Since I first played it this past holiday season, I have often said that Fallout 3 may be one of the most complete single player titles of the last couple of years. Its use of elements of true RPG decision-making along with fun FPS gameplay makes its a great combination of strategy and war-style gaming.
Still, I have always thought that Fallout 3 was missing something”¦ I just could never put my finger on it. There was some element, some “Ëœthing’ that was keeping Fallout 3 from evolving from a very good game to a great game.
Jan. 27, 2009
Enter Operation: Anchorage, the first downloadable content for Fallout 3, and the solution to the equation that has bothered me for the last month.
Operation Anchorage starts when you hear a distress signal from Defender Morill, a member of the Brotherhood Outcasts, the separated faction of the Brotherhood of Steel. Upon hearing the signal, the quest becomes available for you to pursue.
When you arrive at the Outcast Outpost, Defender Morill and Protector McGraw greet you, though with cautious hostility. However, eventually McGraw and Morill let you in on the Outcasts’ plans due to your character being the perfect subject for a certain simulation. Why, you ask? Because of the special device attached to your arm called the Pip-Boy 3000.
It is explained to you that the Outcasts would like to gain access into a secret vault. However, to get into the vault, the Outcasts need someone to complete a simulation of the rescuing of Alaska from Communist Chinese invaders AKA the Liberation of Anchorage. The Outcasts warn you that if you die in the simulation, you die in “real life”. However, if you complete the simulation successfully, you will be able to get a cut of whatever was inside of the vault.
After being jacked into the program, Sergeant Benjamin Montgomery greets you in “Alaska”. He leads you to see General Chase (probably one of the best-named characters in video game history). General Chase explains to you the operations you need to complete to finish the simulation. From there, you select from an array of military personnel to form your strike team (which turned out to be fairly useless) and head out.
As you start to fulfill your duties, fight various amounts of enemies, use many types of weapons, and visit some interesting locations, all of which are unique to the DLC. One of the coolest enemies were the Crimson Dragoons, invisible Chinese super soldiers who attack you in a variety of ways: sword, rifles or sniping. However, you’re not defenseless against the Dragoons. Within the simulation, you get to use the “old technology” of the time of the Liberation. Though you will often see classic firearms like the Silenced 10mm Pistol, you will also run into weapons such as Trench Knives and the always useful Gauss rifle. You also will have ammo and health replenishing machines that you will find along the way.
Overall, Operation: Alaska is a success. It achieves an experience that I could not find in the original content of Fallout 3. As a good karma character, I was able to kill almost everyone I saw with little to no consequences: a simple, but necessary pleasure in a FPS such as this.