I know, it’s something of a non sequitur and a pun all at the same time, but basically, when they say Point Lookout, they mean, look out. Because for some reason, they’ve stuffed some serious baddies in that swampy ground, and it’s not going to be easy to get through.
This time in the greatest first person shooter that man has ever known, you’ll board a riverboat bound for Point Lookout, Maryland (which is, apparently, an actual place, unless I’m being hoaxed. This is possible as I’ve never been to Maryland, but a cursory net search suggests that there really is a Point Lookout) with a goal in mind before you even get off the boat–to find a young woman’s missing daughter. Of course, once you’re actually in Point Lookout, you’ll discover that there’s an incredible opportunity to be had here, as there’s virtually no one in sight when you actually get off the boat. You can loot as you please! And there’s PLENTY of loot to be had here–you’ll walk into a mostly abandoned seaside town / amusement park complex where there’s only one person, and she’s tending a shop. But right away, you’ll notice there’s something very wrong with Point Lookout, and it’s not just the psuedonuclear shambles that every other place in the Capitol Wasteland is. The Point Lookout motel contains scenes of horror even a raider would shrink from. The Pint-Sized Slasher even makes a bit of a reappearance (he’s not just a newspaper blurb any more!) and the secrets, lies, and mysteries contained in that swamp are more than you could ever imagine.
There’s all manner of new equipment to be had here, but most of it is a little on the mundane side. An axe, a shovel, a lever-action rifle that fires 10mm rounds and a double-barrelled shotgun will all make appearances, as will simpler things like workman’s coveralls and a Confederate cap, which is somewhat ironic as Maryland was a border state that leaned heavily toward the Union with only a few dissenters. In fact, a whole LOT of Point Lookout seems to be done in that antebellum style of the Civil War-era South. The huge manor houses, the relentless bayous…a lot of it just screams Louisiana.
Now, just so you know, I didn’t go in there cold. I had recently reset my character to get the full experience back when Broken Steel came out, so I was a bit behind, but I took the riverboat at level fourteen, with the full loadout from the Project Anchorage vault. I had my Chinese stealth armor, I had my Gauss rifle and a laser rifle with plenty of microfusion cells, I even had a Gatling laser, and I was getting chewed up at virtually every turn. I don’t know how these “swamp people” who seem to have no more armor than their overalls are managing to absorb metal pellets fired at near-relativistic speeds when I’m blowing away Enclave troops in powered armor within three hits with the same hardware.
That’s about my only real gripe here–Point Lookout is some amazing fun, even if I do need to bring the equivalent of a light armored division or maybe Liberty Prime itself just to pacify the populace. I love the darker tone and the subtle infusion of horror gameplay, something that game companies should definitely take note of. Imagine this game with ZOMBIES. And I’m not talking ghouls, but actual zombies.