of ways, each just as valid as the next. For the first Fallout 3 DLC, Operation Anchorage, this all has been thrown out the window in favor of an extremely linear, extremely combat-oriented romp through Alaska.

Not real Alaska of course- from D.C. to Anchorage is quite a long walk- just a simulated version of the frigid north. The DLC is focused around a military simulator used to recreate the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from Chinese Communists, an event referenced throughout the game. As opposed to the drab brown of the Capital Wasteland, Alaska is much more unique in appearance, covered in blueish ice and snow, providing a much better looking area to play around in.

While the setting sounds intriguing, the content is not. Combat is not one of Fallout 3's strong suits- yet this content is almost entirely combat, an odd choice, to be sure. The campaign consists solely of running through canyons and corridors, chasing and killing Chinese soldiers. Those who have chosen to specialize in anything besides combat or stealth will have an extremely hard time in the simulator, another deviation from the main game, where every quest had multiple approaches-- Anchorage locks you in to a path and sends you on your way.

You'll get a few new toys to help you make your way through the Alaskan campaign, such as an energy-based sniper, the Gauss Rifle, and some new melee weapons. All of these can be brought back into the Capital Wasteland, which is nice, but they still don't help to make the combat any more compelling. If you're only in it for the gear however, the Alaskan campaign is very short, a few hours at most, meaning it won't be long until you can get back to shooting Super Mutants with your shiny new equipment.

Anchorage performs one specific task, and that task is combat. If you did not enjoy the combat in the base game, you will not enjoy Anchorage. If you enjoyed the base game for reasons besides combat, you will not enjoy Anchorage. Anchorage is a combat pack, and as such will not be enjoyable to anyone besides hardcore Fallout 3 players and combat enthusiasts. Even then, at ten dollars, the short campaign and meager gear rewards may not be enough to make Operation Anchorage worthwhile.
6 Comments Refresh
Posted by Pepsiman

Needs moar screenshots. ;)

Posted by ThomasP

Nice review. It's too bad they didn't add more of an open concept. It must have been hard for you to write this review, knowing how much of a fan you are of the original game. Yeah, a nice screen of Alaska would have been pretty cool, as well. Keep those reviews coming. = )

Posted by Lies
@Pepsiman said:
" Needs moar screenshots. ;) "

Posted by Pepsiman
@Lies: I bask in your despair, good sir. :D
Posted by Claude

Nice review. That's the feeling I got from other reviews about this DLC "Operation Anchorage". I quit playing Fallout 3 after my first play-through and gave the game up. I would have skipped this part even if I had kept the game.

Posted by natetodamax

The only thing valuable I got from this DLC was the achievements and the sweet Winterized T-51b Power Armor.

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