Well, it’s officially summer and you know what that means: carnival time!
However, in the video game world, mainly in the Fallout universe, it doesn’t mean just any carnival.‚ Remember, this is Fallout 3, where only the creepiest of carnival settings will suffice.
Welcome to Point Lookout, the newest addition to Fallout 3’s downloadable content.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
June 23, 2009
Point Lookout takes the Lone Wanderer on a foggy, swamp filled adventure to the previously-unknown-to-me bayous of Maryland’s marsh country. In this DLC, players will encounter interesting quests, interesting characters and one very cool psychedelic drug trip.
Like most of Fallout 3’s DLCs, Point Lookout begins when the Lone Wanderer receives a radio transmission indicating that a ferryboat called the Duchess Gambit has docked at the Riverboat Landing location in the Capital Wasteland.‚ Upon arrival, you meet two non-player characters named Catherine and Tobar. Catherine reveals that her daughter, Nadine, recently stowed away on a ship to travel to the mysterious settlement of Point Lookout and begs for you to find and return her.‚ Tobar, a coastal trader and owner of the Duchess Gambit, provides safe transit to Point Lookout for the price of a ticket”¦ running at $330 a piece.
Still, even with the hefty price tag, traveling to Point Lookout is well worth the cost, as the action begins right away. As you travel to Point Lookout for the first time, you watch a cinematic cut-scene (a medium I feel is underused in Fallout 3), which shows smoke rising from a mansion, later revealed to be a major location in the DLCs main quest. Once landed on the docks at Point Lookout, the Lone Wanderer talks to Tobar and the adventure begins.
Point Lookout has no lack of intrigue within its storyline. Once the Lone Wanderer lands at Point Lookout, he finds himself in the middle of a conflict between a surly ghoul named Desmond Lockheart and the native people of the region called Tribals. From there, players are called upon to complete quests for both sides, eventually evolving the storyline into one of the most morally gray adventures available in the world of Fallout.
One of my favorite moments in this DLC is when the Lone Wanderer goes on an incredibly bizarre hallucination after collecting the seeds from a giant plant. In this psychedelic trip, the Lone Wanderer walks through the mysterious swamplands of Point Lookout, having strange and sadistic visions of some familiar faces of his past. The environment is turned upside-down (literally) in this short offshoot in the plot, creating an important time of reflection for both the Lone Wanderer and the player himself.
There is no lack of side quests in Point Lookout either. In fact, some may argue that some of the side quests are actually more fun than Point Lookout’s main quest. Though I wouldn’t necessarily agree, I do feel that Bethesda really went above and beyond when it came to writing the plot for this DLC.
Point Lookout is unique in that it has a very unique ambiance when compared to the other available DLCs. There is a certain old Louisiana feel to the environments, full of haze, swampland and, of course, mutated hillbillies. The NPCs have a different crusty flavor to them, delightfully contrasting themselves from your basic Fallout Waster.
The folks living in the tattered carnival region of Point Lookout are as diverse as the services they offer. In the belly of the swamp, on the other hand, is where a few new breeds of characters reside. Some of the most interesting and unique enemies you will find are called the Swampfolk. These radiated marsh dwellers resemble your classic country bumpkin stereotype, complete with buckteeth and aggressive behavior. Whether or not they are inbred is still unknown (take a look at an attacking Scrapper in the screenshot below). Also, keep an eye out for the previously mentioned Tribals: a group dedicated to the growth and preservation of Punga Fruit, a crop with precious healing properties that is exclusive to the region.
The variety does not end at the citizens’ local flavor, however. Point Lookout also offers an abundance of new weaponry as well. Basic arms, such as the double-barreled shotgun, axe, and lever-action rifle add to the already strong country feel to the game. Unique items like moonshine, fishing poles, and workman’s coveralls will make you feel like you are a real backwoodsman.
Blast Factor: Point Lookout’s plot is as interesting as it is different. Along with the diverse characters, weapons, and environments, Point Lookout is definitely one of the most creative DLCs available. With that said, however, I couldn’t help but ask myself how necessary this add-on was to the overall Fallout 3 storyline. With the base Fallout 3 game combined with Broken Steel (my favorite of the DLCs, which extends the level-cap from 20 to 30), there are definitely enough quests to get to level 30 without spending another dime. All things considered, Point Lookout is a fun addition to Fallout 3, but should only be downloaded by those who have already bought Broken Steel and are ready for some new, exciting content.
Point Lookout is available first on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Windows PC for 800 Points.