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This add on pack is the second release after the operation anchorage + the pitt DLC. For those of you interested in the previous DLC or fallout 3 itself please refer to my other reviews.
Broken steel is easily one of the best add on pack to the fallout 3 game. Firstly it increases the level cap from 20 to 30 which gives many people motivation to carry playing because face it, most people reach the cap about 70% in the main game. Additional perks, weapons, enemies are also a welcome addition to the game. Whats different about this DLC is that it actually extends the main story whereas the other DLCs are more like massive side quests. So once your done with the main story this kicks in as you find out what happens after fallout 3.
Point lookout has you going to a far away marshland like place initially to rescue someone. Soon you are deep in trouble with new enemies and warring tribes. Point lookout is probably not as good as broken steel but its considerably massive and has numerous side quests. It can easily be thought of as the biggest dlc of the 5 with you spending upwards of 10 hours to clock it at 100% whereas the others roughly are in the 3 -7 hour range.
Compared to the previous pack this one is far better and would give you much better value for your money. However for best value for money go for the fallout 3 game of the year which includes all dlcs with the original fallout 3
"Fallout 3: Broken Steel" is the main expansion pack to critically acclaimed Post-apocalyptic first person shooter Game Of The Year, Fallout 3. At least at present, Broken Steel is not available for commercial purchase alone, unless you pay 800 Microsoft Points for the download, otherwise you need to buy it alongside a different and far superior expansion - Point Lookout. This is a total nightmare for people who bought Point Lookout first, and a parallel can now be drawn here because I REVIEWED Point Lookout on this site, before having to suggest this awkward and difficult pairing of add-on packs, and subsequently need to put in this explanation! To save me prattling on too much, here is my review of Fallout 3: Point Lookout;
The two are not paired well and bear no relation to each other, arguably it is cheaper to buy them together, but Broken Steel is scarcely worth buying, especially for PC.
The expansion is a direct continuation of the game's main story, that is, the protaganist's relationship with the Brotherhood of Steel, fighting against an oppressive fascist Enclave. It only becomes accessible after playing through the main story, so it stands to reason that the new missions and quests are aimed at higher-level characters. It picks up exactly where Fallout 3 left off ... But wait, didn't Fallout 3 have alternative endings? Better to say that it CHANGES where Fallout 3 left off, so that important end decision of the original is rendered utterly non-canon. The player wakes up 2 weeks later, and all of the previously irradiated water supplies in the Washington DC area has been purified.
The player then continues his or her tedious back-and-forth quests with The Brotherhood of Steel, at one point going through an abandoned Presidential Metro all to help out the irritating, all too well-defined good guys, the main quest finally culminating in a visit to an Enclave-controlled Airforce base, where the player will fight through huge hangars, complexes and airfields, with some admittedly nicely placed cover-spots and potential to do some real damage. The new scenery is really nothing flash, and there are only a handful of new enemies and weaponry which look cool, but are pretty poorly balanced. The new Feral Ghoul Roamers, for example are the toughest enemy in the game, despite looking like one of the weakest. Uncharacteristically strong, they are so tough that they are little more than an unrealistic annoyance to dispatch, despite being well-rendered and well-designed in terms of graphics.
Once Broken Steel is installed, the new enemies will be all over the map. You'll also find a few new and powerful guns scattered around the game, a fan favourite being a long-ranged incinerator flamethrower, toted by the new grim-looking (if a bit Star-Wars-ish) Enclave Hellfire Troopers.
There are also one or two fairly original side-quests, one of which involving smuggling in Rivet City, the other pertaining to a new Atomic Doomsday Cult outside of Megaton. There are also a few decent but not particularly impressive perks, but about the best thing the game does is raise the levelling-up cap from 20 to 30, something which a lot of gamers had a problem with in the original. This upgrade is however, availabe as a free and easy to install patch from Bethesda's website. This limits the PC version of the expansion in terms of value, something which is particularly low anyway, since despite being set two weeks further
into the future, and with dramatically different circumstances, everyone in The Capital Wasteland acts exactly the same. Without giving too much away, the player has to make one BIG choice at the end of Broken Steel. This is all unimportant though, as finishing the full story does not end the game (bringing about the usual cool and sombre cutscene) but instead the game just continues, and the player's final heart-rending decision has a deceptively low impact on the whole Fallout Universe. As if the lack of much new content, character, non-linearity and new graphical appeal we've come to expect, weren't bad enough, Broken Steel is unfathomably buggier than any of the other expansions, constantly crashing, the new boring NPCs talking nonsense, quests not registering, you name it.
Overall it's only worth playing if you either adore Fallout 3 with all your heart, or just love the main story and feel the need new for content. If you're going to go with a Fallout 3 expansion though, the best by a long shot is undoubtedly Point Lookout. (see review) Avoid this rushed, short-lived, buggy, overpriced, half-finished limp bit of nonsense. Spend your money or Microsoft points on something else.
Thanks for taking to time to read this review.