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Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta DLC tested

My character was carrying part of his brain in a jar (no, really) and thought it was a great idea to go and investigate a garbled radio message

A vast, eclectic wasteland of disturbed, often deformed bi-polar characters created a schizophrenic atmosphere in Fallout 3. New downloadable expansion Mothership Zeta abducts you away from all that -- and took my love of Fallout 3 with it.

The latest and final DLC pack for the game (available now for 800 Microsoft Points, or £6.80), Mothership Zeta begins with a garbled radio message. My character was carrying part of his brain in a jar (no, really) and thought it was a great idea to go and investigate, resulting in aliens abducting him away from the Capital Wasteland and on to a spaceship in near-Earth orbit.

Aliens took my guns, my clothes, my bit of brain in a jar, and stuck me in a sterile cell with a woman who wanted me to punch her in the face as part of an escape plan. There was little else to do, so I obliged. Aliens came to see what all the fuss was about. I considered asking where my bit of brain was, but instead I punched them in the face too, and escaped.

Shooting a boring alien in its miserable face

The next seven hours involved running around a spaceship shooting identical aliens, collecting nothing of any value, and speaking to almost nobody. I did snag a couple of neat alien weapons, though.

The entire objective of the story is to stop the alien ship blowing up Earth or something, annihilating any aliens you meet on the way. It's an enormously unrewarding, unoriginal and un-Fallout-like adventure. Take the looks and make-up away from 90 per cent of pop stars, and no-one would be remotely interested in their music. Likewise, take the post-apocalypticism from Fallout 3, and no-one should be bothered to play it.

Here's a 'death ray'. You need to turn it off.

It's a sad end. After the genius of The Pitt and the demented world of Point Lookout, Mothership Zeta resembles a copy-and-pasted sci-fi adventure dredged up from the most miserable corner of a cutting-room floor. I appreciate the team wanted to do something different, but when you take away everything that made Fallout 3 so perfect, you take away everything a fan wants to see more of.

At least I got my chunk of cerebral cortex back.