Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: May 5, 2009
On May 5, Bethesda will release Broken Steel, the newest DLC content pack for Fallout 3, and during a press event held in London, the new content was demoed for us. The new content mainly takes place in the Capital Wasteland, the original landmass of the game, but it adds one new area in the form of Adams Air Force Base, which serves as a heavily fortified Enclave base, and some exploration of the Presidential Metro system, which is an underground rail line found beneath what used to be the White House.
More importantly is that Broken Steel expands upon Fallout 3 by raising the level cap from 20 to 30 and removing the solid end point of the game. Now, through a choice you have to make right before the end, your character lives on despite getting knocked unconscious. Two weeks later, when your character awakens, the Wasteland is a changed place, with old and new foes alike still fighting against one another among the rubble of civilization.
The Brotherhood of Steel is at the Enclave's throat by the time you wake up, and they want you to recover for them the parts needed to create a new weapon to finish the job. The new Tesla Cannon that eventually exists because of these requests is a massive weapon, capable of devastating a single target with a massive blast of electricity but it is limited to a single-shot clip and a slow reload time. Another new weapon is the Hellfire Flamethrower, which launches small flaming projectiles in an arc toward your target.
The Wasteland has changed in other area as well, such as in how Project Purity has gotten up and running and has begun shipping barrels of pure, radiation-free water across the land. However, these water caravans are getting attacked, lending itself to some side-mission content in addition to the main quest of the expansion. New enemies, such as the Feral Ghoul Reaver, which is a dangerous grenade-throwing enemy, impede your progress by counterbalancing the new weapons and armor that you can find in the expansion.
The increased level cap also lends itself to some new perks. The "Puppies" perk makes it so your Dogmeat companion will now automatically become reborn and able to be found once more where you find him initially. If your character has already had Dogmeat go under for him or her, selecting this perk will pick him back up and dust him off for you. New Achievements are going to be in the expansion as well, though none in particular were discussed during our demo.
While we didn't get any hands-on time with Broken Steel, it is clear that the direction it is taking the stock game is one that addresses some of the concerns held by its fans. There is no ending anymore, neither at the reactor nor at the end of the main quest of the expansion, so players will continue to be able to explore after the main content is completed. The new content adds to the original content in quite a few places, and it should be interesting to head back into the Capital Wasteland once Broken Steel drops on May 5 for 800 Microsoft points.
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