Bethesda has released 5 expansion packs for Fallout 3, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous to the plain bad. However, they're now half price, as Microsoft has slashed them to 400 MSP each. Speaking as someone who's already paid top dollar for each and every one of the DLC packs, this is a fantastic deal of the week- and deserves your attention if you haven't already invested in the GOTY edition. As always, only Gold Members get the bonuses- and you'll need to log in before the prices magically drop.
Broken Steel ought to be your first purchase as it improves the Fallout 3 experience in myriad ways. New missions, new perks, new weapons and a level cap increase were worth the original 1200 MSP, and now it's available for 400. If you don't already have it, then get it now. Now.
The other DLC packs bring a few incremental improvements and diversions to the party. To sum it up...
- Operation Anchorage is short, sweet and has great rewards.
- The Pitt is fun, lengthy and broken as hell.
- Point Lookout is huge, expansive and well worth the money.
- Mothership Zeta is pants. Only achievement whores should consider this one.
Right, it's time to review the jewel in the Block Party's crown: Krome Studios' Game Room. Here we go!
Game Room is Completely Broken
At the time of writing, Game Room simply fails to load- both on the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows. It's currently unclear as to what the problem actually is, but the fact of the matter is that Game Room is completely and utterly bricked. As an avid retro gamer, I'm certainly disappointed- and wonder how badly this will hurt the service's reputation. Get it fixed!
Update: Game Room Micro Review
After a shaky start, Microsoft have managed to get Game Room up and running. We've got access to a small selection of (fairly weak) retro games including Asteroids, Millipede and Lunar Lander (a personal favourite), though I simply can't recommend buying any of them as yet. There just aren't enough big names here. However, we've also got free demo access to four games as well as 1000 points worth of achievements.
As a veteran of Southend-on-Sea's Golden Mile, I'm delighted to report that the classic arcade atmosphere has been faithfully recreated. Avatars bustle around cabinets in the showcase arcade, and the background hubbub of bleeps, bloops and clinking quarters is spot on. Unfortunately, navigating the split-level arcade is extremely time consuming and unintuitive... hopefully some quick shortcuts will be put in place before too long.
- Arcade Atmosphere is spot on
- Plenty of awards and achievements
- Navigating the arcade is clunky and unintuitive
- Starting game selection is very weak
The very Short Version: The infrastructure for a fantastic retro game library and social network is now in place- and it's up to Microsoft to secure some killer old-school titles. I'm going to have to cop out of a rating for this one... after all, we've been promised thousands of games. Stay tuned for the latest additions in future XBLA roundups!
Probably the most interesting DLC this week was Dragon Age: Awakening. This expansion pack essentially offers an entire new game experience- but it has a price point to match. It might be worth waiting for the physical copy to come down in price rather than downloading it from XBL.
Speaking of Bioware, the Firewalker DLC pack has been released on Mass Effect 2's Cerberus network. This hefty download adds a handful of tank-themed missions into Bioware's space odyssey- basically, if you have Cerberus Network then get the free DLC. If you don't, then it's arguably not worth the price of admission.
Finally, the Chapters of Deceit have been released for Army of Two: TFD. This pricey little expansion bolts two (much-needed) extra levels onto the end of EA's cooperative shooter that introduce a few interesting new gameplay elements. Being completely unarmed while your partner covers you from an adjacent building is a genuine thrill, though it soon descends into standard cover-based flank-heavy warfare. Which, let's face it, is why we love Rios and Salem in the first place.