Fallout 3: Operation: Anchorage Review
Liberate Anchorage, Alaska from the Red Chinese Communist invaders!
Alaska’s been invaded! Your objective is to drive the Communist scum out of America to protect your government’s oil. All in a simulation, of course, the first bit of DLC for Fallout 3 available exclusively on the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows platform. At a price of 800MP ($10), does the DLC do enough to warrant such a price?
Operation Anchorage revolves around the fictional invasion of Alaska and the Brotherhood of Steel outcasts. After downloading the pack, you are greeted to an emergency distress signal. Upon receiving the signal the player has the opportunity to head to the location of transmission and if you oblige you are greeted to a battle between the Brotherhood of Steel outcasts and various mutants. After the battle is over you, along with your new comrades, make your way to the Brotherhoods HQ and are asked to complete a simulation in order for the outcasts to open a vault full of pre-war goods. Because of your PIP Boy, you are a prime candidate for the test, and with your consent you are equipped with a neural suit and sent into the simulation. The catch is, if you die in the simulator, you die in real life.
You first start off on your back in a daze, a nearby soldier comes to your aid and helps you up. The soldier, Sgt. Montgomery, gives you a mission briefing and sets you on your way. Your mission is to destroy 3 artillery pieces set just miles away from the start point. The first thing you will notice is your equipment actually works properly. In the simulation there is no need to repair your equipment since it takes no damage, because of this you will notice a significant increase in performance and damage inflicted. The use of stimpacks is no longer needed; every now and then you will come across aid stations which heal you up when you interact with them. The ability to search various objects and bodies is no longer available since it is a simulation and to make up for this you will come across various ammo stations allowing you to refill. After destroying the three guns you are transported to a nearby army HQ where you are given 4 new objectives to complete at your discretion. You are also given the ability to create a squad and equip them as you see fit, the supply of squad members is nearly infinite and can be called in or out at anytime. The squad system is a really nice addition and greatly helps when in combat, aside from a few sections you can basically John Rambo (with the help of aid stations) it, but other sections will require you to work closely with your squad.
During the simulation you have the opportunity to collect various intel cases, and to collect all means a new perk awaits you. A few of the “goodies” you are introduced to in the simulation are also available after it ends via the vault. We won’t spoil what they are but you’re in for one hell of a treat. After the simulation ends the DLC really takes a turn for the worst. Again, I won’t spoil anything, but it’s really just a mash of confusion which may eventually lead to anger.
The simulation really helps tie up loose ends and explain other events deeper, the origins of the Brotherhood are in a way also revealed. A few events you might see in the wasteland paying homage to the battle for Anchorage are experienced firsthand, which was a neat albeit minor addition. As you may have noticed from the introduction, the added content does play on a few “popular culture” references.