90War never changes.

However, according to its most recently released downloadable content, Fallout 3’s ending does.

Bethesda Softworks, creators of the most recent installment of the Fallout series, has released the final of three Fallout 3 DLCs to be released this year.‚  This DLC, named Broken Steel, was highly anticipated due to the exclusive quests, items and, of course, the raised level-cap which will allow characters to go to all the way to level 30, significantly higher than the traditional 20.

Action Role-Playing
Bethesda Softworks
May 5, 2009

However, will Broken Steel live up to the hype that surrounds it?‚  Or will Bethesda once again fall into their bad habit of releasing borked DLCs?‚  Let’s take a look.

Broken Steel takes place after the main quest is completed.‚  Though the Lone Wanderer actually dies at the end of the main quest, Broken Steel allows the Brotherhood to conveniently revive you.‚  This allows you to complete all of the Broken Steel and incomplete traditional quests without having to deal with that whole “being dead” thing.

The story starts with the Lone Wanderer waking up after being unconscious for two weeks.‚  Elder Lyons, the leader of the Brotherhood, greets you when you wake.‚  He informs you that the Enclave, though significantly weakened, is still running rampant throughout the Wasteland.‚  According to Lyons, it is up to you to finish what the Brotherhood of Steel has started.

Your first quest, called Death From Above, involves the Lone Wanderer to travel with a small Brotherhood taskforce in order to destroy a small Enclave outpost.‚  Armed with powerful weapons and Liberty Prime, the giant Communist-crushing pacification robot that many players will remember from the quest Take It Back!, you and your team must suppress the Enclave soldiers and retrieve intel regarding their communication methods.

Unfortunately, the mission ends up being a bit of a failure.‚  The Enclave turn out to be a little tougher than you and your team anticipates, as your rivals have gotten their hands on some heavy-duty missile technology.‚  Your company is almost completely wiped out and Liberty Prime is damaged beyond repair, setting the Brotherhood back “years!”‚  From this point on, it is your job to do some very intense reconnaissance missions for the Brotherhood.

Broken Steel offers a ton of new weapons to the Lone Wanderer, though most of them are of the “heavy” variety.‚  Items such as the Heavy Incinerator and the Slo-Burn Flamer are sure to whet the appetite of any character who likes a slow kill.‚  Likewise, the (very) cool Tesla Cannon is sure to satisfy those who are looking to quickly annihilate their opposition.‚  The DLC offers some very good armor as well.‚  Tired of those pesky fire-based attacks from the enemy?‚  Then try Enclave Hellfire Armor on for size.‚  Looking for something special to wear for a night with Nova?‚  Then let the All-Nighter Nightwear set the mood.

There is no lack of new enemies in Broken Steel, either.‚  Keep an eye out for some nasty creatures such as the Albino Radscorpion, the Feral Ghoul Reaver and the Super Mutant Overlord.‚  Each of these critters are significantly tougher than their traditional counterparts (for example, the Albino Radscorpion has three times as much health as a Deathclaw).‚  The Enclave has improved their infantry, too.‚  The Lone Wanderer will surely encounter the Hellfire Trooper and Sigma Leader, which will give every user more trouble than they bargained for.‚  Each of these enemies provides a challenge that is unmatched in the other DLC’s, making Broken Steel very satisfying in that aspect.

However, the best part about Broken Steel is the fact that it wasn’t broken (well, for Xbox 360 users at least).‚  For those who haven’t heard, Bethesda has had some issues regarding the bugginess of their DLC releases.‚  Their DLC’s, most notably the first and second release of The Pitt, have been frustratingly glitchy.‚  There have also been horror stories of players had their 100-hour campaign file corrupted by these DLC’s.‚  Luckily, Broken Steel has been perfect for Xbox 360, which is very refreshing.

The only real problem with Broken Steel was its difficulty.‚  I can’t imagine many beginning players who could beat the majority of this DLC without dying an obscene amount of times.‚  Pro-tip: use the expanded level-cap to your advantage.‚  Try not to beat the traditional main quest until you are at least level 16.‚  Otherwise, you will probably just be in for a world of frustration.

That said, Broken Steel was probably my favorite of the three released DLCs for Fallout 3.‚  None of the other releases even came close to the depth and intensity of Broken Steel’s quests.‚  Also, Broken Steel had many more interesting weapons and armor than its sister DLCs.‚  Along with the extended level-cap and bug-free functionality, Broken Steel is far and beyond the best $10 investment a Fallout 3 player can make.

About The Author

Chase Gharrity is a Blast Games correspondent.

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