|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Bethesda Softworks||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The alien ship itself is tremendously large, and there are many different areas to explore, including the vacuum of space on the vessel's exterior. Mothership Zeta is possibly one of the best looking DLC installments out of the five. There are tons of intricately detailed control panels, robotic assembly arrays, scientific lab areas, teleporters, and steam-filled tunnels to check out. Every so often you'll also be able to peek outside and catch a stunning view of the planet below and deep space beyond. There are numerous moments when it feels like you're playing a completely different game. The highly thematic setting and polished visuals lend an appealing freshness to the expansion, and sci-fi fans will certainly appreciate the frequent and often funny nods to long-time classic alien abduction tales.
Most of the time, the gameplay is anything but fresh. You'll often wind up navigating tight, mazelike corridors in a mostly linear fashion, stopping all-too-frequently to pump energy beams into the noggins of aliens and droids that pop up at nearly every turn. The action-heavy element is enjoyable at times, though there are several points in the middle of the adventure that it feels like you're just shooting the same creatures while crawling around in the same corridors. There are opportunities to branch off and explore a bit, but you're really only required to do so at one point further along in the relatively brief quest. However, the repetitiveness subsides during intermittent shining moments that really make all the effort seem worthwhile - like giving a young kid a high-powered grenade to play with, unfreezing and chatting up some of the ships human cargo, engaging in a crazy Star Trek-like ship-to-ship death ray battle.
Hefty chunks of Mothership Zeta feel formulaic and repetitive, yet the sting of the expansion's low points is countered somewhat by the impeccable presentation, smartly-implemented sci-fi vibe, and a few entertaining twists. It's a short jaunt to be sure, and there's not a ton to be gained aside from overall experience of being abducted by aliens and then blowing them to hell as retribution. Those with a strong appreciation for science fiction, robots, and space battles will appreciate Bethesda's final addition to Fallout 3.
CCC Staff Contributor