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 Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now

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IRORIEH

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PostSubject: Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now   Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:16 pm

Heyo gunners!

So, I've had this idea for quite some time, but I've never really sat down to go through it until now. Just post a ranking of all the Fallout DLC's for the past 3 games from worst to best, or vice versa. It doesn't have to be an over analytical thesis on gameplay and value, after all, the value of a dlc is purely an opinion. That said, for purposes of fairness, I won't be including things like Fallout 4's Workshop DLCs or Gunrunner's Arsenal which don't really add much to the game storywise, and just add items.

You can include them if you want though...

11) Operation Anchorage - The worst, IMO. It's an Call of Duty/medal of honour style fallout experience set in a super patriotic, xenophobic simulation based around training up soldiers for pre-war conflict. It's an expansion on pre-war America's jingoistic society, much like Liberty Prime screaming about patriotism, however it misses the charm of what made Prime's march to victory so ironic: an american war machine spouting pro US propaganda while crushing the remnants of the now evil US military. Operation Anchorage doesn't capture that element and fails to deliver any emotional connection. The only real conflict exists between the outcasts, and it's execution is so rushed, and members so unlikable that it doesn't do much for me.

10) Mothership Zeta - Much like Anchorage, Zeta latches onto a trope or theme within Fallout's world, aliens, and over exposes them. Zeta doesn't really provide much clarification or resolution. Everything occurs so far away from anything else in the Fallout universe that it just feels detached and moribund. Much like Anchorage, I can see what they were going for, but it doesn't work in execution. Alien's work far better as side quests like the Cabbot House, or easter eggs, than full blown story quests.

9) Broken Steel - My biggest issue with broken steel is that it takes the venom or impact out of Fallout 3's ending. The idea of sacrifice is built up throughout, of a selfless act of redemption for the wasteland. Our mother dies in childbirth giving the player life, James dies for project purity. Everything is leading toward us making, as Ron Perlman says "that greatest of virtues – sacrifice". I know some people hated being forced to end the game there, but the whole story, narrative wise was building to it. Taking that away and giving us broken steel, while not a bad story in general, kind of takes away from the story for me. Of course, that's all opinion.

8 ) Nuka World - I have to say, first and foremost that this is a big step up over the other three. I actually enjoyed Nuka World. The setting and theme of the DLC is fantastic, and the inclusion of little references and throwbacks to other games is great, from Sierra Petrovita, to the Hubologists, or even the little mentions of sunset sarsaparilla. What really lets it down is it's main story. It lacks resolution for someone who wants to destroy the raiders, and for that reason I can't put it any higher on the list.

7) Honest Hearts - Honest Hearts was ok, but I think we all have to admit that it is slightly underwhelming. The burned man is a fantastic character, and the setting and narrative blend fantastically to give a great little adventure, but it's just too short. If it was a few hours longer, with a little more chance to explore the world and characters, it would be great, but it isn't. That's not to say Honest Hearts isn't good, but it fails to live up to it's full potential.

6) Point Lookout - Great setting, and one of the greatest characters in Fallout history, Desmond Fucking Lockheart. But like Honest Hearts, it lacks depth and development. Exploring the marsh is a lot of fun, and it's darker elements, like the Krivbeknih are a nice addition to Fallout's dark world, but it feels empty once you get past a certain point, and not entirely by design. That said, Point Lookout is one of the most thematic and memorable locations in Fallout's entirety.

5) Lonesome Road - I seem to be among the few people who like Ulysses. Wise, intellectual, not just another character incapable of making their own actions. I like that he is obsessed with the idea of the courier and their ability to shape nations. The themes of the DLC are fantastic and they work brilliantly. That said, the Divivde is a lack luster place. There is certainly a sense of devastation, but it's perhaps the lack of it's mention in the base game that blunts the blow. It doesn't feel as important as it should, even with all Ulysses tells us. It just feels as though it should mean something more, but it doesn't. It's not too different from most other ruined  cities in the fallout universe.

4) The Pitt - This DLC IMO was fantastic. Slavery is so prominent in Fallout, but we never really get to see it in mass practice, yet here, in the Pitt, we find a society built entirely by slaves and their masters. Ashur is an interesting character, whose methods, while entirely immoral, do make sense, much like Caesar. Even the Pitt's good ending can seem rather overshadowed by the moral quandaries of Marie and her care in the hands of a person like Ashur. The setting, the characters, the Trogs. The constant sense of morality in a post war world like we've never seen it in Fallout before. The Pitt is awesome.

