The second DLC for _Fallout 3_ takes a different, and more interesting, approach to expanding the game’s ever increasing arsenal of content.
_The Pitt_ takes the player to a city built from the ruins of Pittsburgh, where slaves do all the work while an elite few call the shots. The first quest begins when you receive a radio distress signal while wandering about the already familiar surroundings of _Fallout 3_. Once arriving at the far north of the Wastelands, and after completing a rather basic quest, you get whisked away to _The Pitt_ through a series of tunnels, with no option of return until you’ve finished what you’ve started.
The story revolves around a disease that has infected the population of slaves; this disease causes them to mutate into a feral, monkey-like creatures, called Trogs. You’re sent in to acquire an apparent cure from those in charge. To infiltrate their ranks, so to speak, you have to first become a slave and work your way to the top, completing about 3 different quests along the way. An important consequence of this is that all your items, weapons and clothes are removed from you when you first enter the city. When this happened I had a heart attack; all the items I’d worked so hard to get, gone just like that. Luckily you do get them back approximately ¾ of the way through the new content.
This isn’t a simulation like _Operation: Anchorage_ so the gameplay hasn’t been tampered with in the slightest. It does play a little differently due to your lack of equipment; as opposed to having an array of guns, the first main quest within _The Pitt_ equips you solely with a new chain-saw like weapon. This forces you to try out different tactics and it succeeds; _The Pitt_ isn’t just more of the same. The new Trog enemy makes a change from the usual hordes of Super Mutants and, because they’re pretty quick, there can be some jumpy moments. Throughout _Fallout 3_ you are given karma choices, in which you can be good or bad. When in the main game I felt that most of these choices didn’t matter; it’s nice to see that the choice to be made at the end of _The Pitt_ strongly influences it’s conclusion. It’s also a pretty tough decision to make.
As with _Operation: Anchorage_, _The Pitt_ takes place on a new map, separate from the original _Fallout 3_ landscape. Although it appears to be rather large at first, you can’t really explore openly; most areas are cornered off, with background scenery giving the illusion of size. This isn’t too much of a problem as there’s still a good amount of content to be had. _The Pitt_ feels very industrial compared to the main game; there’s actually a working factory producing ammunition, somewhat of a rarity in a world without running water or electricity. This also affects the art style, which is different enough to make the new content interesting. There’s a more barbaric feel to everything that reflects the slave labour aspects well. There are a lot of reds and everything is more vertical, as opposed to the general flatness of the Wasteland. In short, the industrial theme is pretty awesome; continuously smoking chimneys and blood red sunsets make _The Pitt_ fit in far better with the _Fallout_ universe than _Operation: Anchorage_ ever could.
Overall, _The Pitt_ shows another aspect of post-apocalyptic America; an even more barbaric side than that seen in the main game. It’s drenched in atmosphere but different from that of the original; the situation feels far more desperate.
Even though _The Pitt_ was released a good few months after _Fallout 3_, it still has a few issues; mainly the animation. It still doesn’t look completely right and it would have been nice to see this addressed to some extent; I am being somewhat picky as it’s still not too much of a problem.
The content lasts for 3 to 4 hours and is far more substantial and fitting than _Operation: Anchorage_. The additional weapons and perks that can be used outside of _The Pitt_, after completion, also make it a worthwhile purchase. Considering that _The Pitt_ is the same price as _Operation: Anchorage_, it’s definitely the better buy. It’s simply more fun and should definitely be purchased by those in need of another _Fallout 3_ fix.