Fall of Duty

Let me chronicle you the steps I had to take to get the Operation: Anchorage expansion running for Fallout 3:

  1. Read that the expansion is available on a blog.
  2. Open Steam
  3. Launch Fallout 3.
  4. Go to “Downloads”. The menu says “No Content Available”. Well… that’s a lie, right?
  5. Click on “No Content Available”. This opens the Games for Windows Live Browser (?!), which I will dub G4WLB.
  6. Look in G4WLB for Operation: Anchorage. Oh, there it is.
  7. Click on ‘Buy’. It is 800 Microsoft Bux. I have 790. Okay, I click to add more.
  8. My web browser is now opened up on MS’ site to buy points. FOr those keeping track, I now have Steam, Fallout, G4WLB and Firefox open.
  9. Do the things required to add points to my account.
  10. Downloading! Doop doop doodle doo.
  11. Close Firefox, G4WLB and Exit Fallout.
  12. Relaunch Fallout.
  13. Resign in to Xbox Live because my auto-sign in is now disabled for some reason?
  14. Click on ‘Downloads’. Click on ‘Operation: Anchorage’. Nothing happens.
  15. Load game. Whoops, don’t load the save at the end of the game when you can’t go back into the Wasteland. That won’t work.
  16. Load an earlier save. Hm. Don’t see anything about Operation: Anchorage here.
  17. Minimize Fallout. Fire up Firefox.
  18. Ask the Google Gods how to fire up the $10 expansion I just bought.
  19. Google Gods are generous and let me know I have to stand around for a few minutes and then a new radio beacon will appear. That makes sense?
  20. Go back into Fallout, load earlier save. Walk in circles for a minute.
  21. Enjoy Operation: Anchorage!

I’m sure the process is much more streamlined for console players, but it seems like the process of acquiring and using the downloaded content wasn’t thought through very well for PC users, especially considering that they knew they would be having DLC packs. I imagine the disconnect between the Bethesda and Microsoft teams is the culprit.

I finished the pack in one sitting. It took a little under two hours for me to complete.

Operation: Anchorage is much more Call of Duty than it is Fallout 3.

I hate to say that because I was really looking forward to having a new story with new characters, new quests, new toys and new playgrounds to abuse said toys. What I got was a short linear shooter, with barely any story, memorable characters or surprises. There are ZERO side quests, you just progress from Point A to Point B to Point C. Periodically, you happen across a few Red Chinese thrown in your way in a very FPS-like cadence. The characters you meet are your standard gruff military stereotypes with little imagination expended on their dialogue.

With the high quality of the Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles expansions for Oblivion, I was expecting much, much more.

1 Comment

  1. “Resign in to Xbox Live because my auto-sign in is now disabled for some reason”

    I wonder if that’s because your Live profile can only be logged in with one application at a time, so your game was logged out. (Is the GFWLB a separate application from Fallout, or does it run as a component of the game?)

    Tycho of Penny-Arcade mentioned (http://www.penny-arcade.com/2009/1/26/) that he couldn’t have his Xbox and GFWL game signed in simultaneously with the same profile.

    Regardless, what a terrible user experience.

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