Bethesda aims to please players of Fallout 3 with their newest downloadable content package titled Operation: Anchorage available exclusively for the XBox 360.
The additional content allows players to enter a virtual reality simulator, essentially a video game inside a video game, that recreates the epic liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders before the apocalypse-causing nuclear bombs were dropped.
The first thing the player will notice is how big a change the gameplay in the expansion is versus the normal game. A majority of Fallout 3 has the player scavenging in desks, cabinets, and various other places for any ammo or health items he or she can find, but none of this is necessary with the ammo and health stations located around the simulator. All the player has to do is activate one and completely refill his or her health bar or ammo supply. These stations make the simulator feel more like a first person shooter, with the player taking no heed to the ammo supply, than the rest of the game. The simulation really does play like a video game, complete with 10 semi-hidden briefcases of intel items the player can collect to unlock a special perk that adds an additional point to each skill.
However, there are cons to having the sim feel like a video game. Part of the fun of Fallout 3 is to walk around the wasteland and constantly be on the lookout for a group of enemies to appear over the horizon. The enemies in the expansion have attack patterns that seem to follow a set track, which may cause unwanted monotony for repeat players. Another part of the fun of the original game are the karma-based choices the player can make throughout the game, which are lacking in the simulation. The player still has dialogue choices he or she can make, but these choices have almost no effect on the world and characters around you.
Overall the DLC is a great addition to the Fallout 3 world, adding two to three hours of gameplay. It shows the player a different time before the bombs were dropped, when civilization was in working order. The expansion also adds a few new items the player can use in his or her story, including a suit of original power armor that never degrades and an electricity-charged sword which can reduce enemies to ash. For 800 Microsoft points, roughly 10 USD, the DLC is definitely worth a buy for any fan of the game.