3) Far Harbour - I'll admit, when I first saw Far Harbour I crossed my arms and said "Duh, Bethesda can't even make original DLC, they're just rehashing point lookout". I couldn't have been more wrong. Far Harbour is fantastic. DIMA is a brilliantly written character who poses one of the greatest mindfucks in the series history: "How do you know you're not a synth?" It's true as well. How do you? If that's the case, what differentiates a Synth from a human? It's the kind of thing I wish Fallout 4's base game had more of, the questioning of Synth v Human sentience. The locale is great, it's new creatures are clever and cool, and the main story is brilliant. The fate of Far Harbour hinges on either learning the truth or embracing paranoia and superstition. It works so sublimely in the setting that I really do think it's one of the most underrated pieces of DLC available for Fallout, and by far better than it's counterpart, Nuka World.

2) Old World Blues - Old World Blues is a genuine gem. Clever and funny writing blended together to create something that fits so well in fallout's world. Capturing the goofiness of it's setting while also remaining self aware. It is precisely what Operation Anchorage failed to be. The brains are brilliant, a group of repressed, self obsessed, ego maniacal psychopaths who are also endearing in their arrogance. Conversing with your own brain, who points out the ridiculousness of your adventures through the wastes. The wealth of sci-fi and pop culture references. The stealth suit. The communist high school infiltration program. The SINK. Everything works so fantastically. The DLC is brimming with personality from start to finish, and it is simply brilliant.

1) Dead Money - Theme, setting, foreshadowing. Dead Money is established via the main game through numerous sources. Elijah is one of the greatest villains in Fallout's history, a sinister, selfish psychopath, yet incredibly intelligent and focused on his goals. The DLC keeps it's theme throughout, letting go and beginning again. Everything in the DLC reflects this, and does so fantastically. I remember complaints when this DLC first came out about how "it doesn't let me keep my equipment!" boo hoo, who cares. The DLC forces you to scavenge and salvage from the villa to survive it Ghost People. The cast of characters all encapsulate it's themes perfectly. Greed, hunger, control, revenge, all of which they are unable to let go of. You can resolve it by helping them, or just kill them. I really can't understate how much I love Dead Money's story. It is simply fantastic.

And then there's this. Just a masterpiece. 5 stages of grief in 2 minutes.


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PostSubject: Re: Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now   Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:53 am

Great post, pal. But you could have ranked Automatron too! Although I guess it wouldn't be  ranked very high.

I mostly agree with your ranking, I think it's pretty objective, but I cannot agree with Broken Steel. Is not that it's great, but what you say about sacrificing yourself... Nop, it just felt idiotic to sacrify yourself when 2 of your companions, that probably where just next to you, could do it without any problem, or any other ghouls in the wasteland...
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PostSubject: Re: Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now   Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:56 pm

I've not played any of Fallout 4's dlc, but my understanding is that automatron is barely more more than the workshop expansions. One new mechanic and a few new dungeons and enemies that don't expand on the main story.

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PostSubject: Re: Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now   Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm

I think I like your list more than any one I could produce. I have the same thoughts as you on a ton of the DLC. Although I personally love Lonesome Road and would probably switch it's place with Far Harbour in your list. I can't stand any part of Far Harbour's questline. The environment is beautiful though.

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PostSubject: Re: Ranking all the Fallout DLC's up to now   Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:12 am

Some points I agree with and others I disagree with, after all, everybody is different.
I suppose ranking them is about what you most want out of a Fallout game, if you like pure action, then OP Anchor for instance might go higher

Personally, for me:

Zeta goes stone dead last.
Sure it has the unique weapons, enemies, characters, the whole nine yards. But it completely goes against what Fallout is at it's heart, it's about understanding human motivations and reasoning, about the human effect on war, death and morality. But ZETA goes "no lol, aliens started the war, hoho aren't we so wacky!" it feels like a spit in the face.
OP anchor goes next, and I agree with your comments
The Top three however I'd go for far as to say that they are all completely interchangeable between Lonesome Road, Old World Blues and Dead Money..
Because for me, I play fallout, not for the gunplay, but for the dialogue and choices, and for me those three represent the best choices in the game.
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