PC/Xbox 360 Review: Fallout 3 – Operation Anchorage

Should you take a chance with Operation Anchorage?

Bethesda. They love to cause stirrings in the gaming industry…from that damn horse armour in Oblivion to the questionable prices of the following DLC. It seems they have struck controversy yet again with Operation Anchorage, a small side-quest lasting an hour or two for 800 Microsoft Points for either Xbox 360 or Games for Windows. PC owners are a bit miffed that they have to splash out on MS points for the first time, but should you get past that…how does it hold up?
Operation Anchorage sees you follow the location of a radio signal that pops up in the Wasteland. Upon arrival, you fight your way through some super mutants to come across the Brotherhood outsiders that you may have seen during the game. It seems they have a problem that you can help them with…complete a simulation to unlock the armoury in the base. The simulation is of course, Operation Anchorage which takes place in Alaska as you fight the Chinese.

Instead of being focused on the role-playing elements of Fallout 3…Operation Anchorage becomes a traditional FPS but with health and ammo points along the way to make things incredibly easy. If there’s any struggling moment, it’s trying to kill the cloaked enemies that you can’t target with VATS unless they reveal themselves. The expansion sees you first trying to infiltrate the Chinese base and destroying 3 AA guns with plastic explosives, after which you’ll be taken to see General Chase who briefs you on what to do next.
You are promoted and then given a chance to choose your weapon layout for the mission, as well as taking a team of soldiers and robots with you as backup. The mission is split into 3 objectives, which after completing one you’ll go straight back to General Chase and a chance to change your layout or squad for the next objective. Once you’re done with the 2nd objective, you will all push to disable the field protecting the Chinese HQ and then not much else happens. You kill the bad guy and then leave the simulation, collect your goodies from the armoury and gain the last achievement.

The Xbox 360 version had less problems, but of course lacks the lovely PC cheats that you can do in the G4W version. But the PC version does have a few oddities like floating trees sometimes, random crashes thanks to the latest patch and so on. If you have both versions of Fallout 3 and want both sets of achievements, you will have to pay for the DLC on each machine…which I think is just plain wrong. DLC like that should apply to both systems instead of individually, which makes no sense at all.
I must admit, I really enjoyed Operation Anchorage…but I found it all to brief and in terms of being an FPS, quite weak. For 800 points, it seems that you have been short changed…especially if you do cheat on the PC version…which can make the DLC last about 20-30 mins maximum.

The Verdict

Operation Anchorage is a weak piece of DLC when compared with the greatness of Shivering Isles on Oblivion, but it does give you plenty of new weapons, armour and achievements. Is it worth the price tag? Well, it depends just how big a fan of Fallout 3 you really are…but chances are you will probably be disappointed.



  1. Though Operation Anchorage is awesome the sad event that you can’t return back to play the game is something that makes you feel bad for spending the 10$. On the whole *at least what I’ve played* getting all the intel and finishing the quests took me about 5 hours. Though it’s textures and enviroment is good the fact that you can’t go back is one of the bads and some minor bugs that are fixed by bethesda already over the past year. 😀 so I agree with the rating *mostly this was a response to Leigh Perry*

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