7 July 2011 | bob the moo
A bit too much FPS compared to the main game, but still a welcome extension to this life-killer of a game
When Fallout 3 came out I pretty much only playing Call of Duty games, what with them being the only reason I had picked gaming up after 5+ years. I didn't know at the time that I was missing out on many great games and indeed I didn't even know about Fallout when it happened – it took me three years to get to it. Get to it I did and it quickly took a load of my time as I found myself constantly heading towards one place/story only to be distracted and led off for hours in a whole different direction, physically and narratively. The upside of me not getting this game for years is that all the DLC is ready for me when I am.
Broken Steel was the first I downloaded since it continued the story in the same world (the others seem to be in a different time or place) so it appealed to me most. The story changes the original (terrible) ending and allows the player to continue to free-roam (if there are still areas to explore) but also step-up the fight against the Enclave. What this means in terms of game play is that it is much more of a shooter than the main game. You are exploring new areas of course, but by this point you are probably pretty powerful and have plenty of guns, ammo, armour and money so it shouldn't be that hard. The enemies are so levelled up to reflected this, but ultimately Fallout 3 was not a great shooter – it had decent enough FPS qualities to carry it but it was never going to compete with COD etc.
I'm not sure how it was received by those returning to the wilderness for the DLC but for me the total game carried this chapter a little because I still had places to explore while I was doing the action-heavy side of Broken Steel. I enjoyed it as such, but not sure how I would have liked it as totally standalone. The story is solid and the side-quests (what there are) are fun but the best thing was to extend the level cap to 30 since this added a lot of time – again though, I was glad to be already in the 20's when I was still exploring the original wilderness and completing quests from there.
The same problems exist as with the main game – so for example we still only have a handful of actors doing the same voice for loads and loads of supporting characters, which I found annoying and contrary to the success of the game. Otherwise though, this DLC represents a good additional 6 or 7 hours to the game which is welcome because the game is great. Of course for the majority of people, having an extra 7 hours of story will not compare to the 80-100 hours spent in the main world, story and exploring, but with the level cap extension and other additions it is well worth throwing this on the end of your game.