[Join Steve Kelso and Chris Carter, as they both review Fallout 3's Broken Steel DLC pack for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Kelso's review was written months ago when the DLC dropped on the 360, and Chris Carter's is brand new. Intro by Steve Kelso.]
Let’s face it. The ending that Bethesda had originally intended for Fallout 3 was incredibly anticlimactic. You’re left with a decision, and you get a cutscene based upon it and then its over.
Broken Steel makes a valiant attempt at rectify this problem, allowing you to play beyond the original intended ending of the game. Is it worth it? Let’s figure that out. Oh, and by the way:
Spoiler Warning for anyone who hasn’t finished the original ending for Fallout 3
Steve Kelso (Xbox 360):
It’s you or Sara Lyons. One of you two are going to go inside the airlock and finished what your father started in the way of Project Purity. You already decided not to put in President Eden’s virus, but the choice has come. One of you will die. What I didn’t understand is why? Fawkes, your Super Mutant cohort, is mostly impervious to radiation. Why in the world could you not send him in? It never made a lick of sense to me, so I did the noble thing and died. You win, but at the same time the game is over. You never get to see the fruit of your labour of love.
Broken Steel changes everything, and they are good changes. I chose to send Fawkes in, and he lived and the game continued. Now then I am uncertain what would’ve happened if I would have gone in myself, but I will assume that however you do it you will miraculosly live, and be able to enjoy the rest of the rest of the game. As I went through the main quest quickly, the ability to continue on appealed to me greatly. Although it isn’t something that I should have had to pay for.
Saving the post-apocalyptic D.C. is one thing, but when you awaken inside the Citadel you are informed by Elder Lyons that there are multiple things to take care of before the battle is truly won. You begin your new mission as a fully recognized member of the Brotherhood of Steel. No matter your morality level, this is your new title. After recieving these new orders you come to find that they actually awarded you experience points to finish the game in the form of enough to level up one more time.
Those of you who were at level twenty will be pleased to find the cap has been raised, new perks added, and there are more skill points to assign. Getting to the new cap will take even veteran players quite some time to complete, and a lot of quests to complete.
Some of the new weapons include the Heavy Incinerator, and the Tesla Cannon. The Tesla cannon has quite story background, so as to not give anything away let me tell you that it’s awesome fun to shoot at people, and watch them die in slow motion over and over and over and over. Protecting the Brotherhood of Steel’s interests becomes much more difficult after your first new mission, so the new addition is appreciated. Oh, and the final map? Use that Heavy Incinerator and strip an Enclave of his Hellfire armour, trust me.
Broken Steel may not take you outside of Washington D.C., but it does add a little bit too it. New underground facilities to explore, along with Adam’s Airforce Base and the Presidental Metro. Although I cannot confirm this, some of your enemies may change slightly in the new content, becoming a bit more difficult and intimidating as you delve deeper into their domain.
You really should not have had to pay for Broken Steel. It should’ve been included on the original release, but it’s so worth it. The slight changes due to fresh water, a few other little secrets here and there that I do not want to spoil, new missions, new level cap; is all worth it. The Wasteland is now almost perfect to play through, and I am sucked in yet again to a world I have grown to love.
Steven Kelso gives Broken Steel a 9.0/10.
Chris Carter (PS3):
When Fallout 3s original end credits were complete, I was filled with disappointment. Not only did the game cap at an alarmingly low level (20) in comparison to Bethesda’s previous offerings, but to make matters worse, you couldn’t actually continue on with your final choice, and were given a half-hearted conclusion montage (but I never even met the dog!).
Well Fallout fans, your time has finally come, and now, your choice actually means something. I personally saw no other option: there’s no way I was risking my hide, even if I knew full well Broken Steel’s continuation was going to save me. I’m too important! Naturally, my selfish actions paid the price, and Elder Lyons was not happy. That’s just one of the handful of overarching choices you can make that will effect your post-game world.
The new abilities that are offered are all as interesting as the max level perks from the original game. For instance, the Nuka Cola conversion perk can change regular colas into the superior quantum drink (especially useful for the collector quest!), and one perk can even change you into a volatile, walking nuke! You also get the obvious choice of taking all of the previous perks you missed, as well as extra precious skill points.
Probably the most surprising element of Broken Steel was the fact that everything is so seamlessly integrated: Three Dog picks up his radio broadcast without skipping a beat, and everything that unfolds past the original ending is fully explained. So what else is there to do after you and Liam Neeson save the day? Hunt down and slaughter the people who tried to stop you, of course!
And hunt them you will: in fact, the entire three to four hour story section consists entirely of raids on enemy Enclave hideouts. The Brotherhood is relentless in their pursuit of the Enclave, and you’re there every step of the way. From the march of Liberty Prime redux, to a difficult quest to procure a tesla cannon weapon, destruction is at every turn, and I actually found something in the final mission that I felt was relatively absent from the main game: challenge.
With Colonel Autumn out of the picture, the Enclave are a scattered and leaderless force, but that doesn’t prevent them from being formidable foes. An entire army of new and improved elite Enclave enemies stand between you and your goal, and they’re no pushovers. In addition to the Enclave, you’ll also face a score of the hardest wild enemy in the game: Deathclaws, which are a ton of fun to fight.
Overall, I was satisfied with the main mission pack itself. It was easy enough to figure out where to go, and it thrusted you right into the action. The final area also presented you with a unique choice that carries over into the post-post game, which was an excellent touch.
But after the main story is said and done, the fun doesn’t stop there! Broken Steel adds a whole host of extra quests even after completion of the new story arch. Although some are more fun than others, honestly, with the increased level cap and the ability to play after the ending, it really didn’t need it. You’ll also get some coveted Martian Ray Gun ammo, which hardcore fans will definitely appreciate.
Simply put, if you own Fallout 3 and have access to the online marketplace, you need Broken Steel. For all you Fallout DLC hungry PS3 owners who are planning on getting the rest of the packs, Bethesda kicked it off right by raising the level cap right off the bat. Whether you actually do end up getting all the DLC, or can only choose one, just make sure you get Broken Steel.
Chris Carter gives Broken Steel a 10/10.