Mothership Zeta isn't my favorite of the Fallout 3 DLC but that's only because Broken Steel turns the second worst video game ending of all time into one of the best with the extended power-fantasy epilogue of wiping out the Enclave at Adam's Air Force Base. The Pitt comes close having a morally ambiguous story and Raider/slaver focus which I like but in the end, I choose Mothership Zeta over it. Why? Because Mothership Zeta is awesome! 1:] It's a great alternative from the bleak Capital Wasteland One of the things which was problematic about the Capital Wasteland is it's a bleak depressing sort of place to visit. It's a lot more interesting than the Commonwealth's gigantic radioactive swamp but there's still a lot of gray and brown. Mothership Zeta finds you in a clean beautiful spaceship which you get to shoot up and explore. 2:] The Ambition of the DLC shows an actual love of the work Part of what makes Mothership Zeta great is that it's not just an extensive retread of the main game. One of the biggest disappointments I had with Operation: Anchorage is that it was a bunch of snowy cliffs and murdered Chinese soldiers with no real insights into the Pre-War era and a bunch of Pre-War loot thrown out like singles at a strip club. MZ, by contrast, gives you a huge new location and host of new enemies in its own self-contained little adventure which is fun and has a direct but coherent plot. It feels like a complete expansion in the way other DLC doesn't. Point Lookout, for example, is beautiful but doesn't really have a central plot while Broken Steel is just cleaning up the mess of the main game's ending. 3:] The Alien Equipment is Awesome In the base game, you're basically a fool if you take Energy Weapons at the start but this nicely balances the skill with the Alien Blaster and a supply of ammunition which can be used right up until the end of the game. 4:] It has a zany 50s Science Fiction feel Just as the Dunwich Building and Point Lookout has a lot of Lovecraft feel to them, this is a game which nicely has a B-movie science fiction feel to it. I would have probably felt bad about this if it was part of the main game but as a side-story, I felt it was perfectly enjoyable. 5:] There's some quiet character development going on Somah is a Raider/Slaver from Paradise Falls but you don't learn this unless you're paying attention and even if it's just implication. You have to side with her, though, because it's a survival situation. Elliot is a survivor of Operation: Anchorage and gives a lot of perspective on the Pre-War era as well as his guilt for his government's involvement. Sally provides the perspective of what it must have been like back then to be a child and relatively innocent. Even the cowboy character and samurai have somewhat tragic stories. 6:] A fun bit of Karma for Vault-Tec's CEO After spending decades preparing human beings to be guinea pigs from a position of godlike authority, he's subjected to the exact same sort of karmic retribution. It may only happen in a holotape but it's an enjoyable bit of retribution which is sweet in irony. 7:] The Existence of Non-Combatants The game could have easily made every single alien someone you're meant to gun down and slaughter but the developers nicely made it so there's a bunch of people just running around terrified during your rampage. It's a nice bit of humanization for what could have been presented as an existential threat. 8:] Your Awesome New Base I always felt Fallout 3 needed more bases to it and the opportunity to have your very own starship as a place to operate from is an amazingly good idea. My only regret is they close down large parts of the ship from your usage. 9:] Giddyup Buttercups It is my deepest hope we'll eventually get a rideable Giddyup Buttercup in Fallout 5. Even so, I love their inclusion in Fallout 5. Robot horsies=awesome, especially when you have to wonder how many of those Raiders died trying to pet that one in that room. 10:] New Enemies Bethesda enemy variety suffers when they don't bother to make new ones. I liked the Hillbillies and Tribals in Point lookout for the same reason I love massacring the Zetans. They're a new and fun enemy to slaughter. 11. Unexpected Gameplay Changes I, for one, loved the fact this climaxes with a gigantic battle against a enemy spaceship. There's also the fact it takes advantages of its oddball premise with things like the space walk and other fun bits of oddity to break from the main shooting gallery elements. Quiet moments help keep the drama going strong throughout. 12.] The Mothership is an original unique location We've been through ruined buildings, Vaults, and the desert many-many times. Mothership Zeta is a great contrast and memorable in a way which only Rivet City and Megaton really equals in the original game. You can go from Robotics labs to Cryogenic freezing chambers to bridges to engine rooms and all. 13:] It's a neat reference to the Easter Egg of the first game Which it is. I will also point out Silent Hill also has similar in-game use of aliens and nobody makes a fuss over them. 14:] It's visually spectacular in places Nuff said. 15:] You get to see Canada blown up I love Canada and now it can enjoy the same post-apocalypse horror we enjoy here in the Capital Wasteland.