After receiving a radio transmission and heading through a swamp, the hero finds him or herself inside a rather large mansion and face to face with a friendly Ghoul in a rather bad situation. Raider-like enemies will be invading at any moment, and despite a healthy supply of video cameras that give him a small command post of sorts, the mansion is in a very sorry state and these foes have no problem busting down the rotten walls in order to accomplish their goals. Of course, this isn’t a typical Ghoul. He has turrets, attack dogs, and a fair bit of extra firepower too, but he could still use a hand. The player is thus conscripted and charged with various tasks that range from fending off hoards of enemies as they bust their way in to igniting explosives in order to seal up holes.
As one might expect from a quest to fight off dozens of enemies, Point Lookout isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Unlike the other DLC questlines, this one is specifically designed with high level characters in mind. Not only do foes appear in bulk, they also come packing new and powerful weapons such as double-barreled shotguns. A level 15+ or even 25+ character can become swiss cheese in a matter of seconds if they’re caught off-guard or make a bad move, so it might be a little rough though certainly not impossible to play without the level-cap increase from Broken Steel.
Despite the fact that all of these battles were taking place within the same mansion, the player was guided around in such a way that many of the encounters ended up playing out very differently depending on the size and shape of the room or hallway that the fights took place in, where furniture and barricades were, and the direction of possible ambushes. All in all, it was pretty interesting and well-paced thanks to the Ghoul guiding the player from one hotspot to the next and a few scripted events to mix things up. The only times that things began to become dull were when the age-old problem of all floors sharing the same in-game map made it easy to get turned around in the mansion’s small maze of hallways and barricaded paths.
The mansion segment ended in a rather climactic battle against several waves of enemies in the very open entrance area rather than in cramped quarters like the rest of the quest. The demo had the hero outfitted with a missile launcher in addition to the assault rifle and shotgun that I used for the rest of the mission, which made fighting off the swarm of enemies a bit of an epic battle, especially with the Ghoul, his attack dogs, and turret(s) around to help pick off anyone I was unable to finish off as they broke into the room. Of course, there are plenty of places for cover for those who wish to use different tactics or specialize in different equipment.
Completing that mission earned us a perk that decreases damage taken and started us on another quest to infiltrate the group of raider-like enemies, but the folks over at Bethesda didn’t want us going any farther than that even though we’d only played for about 15 minutes each.
Point Lookout so far manages to follow up the other DLC questlines fairly well while still retaining its own unique feel that helps set it apart. It has a handful of unique weapons and at least one perk to add to the game as well. While we weren’t allowed to play through the whole thing, it certainly seems to be getting off to a pretty good start, though if we were able to complete the first quest in under an hour then it doesn’t bode well for Point Lookout‘s total added playtime. The swamp is supposedly very large and has a lot to explore, so perhaps it will add some extra time there the same way that The Pitt‘s steelyard did.