The one DLC that was announced for Fallout 3 that I was looking forward to the most is finally here. Broken Steel continues the story of Fallout 3 and does so allowing your character to continue on in the Capital Wasteland even if your decision in the original game didn't allow you to initially. Bethesda's third DLC does some good things that should please Fallout 3 fans and ups the ante on the difficulty.
At the end of Fallout 3 you are given a few options on how you want to end the game. Broken Steel also adds a new option on having your companion, if one is with you, accomplish the end task. Afterwards you'll see the ending that's the same if you didn't download the DLC although it seems there are a few new screens added if you choose to send your companion in the final room. The game will then continue on if you installed Broken Steel. Broken Steel takes place two weeks after the end of Fallout 3. You wake up in the Citadel of the Brotherhood of Steel. The Enclave are scattered and the Brotherhood are trying to clean them up. Any companion you had will be by your side when you wake up and you're tasked with a few missions from the Brotherhood to go after the Enclave. The awesome robot, Liberty Prime, makes an appearance as well and it's nice to see one of the coolest parts of the initial game be in the DLC. As usual, I'm going against spoiling the DLC so I'm going to be as vague as possible again but like most things, nothing works as planned and you're tasked to make things right.
The DLC adds three new main quests and a few side quests offering up about another three to five hours of content. I was able to get through the main quests in a little over four hours or so so by that account, the size is a little more than the Pitt. All the main missions are pretty straight forward and they are a little combat heavy. I would say the combat in Broken Steel is better staged than that of Operation Anchorage which was all about combat. The three missions offer up some new areas that are interesting to visit. The missions weren't terribly difficult to figure out and some have more than one ways to get past certain obstacles so it's nice to have the choices again on how you want to accomplish certain tasks.
New content isn't just restricted to new quests however. There's also some new audio added in to coincide with the events that have happened since the end of the original game. For example if you listen to Galaxy Radio, you'll hear some new dialogue from Three Dog. Citizens that you encounter might also speak something different as well. The new audio adds to the changing world and offers up some nice change in accordance to the events leading up to Broken Steel.
What Broken Steel does do that makes the DLC more difficult in both the new areas as well as old is add some pretty tough new creatures. The feral ghoul reavers are like ghouls but wear metal armor and they can throw radioactive pieces of themselves at you. While the regular ghouls rarely gave me trouble with my high level character, the feral ghoul reavers are tough son of a bitches that take a good deal to bring down. In fact, I think they gave me more trouble than Deathclaws at certain points. They are kind of freaky when they go into these quick convulsions and it seems that gunfire sometimes just go through them when they are in this state. While I rarely ever felt in trouble in the main game with my character, there were times I was a little concerned when the feral ghoul reavers were ganging up on me.
There's also a good amount of Deathclaws in the some of the missions now so if you didn't get enough of them before just wait until you get into the last new main quest. You are offered a chance to control the Enclave controlled Deathclaws if you pick up a device from one of the Scribes in the Citadel. With the passive device, any Deathclaw that's radio controlled by the Enclave will switch to your side. You can't outright control them but they will follow you and attack anyone that's hostile towards you. Now you can't take them without you too far from the original radio source as they will die when they get out of range from the Enclave signal but it is rather fun to see these monsters go nuts on the Enclave officers and scientists rather than you or your companion. Having Fawkes and a Deathclaw on my side was pretty exhilarating as I watched the two just demolish some Enclave soldiers. You can't get all the Deathclaws on your side though so the free roaming ones will still come after you even if you have device on you. Whether you are fighting them or using one as your protector, Deathclaws are prominent in the latter half of the DLC and they can be both great allies or formidable foes.
Since you are fighting the Enclave a lot in the DLC, you'll see some new variants of Enclave soldiers that will oppose you. The Enclave Hellfire Soldiers wear new power armor that is more fire resistant. A lot of them will carry some sort of flame based weapon. They do seem a little tougher than the Enclave encountered in Fallout 3 as well. The Hellfire versions of the Enclave shouldn't give you too much more trouble though if you could deal with them in the main game.
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