Nothing Broken Here
by Michael Cooper
Game Review: Fallout 3 DLC: Broken Steel
Release: May 5, 2009
Genre: RPG / Shooter
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Players: 1 (Single)
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Website: Bethesda Softworks
Higher Level Cap? Check. New Story? Check. New Enemies, Weapons, Armor and Places to Explore? Check, check and check. Yep, Broken Steel is just what you would expect from a downloadable content package for what was arguably last years best game.
Broken Steel has mostly been touted for its level cap increase, harder difficulty in the form of new enemies and challenges, and a new, improved ending.
I don’t want to spoil the original ending, but needless to say it was mostly lackluster, and Broken Steel does an honorable job of trying to fix it. While the transition is a bit shaky, the rest of Broken Steel flows almost flawlessly, with quite a few surprises awaiting the player throughout the 4 to 5 hour adventure. In addition to this, there also is a few assorted side quests (sans Achievements) that will extend the playing time a couple more hours if you chose to do them.
Enough about the story though, how about that new level cap? Just trekking through the new main quest will only nab you about 4 levels, which should give you an indication of how much harder it is to level up now. I am a huge fan of this, as it gives me another reason to head back out into the wasteland to explore and find quests I may have missed throughout the original playthrough.
The new weapons are all hard hitters, and it is difficult to put down the Heavy Incinerator or the Tri-Beam Laser Rifle after acquiring them. And while they might be formidable in your hands, they are even deadlier when wielded by one of the many assorted new enemies. Seeing one of the new Mutant Overlords always had me running for cover and saving.
There are only a few minor issues that I had with Broken Steel. My biggest gripe was with the new perks. While they are plentiful, they lack the creativity that many of the originals had. This does not mean there are not still a few winners, there just are not enough of them.
Sadly, as with anything related to Fallout 3 it has become expected for there to be quite a few game hindering bugs, and unfortunately Broken Steel is no different. It had a very rocky release on Games for Windows Live, and an achievement issue over on the Xbox 360 side of things. Both of these issues have been cleared up so you can download without fear.
Lastly, I was not a huge fan of the new ending. While the original might have been too decisive, the new ending almost seems too wide open. This might mean more downloadable content in the future, however, which is assuredly not a bad thing.
Final Verdict: Wait, you aren’t downloading this yet? What are you waiting for!? This is the definitive DLC for Fallout 3, and if you own this game on the Xbox 360 or PC you owe it to yourself to get Broken Steel.