Saturday, October 10, 2009

Operation: Broken Anchorage

I can honestly say that I feel ripped off.  Both by Bethesda and Sony for allowing Operation: Anchorage to be released with so many problems.

First off the story itself is only minimally interesting.  After playing through Fallout 3 for close to 200 hours and seeing the slide during loads saying Alaska Liberated many many times, I was hoping that O:A would be a decent story and adventure.  The first leg of the journey was fairly interesting.  Traveling up a cliff face with potential enemies coming from above or below was neat.  Seeing white rocks and snow was neat.  Seeing how an enemy died--a cyber degradation similar to a kill from the Plasma rifle or Alien Blaster--was neat.  Being able to heal and restock ammo from a different source was neat.  Neat. For the first hour of play.

After that it got boring.  Boring because the only enemies the DLC seems to offer are either flame throwers, missile launching troops, or stealth snipers.   Any combo of these three could show up and attempt to ambush you, but you also have a companion and VATS.  At the time that my character started playing through O:A I was at level 24 and Small Guns, Big Guns, and Energy Weapons are all at 100.  Using VATS in O:A seems almost and unfair advantage when combined with the companion who seems to be a crack shot. Boring because there are healing and re-stocking ammo stations too close together.

Maybe that's why Bethesda decided to release a buggy add-on.  I had the game freeze up so many times when I entered VATS that I was ready to just give up playing.  The worst part of O:A freezing up is that the only that I could get it to unfreeze was to restart the whole PS3.  LAME!  Of course if you restart your PS3 and then launch the game again any progress you made from your last save up to the freeze is completely gone.  The worst part is that you can't really anticipate when your next freeze could happen, so you start to train yourself to save often--too often.  This saving often is ridiculous for two reasons.  First, the save process is slow and takes up unnecessary hard drive space.  Second, the game shouldn't freakin' be this buggy that I have to RESTART my PS3 to unfreeze a game.  Seriously how did this get passed through QA checks from Sony?  Or is it because the game is set in a different environment that doesn't use the muted grays, greens and browns of the Capital Wasteland, so the rendering engine doesn't know how to handle what it is trying to draw?  Or is it because the environments are mostly open areas with long view distances that the render engine is having a hard time trying to render all of the information in the viewing area and keep the AI variables all in check.  Yeah.  That must be it. 


It's shitty ass coding.  You know how I know.  Because the game freaking locked up on my when I tried to access a computer terminal in the game too!  A freaking computer terminal.  What is there to render with a computer terminal?  Fill screen with green and black.  Run loop for cracking terminal password.  It works all the time in the original Fallout 3 so can't it work in O:A?

Seriously.  This is completely unacceptable.  But Bethesda already got my money.  They've also already got my money for Broken Steel and The Pitt.  Will they get my money for Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta?  That is questionable.  If they fix the bugs and offer a patch then sure I'll pick up the last 2 DLC. 

I love the environment and the game play that Bethesda has created in Fallout 3, but releasing really crappy code, game breaking code, is completely inexcusable.

If you enjoy Fallout 3 and want more, DON'T waste your money on Operation: Anchorage.

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