Fallout 3: The Pitt
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The mighty Auto Axe

The Pitt is the second expansion for Fallout 3 the first person RPG game by Bethesda. The first expansion for the game took you into a military simulator to fight against the Chinese military before the bombs started falling and it had a unique look and its own style. This expansion takes you to Pittsburgh or The Pitt a slave operated steel mill/weapon factory.

After you’ve downloaded the expansion and booted up Fallout 3 you’re character will hear a distress beacon on your radio alerting you to the plight of the slaves in The Pitt. After a spot of preamble (find a guy, rescue a small bunch of slaves) you’ll probably decide to go to the Pitt and see what the fuss is about.

This expansion offers a whole new area to explore called The Pitt, although the outside of the Pitt is nothing new, looking a lot like any of the destroyed sections of fallout that we’ve come to love, they did a great job on the inside of a couple of the buildings. There is a working steel mill that’s particularly impressive, lit with flames and lots of moving industrial devices creating shadowed areas. The other distinct section is the steelyard, this is built with a lot of gangways and pipes overhead, giving the sense that something might jump down on you at any time. They could have staged more of the mission inside the steel mill as the bright oranges and shadows made a nice change to the usual brown rubble look the game has. The sound in these two areas is handled very well with loud industrial noises in the mill and eerie quiet punctuated with the movement of unseen enemies in the steelyard. This creates an atmosphere that encourages you to sneak and hide.

The Pitt introduces a new foe to face off against in the shape of Trogs. These are the radiated and mutated population of The Pitt forced to live in exile. They are fairly similar in look and feel to the ghouls in the main game but they help to make The Pitt feel more like a fresh experience. The Trogs aren’t a massive challenge and I think most characters about level 17 or more should be able to deal with them with ease. There are also some new weapons to collect; the Auto Axe should be a favourite of any bloodthirsty adventure. This will come in handy as you are stripped of your existing weapons just before you meet the Trogs for the first time and have to deal with them with either your fists or - if you meet the right people – an Auto Axe. The axe is definitely the easier choice and is possibly a little overpowered as it means you can take on pretty much anything the Pitt has to throw at you with it.

There are about 4 or 5 submissions inside this expansion and the whole adventure will take about 3 - 4 hrs to complete, depending on how much time you spend collecting items in the steelyard. This represents ok value for the 800 Microsoft points The Pitt will set you back. But when it was over I was left wanting just a little bit more from the experience, a lot more could have been done with the scenario before the climax to the missions is reached. You can stay in the Pitt after the central mission is over and carry on collecting some of the secrets but there are only a couple of activities to do and this won’t hold your attention for very long. The Pitt has 100 fairly well spaced achievement points for you to collect, one of them has you finding all the ingots, which I decided not to do, but the others are all obtained by finishing the main quest.

Overall The Pitt is a well put together expansion to Fallout with a nice moral dilemma that will make you think about your course of action for a good couple of minutes, some new sights and new items. In order to get the best out of this expansion you need to be have just finished the main game or still be on your way to finishing the main game, you won’t be challenged by it if you are level 20 plus. This expansion is just short of being fantastic, if the environments that were different to the main game had been used more, if the enemies and weapons were a bit more original or if it had a little more to do in it, it would have scored higher. As it is it’s a great excuse to get back into Fallout.

The Steelyard in all it's glory