Sudden Depth Charge (Fallout 3 Mod) review…

Sudden Depth Charge (Fallout 3 Mod) review after the break…

Sudden Depth Charge (Fallout 3 Mod) review…

We are all used to the concept of “padding”: The art of making an object or service appear larger or more valuable then it actually is. Even cinema neophytes will recognize the well-worn example of The Wizard from the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” whereas the wizard, despite an imposing appearance, is just a meek little man behind a curtain. A more practical example would be the concept of young female teenagers “padding” their bras to make their chests appear larger and, for them, more desirable to young male teenagers.

In terms that Fallout 3 players would relate to, “padding” the size of a mod often means custom texture and music files that are included with the mod. Both textures and music are typically large and they can not be compressed easily. By adding textures and music to your mod, the mod appears larger then it actually is. Such is the case with “Sudden Depth Charge,” a Fallout 3 mod made by “Frank Slimski.”

“Sudden Depth Charge” arrives to your hard drive at 39 megs – By no means a modestly-sized mod. Naturally, one would never expect that you’re going to receive 39 megs worth of adventure, scenery & NPCs (Non-Player Characters). However, never before have I seen such unnecessary padding in a mod before, either for Fallout 3 or for the similar computer game “Oblivion.”

Nearly all of the 39 megs for “Sudden Depth Charge” consists of a single .BIK video – That’s right… A video. Is it a good video? Not really. Most of the video is black with an audio overlay, an aural introduction of the mod that also services as the “opening credits” for the mod as well.

The mod itself starts at the edge of Rivet City, in front of and off the carrier. There, an airplane / submarine of sorts sits on a platform waiting to be launched. Entering the vessel initiates the video and that, in turn, starts the actual mod.

The mod itself is a shooting gallery punctuated by holotapes (readable “books” in the Fallout 3 game play) to advance a storyline about a people trapped inside of an abandoned carrier partially submerged underground. The progression of enemies is by no means subtle – You start your adventure faced with a mod of radroaches (overgrown cockroaches), graduating to renamed feral ghouls, centaurs, a mirelurk king and then finally raiders. Perhaps I’m not giving the author the credit that he deserves – You begin with a mob of cockroaches and finish with a mob of cannibalistic raiders. There’s a message there, even if it’s unintended.

The shooting gallery is well-made with no obvious construction errors. There are a few questionable interior decorating decisions along the way – Ruined wooden dresser cabinets and an electronic battle map are woefully out of place for where they’ve been placed. Yet, there were also nice interior decorating decisions as well.

The mod ends rather abruptly, with your character at the bottom of a pit suddenly having to confront a mass of renamed raiders. I wasn’t quite sure what the point was here except for a mindless finale of carnage. At this point, my interest was lost and there wasn’t much point in continuing. There is a “boss” amongst the renamed raiders but the pit seems purposely built so that your character can not access most of the upper areas without some help from console commands.

Between the excessively indulgent video and the confusing ending, there isn’t much reason to recommend this mod. Everyone deserves to have credit for anything that they create but a 2+ minute video is a burden to endure unless it professionally made, entertaining and significantly moves the story along. To the author’s credit, a README file is included.

“Sudden Depth Charge” is a half-meg mod hiding behind a 38 meg video. To paraphrase the infamous fast-food chain “Wendy’s” TV commercial – There may be a little beef in this mod but it’s dwarfed by a whole lot of bun… And no one orders a hamburger to eat the bun.


One Response to “Sudden Depth Charge (Fallout 3 Mod) review…”

  1. Timmy McMillan Says:

    I actually thought this was a pretty good mod. His new one looks good too.

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