Bethesda Studio’s 3D interpretation of Fallout’s post-nuclear world has been praised by critics and series fans alike…and for good reason. Ironic as it may sound, Fallout 3’s grimy, dilapidated setting is truly a wonder to observe as well as explore. After spending several hundred hours of scavenging and surviving in this hobbled wasteland, however, a change of scenery would be nice. In the newest DLC episode, Point Lookout, players can take a ferryboat ride to the titular resort, filled with lush forests, green mountains, murderous cult members and mutated hillbillies. Only 300 caps, bed and breakfast included.
Dangers aside, Point Lookout does bring a new form of haunting beauty to the Fallout 3 world. The ferryboat that delivers players to the destination docks outside a rundown amusement park, with broken go-carts, litter-filled streets, and a lone Ferris wheel adding to the aesthetic of a world devastated by nuclear war. Venturing past the park will bring players to the huge forest making up the majority of the new area. From trees to grass to various plants (including the Punga fruit, a radiation-free delicacy that can be picked and eaten to restore health), there’s a lot of green to be found in this expansion, and is also teeming with life… too bad it’s irradiated life that wishes to kill you on site. Aside from a couple of familiar enemies (including Ghouls that decide to use some old school horror movie scares, from hanging around graveyards to emerging from the water), most enemies in Point Lookout include crazed cult members, overgrown mosquitoes, and hill folk so mutated, it would take years of inbreeding to produce something so grotesque, not to mention bloodthirsty. Exploring their fortified cabins and sheds will also elicit disturbing flashbacks to films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance.
Should you make your way to the lone mansion, you’ll be thrust into an all-out battle that begins the main quest of Point Lookout. Assisting an incredibly foul-mouthed Ghoul by the name of Desmond, you must engage cult members in a multi-story, explosive shootout. It’s a thrilling start to a lengthy, four to five hour quest that will have you sneak into the cult’s hideout to gain information, leading to further exploring of the island, as well as being forced through some dangerous requirements that may lead to some side effects, both good (a couple of useful new Perks) and bad (let’s just say you’ll have to get used to your new haircut). Normally it becomes a difficult moral choice over who to side with in Fallout 3’s quests, but considering how corrupt and generally unlikeable both sides are, it’s ultimately up to the player on how to finish the main quest. It’s a bit disappointing, though, that regardless of what choices you make, the outcome is more or less the same, and with no affect on one’s Karma (which increases or decreases with every good or evil deed, respectfully), it basically becomes a quest for material rewards…which are quite worth it, by the way.
Speaking of materials, Point Lookout also includes some exclusive items and weapons not available anywhere else in the world; a double-barrelled shotgun that does far more damage than the standard shotgun (but also takes twice as long to reload), a lever-action rifle that’s leaps and bounds an improvement to the hunting rifle, and smaller melee-based weapons such as an axe and shovel. There is also moonshine, a home-brewed beverage that boosts up player’s stats, and is obtained by an optional quest, one of a handful that you can take up in addition to the main quest. From investigating a wrecked ship to following the trail of a Chinese spy, Point Lookout contains enough sights to see and enemies to slaughter that you may extend your stay long after business is concluded.
While the new area is accessible at any time, it’s recommended not to travel until you’ve reached a high enough level. Even at the max level 20 (or 30, for those who purchased Broken Steel), the enemies of Point Lookout can be quite punishing, delivering major damage as well as having really thick skin. For you vault dwellers who have been playing with an offensive mind so far, it may be recommended to take a more stealthy approach to dealing with these new foes. It’s doubly recommended to save often.
Difficulty aside, Point Lookout contains more than enough quests, encounters, items and aesthetics to make this one of the most recommended DLC to purchase. Come for the Punga fruit, stay for the moonshine. And make sure not to visit the graveyard at night.