Set in Sheffield during the late 80’s, The Pitt is a grim place. Rubble strewn streets link steel mills to iron works, all patrolled by leather-clad raiders spoiling for a fight. Scaffolding rises up, providing the masters with a view over the slaves as they do their every bidding.
The Pitt came out a while ago now and I’ve only just got to playing it, after I’ve played through Point Lookout. You’d think this would count against it, considering how all and sundry consider Point Lookout to be the pinnacle of Fallout’s DLC, but it really doesn’t. Mainly because this feels so completely right – it utterly nails the post-apocalyptic atmosphere, and feels like a natural place in the Fallout world.
The centrepiece of The Pitt is the Steelyard where you’re sent to collect as many steel ingots as your pockets can hold. Collect enough and the foreman will give you some lovely equipment in return for them. The more you get, the better the rewards. This may sound like a grind akin to gold farming in MMO’s, but the architecture of the place is stunning and it’s a great place to explore, and besides, the rewards are pretty decent.
As mentioned up there look, the whole area feels spot on, and this is largely thanks to the excellent graphics. Utterly grimy and run down – it looks like a proper blue collar community (yes, I’m from the South. Yes, I have a job. Yes, I’m a snob). Your first view of the new area is breathtaking – a ruined bridge leading to the smog filled town. As you make your way over the bridge, slaves run past you desperate to escape. They don’t. Well, one of their arms may reach freedom, but the vast majority of their body parts don’t. Once across the bridge, the feeling of the place really hits home - the furnaces of the steel mill roar, metal grinds on metal, and the slaves wonder around with a look of desolation on their face. THIS is how the Fallout world should feel.
In fact that links me, albeit tenuously, to my main gripe. Once you enter The Pitt, you can’t leave until your mission is complete, but I would love for this to be an area in the Wasteland like Rivet City, where you can come and go at your leisure. This wouldn’t suit the plot but it’s a shame nonetheless. However, once you’ve finished the main storyline - which will only take you about 3 hours - you can exit and enter at will, but I’d have liked the freedom straight off the bat.
The new items are also well suited to the Fallout universe - grimier or more industrial versions of the standard weapons and armour, as well as some lovely unique items (including the corpse-mashing Man Eater).
In some ways I enjoyed this more than Point Lookout. It may not be as large or open ended, and it’s certainly not as diverse or interesting, but it does feel fantastic and more authentic. When I thought of what I’d like to see in Fallout, this is what my mind came up with. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it over some of the other DLC available (Broken Steel or Point Lookout), but I’m still giving it the phat_chopps thumbs up.
And it’s not really set in 80’s Sheffield. That would be stupid.