Bethesda recently announced that the first Fallout 4 DLC will be revealed and released within the next couple of months, sometime before June. Being a huge Fallout fan, I have played all the wonderful and tremendous games in the series ever since Fallout 1, the one that started it all, to Fallout 4, which was released back in November last year.
I'd like to take us back to the days of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, more specifically the remembrance of the DLC, which were released for both games. I'll be ranking these DLCs on a 'radiation' scale; the less rads a DLC has, the better it is in terms of story, characters, weaponry, and length.
Join me, fellow Vault Dwellers, as we immerse ourselves in the exploration of the unknown wastes!
1. Fallout 3 DLC - The Pitt
This DLC was among the first ones released for Fallout 3 back in 2009. It takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, known in the game world as 'The Pitt.' You are sent there by a former slave named Wernher on a mission to find the cure to severe radiation sickness. The cure lies in the blood of baby Marie, the daughter of the slave master and leader of The Pitt, Ishmael Ashur. You have the option of curing the slaves and helping them take over The Pitt, or side with Ashur and become a slaver yourself. This add-on contains beautiful scenery and an intense story that shows you just how ugly a post-apocalyptic world can really be. As I played this, I never really knew who to trust; everybody kept looking at me with firearms at their sides, giving me a sense of danger at every step. There was radiation everywhere and enemies around every corner. Everything about this DLC was downright creepy yet thrilling at the same time. I highly enjoyed it and it is perfect in every way.
Rads - 0
2. Mothership Zeta
Mothership Zeta was a great departure from the usual post-nuclear war gameplay that was the foundation of the first 3 Fallout games. It was out of this world, literally. The premise of the add-on is based on a UFO abduction, and you're the lucky Vault Dweller that gets to go to outer space and party with the aliens (in a not so safe way). You must find other people who have been abducted over the course of centuries, including a cowboy, a little girl, a pre-Great War soldier, and a samurai. With your team, you must find a way to take over the ship, kill the aliens, and manage your way back home — but not before destroying another alien ship in an intensely awesome battle, of course. This experience was indeed very enjoyable, with great characters, a unique story, cool weapons, and an eerie, sci-fi feel to it. Everywhere you go there are new things to see, whether it's a lab full of test subjects to an unexpected swarm of aliens trying to kill you. It's obvious Bethesda was intending to make something different with this DLC, and they did a phenomenal job. The only thing that I would complain about is that some fans wouldn't actually like the transition from war ravaged Earth to an alien spaceship, but that wasn't an issue for me.
Rads - 5
3. Point Lookout
In 'Point Lookout,' you are asked by a woman, Catherine, to find her daughter, Nadine, and bring her back home to the Capital Wasteland. When you are taken on the Duchess Gambit to Point Lookout in Maryland, you encounter very dangerous swamp folk, many feral ghouls, and are exposed to the dangers of heavy radiation. It is a tremendously creepy DLC; the sun never shines, every place is dimly lit, and someone is always waiting to kill you. Be scared, be afraid, but never let your guard down. Once you find Nadine, you are tasked with finding Calvert, a brain connected to an apparatus, who belonged Professor Calvert, who wants you to destroy a signal-jamming device before it gets installed, made by Desmond Lockheart, his rival. The jamming device does not allow Calvert's psychic powers to reach the minds of the individuals within Maryland, but Calvert wants complete control over everyone, especially those in Point Lookout. Whoever you help is your choice. The DLC can be hated or praised for its perplexing storyline and characters. I personally loved it, though I did feel confused sometimes. There are also not a lot of passive NPCs, but that adds to the eerie and thrilling feel of wandering the swampland full of inebriated inbreds and radiation-absorbing ghouls, and scary looking mirelurks. There's a lot to explore and do in this DLC, and there's a crazy horror feel to it, especially during The Dark Heart Of Blackhall quest.
Rads - 15
4. Broken Steel
Broken Steel is probably the DLC I would define as "most necessary" out of all the Fallout 3 add-ons. It allows you, The Lone Wanderer, to survive the toxic radiation unleashed within Project Purity and continue to fight alongside the Brotherhood Of Steel against the Enclave. You awaken two weeks after the Battle Of Project Purity and discover that the Capital Wasteland's water supply has been cleansed, and can be healthily consumed. Yet the war against the Enclave is not over; you must travel to Adams Air Force Base and launch nuclear warheads on the base to eliminate all existing Enclave threats. This DLC was very good in terms of weaponry and new enemies. The tesla cannon and super mutant overlords were two of the many highlights. One complaint I have though is that Adams Air Force Base was a little dull and vague in scenery. It should've been much larger in size and scale. The rest of the DLC however, is stellar.
