Broken Steel, Fallout 3’s most anticipated DLC, has finally been released on XBL for 800 MS Points ($10). Lifting the level cap from 20 to 30, adding new perks, a bunch of new achievements, playing beyond the game’s abrupt ending, and adding a few new missions, this is the one DLC that you will want to buy.
This DLC starts immediately after the Fallout 3 ending. All the fans that were upset at the game’s ending will be more that happy to know that there is much more gaming to be had. Instead of listening to Ron Pearlman’s ending narrative and watching the credits screen, the player now listens to Ron Pearlman’s ending narrative that transitions into a cutscene at the Brotherhood Citadel. This DLC removes the true ending of the game and allows for several new missions to be completed in the Capital Wasteland.
After waking up the Citadel, it is determined that Project Purity was a success and fresh clean water is now flowing through the wasteland. However, distributing this fresh clean water is another problem and the Enclave are still causing problems. Because calling Mario is not an option, the player is left to figure out plumbing solutions and must silence the Enclave once and for all.
Unlike The Pitt or Operation Anchorage, all the extra missions will take place in the Capital Wasteland. However, there are some cool events that take place, including the return (and demise) of Liberty Prime and a battle at a large air force base. All the new missions are definitely exciting and offer something a little faster paced than the disc based content.
All in all, the main extra missions will take somewhere between 7-10 hours to complete, quite longer than the previous DLC. Each of the three new mission based achievements will be unlocked naturally if you progress through the main extra missions. Keeping things fresh, the player will encounter new and stronger enemies as well as new weaponry. The Tesla Cannon, which mimics the gun that Fortune used in Metal Gear Solid 2, is probably the most powerful gun in the entire game. Capable of taking out vertibirds (Fallout’s helicopters) and just about every enemy in one shot, this is one gun that can help you reach that new level 30 level cap a little easier.
For many downloaders, lifting the level cap from 20 to 30 is enough to warrant a purchase of this DLC. New perks included, reaching level 30 will definitely take some time and should be enough of an incentive to keep playing Fallout 3. This makes going back and completing any missions you might have missed more worthwhile. My only gripe is, I wish this DLC was released before Operation Anchorage and The Pitt simply because I could have been working towards reaching the new level cap by playing those experience point heavy missions. And for true enthusiasts, there are 3 new Achievements directly associated with reaching level 30: one with good karma, one with bad karma, and one with neutral karma. Yes, this means you will have to play through the game three times to unlock all these achievements, but thanks to Fallout’s open world sandbox style of gameplay, completing the game as the good guy will play entirely different if you play using the dark side of the force.
Besides wishing this DLC was released first, one can bring up the argument that this extra content should have been included on the disc or offered as a free download. To some, it might be insulting to charge to lift the level cap when it feels like such a natural part of the game. However, it was recently reported that Bethesda will be releasing all DLC to the PS3 as well (360 will no longer remain exclusive). Beside the three expansions that are available on XBL now, two more DLC missions have also been announced: one takes place in a swampy march while the other will have the player fighting aliens (did you find the secret alien pistol from the downed spaceship?). All five of these missions will also be available to PS3 owners sometime in the near future. But if you have yet to play Fallout 3, you might want to wait for the Game Of The Year Edition as it will include all downloadable content on one disc for one price.
If you have been holding out on purchasing DLC for Fallout 3, now is the time to plunk down some cash with Broken Steel. Lifting the level cap is reason alone to purchase this DLC, but the extra missions, new Achievements, and new weapons make venturing through the wasteland a pleasure even after the game is completed. It is worth the $10 price tag, but again, new Fallout players might want to wait for the Game of Year Edition.