Rads - 20
5. Operation Anchorage
This DLC is rather short (4-5 hours), but definitely one of the more different ones. It allows you to free roam very minimally, but it does add a war-game feel to it. Operation Anchorage starts off with a radio transmission signal being intercepted by the Lone Wanderer's Pip-Boy. You follow that message, which leads to a group of Brotherhood Outcasts having a shootout with super mutants. Once you aid them in killing the mutants, you meet the leader of the group of Outcasts, Protector McGraw, who tells you that you must help them unlock the steel door that leads to pre-war weapons, armor, and technology. You decide to take part in a simulation of Operation: Anchorage, a campaign during the Sino-American War between the U.S. and China. Only a person with a Pip-Boy can go through the simulation. You fight your way through hoards of Chinese soldiers, and move through treacherous winter terrain. You can be sneaky by using stealth boys, or you can go guns blazing. It's your choice. Be careful though, sim death is real death. If you survive, you will be able to have lots of fancy tech such as the powerful Gauss Rifle, Jingwei's Shocksword, and Chinese Stealth Armor.
Rads - 15
6. Fallout: New Vegas DLC - Old World Blues
This is my favorite Fallout: New Vegas DLC. I though it was quite funny and had a lighthearted yet disturbing feel to it. You teleport to Big Mountain (via teleportation device found at the Mojave Drive-In), also known as the Big MT, a pre-war research facility once dedicated to technological advancements, and now a land full of science experiments gone wrong. You encounter Dr. Klein and his group of fellow scientists, all in computer form, who want to stop Mobius, another AI computer once part of the scientist team, from unleashing chaos on the Big MT. This DLC has a strange, yet compelling storyline full of lots of action, cool weapons, and it's an experience I'll never forget. Long live Stripe the mini deathclaw.
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7. Lonesome Road
This DLC does live up to its name, literally. It feels very lonely, but it should. You don't have any interaction with people here since there is no one left alive in this collapsed and torn city. The Lonesome Road, known more as The Divide, is a landscape full of destroyed buildings, earthquakes, sandstorms, and horribly mutated NCR and Caesar's Legion personnel. The Divide wasn't always this way. It used to be a city unraveled by the bombs of the Great War, but one day the Courier brought a parcel to the city, unaware that the package was in fact a detonator which activated missiles underground when in close range of the silos. Years after the incident, the Courier receives a radio message from Ulysses, the man who originally was to deliver the Platinum Chip to Mr. House in Vegas. Ulysses resides in the Divide and hopes to meet and oil the Courier and send nuclear warheads into the Mojave Wasteland. You can choose to convince him not to do so, or follow through with his plan. You may also convince Ulysses to not do anything at all. This DLC has a very Damnation Alley feel to it, and it is quite depressing, honestly. However, that is a good thing since you get to feel how hurt and broken Ulysses is because his home was destroyed. You feel lonesome defying the odds and walking through the inhospitable road across the Divide, to meet the man who wants to kill you under the Old World flag.
Rads - 10
8. Dead Money
Dead Money is definitely the hardest Fallout: New Vegas DLC. It has a Saw-film feel to it. It begins when you are abducted after following a radio signal by a man named Father Elijah, former Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel. He takes you to the city of the Sierra Madre, home of the Sierra Madre Casino and its vault full of fortune. You awaken with all your belongings gone and a bomb collar strapped around your neck. Elijah tells you that you must survive the dangers of the Sierra Madre and team up with other abductees (Christine Royce, Dog/God, and Dean Domino) to fight your way through the casino and open the vault full of gold and money. You encounter waves of Ghost People, pre-war hazmat suit workers who who aided in the construction of the Casino. They can only be killed if you throw a spear at their heads, not to mention the dangerous smoke cloud that can suffocate you if you get too close. That, along with the constant beeping of your collar makes you aware of imminent death, which is what makes this a very frightening, difficult, yet unique DLC. The final battle between you and Elijah is sort of lame, since it's just a basic shootout, but Dead Money is still amazing nonetheless.
Rads - 20
9. Honest Hearts
This DLC brought us one of the coolest characters ever to be in the Fallout franchise, Joshua Graham a.k.a. The Burned Man. You travel to Zion Canyon in Utah, a land not vastly affected by the Great War. It makes you the key person in a battle between the White Legs, led by Salt-Upon-Wounds, and the Dead Horses, led by Graham. Their conflict revolves around acquisition of land, ideology, and differences. The White Legs are savage, non-English speaking people who will murder anyone not part of their tribe. It is your job to find out what their plans of attack are on the Dead Horses and defeat them by getting the upper hand with The Burned Man. There is a lot to explore in this DlC, it is very open-world, but everything looks the same (lots of canyons and mountains) and it is easy to get lost. There aren't a lot of guns though and the story is a bit bland, but Joshua Graham is definitely a HUGE highlight, his voice, his drive, and his passion are truly mesmerizing, that's enough to fill in the spots where Honest Hearts could've done better.
Rads - 25