…if Fallout 3 had one more big bang left after the ending, with some general game improvements tacked on for good measure. Broken Steel marks the third DLC for Bethesda’s monster RPG, bringing a similar amount of additional content to the party for all you Fallout junkies who still can’t get enough of the Capitol Wasteland. In addition to the obligatory extra area and quest line, Broken Steel adds a bunch of new weapons, new enemies, and new perks to the game as well as giving your characters ten more levels to grow on by raising the level cap from 20 to 30.
Bethesda had to tweak the ending to make the new quest line work, which is a continuation of the main plot this time around rather than a new standalone area as in Op. Anchorage and The Pitt. After you do what you do at the place with the stuff (just say no to spoilers) you get your ending as usual, but now the game continues in a not totally preposterous way, allowing you to roam the wastes some more and of course take on the new bits of story Broken Steel offers. The plot, which is all about taking out The Enclave once and for all, is serviceable and entertaining, particularly if blasting fools in power armor makes your day. Of course simply being able to complete the main story and keep playing is in and of itself a nice feature, and the long overdue raise to the level cap should thrill any serious Fallout fan.
What Doesn’t Work
So far the Fallout DLC has done pretty well at showering us with goodies for our monetary donations, but Broken Steel comes up a little short on that score. The handful of new weapons are decent, but the new enemies are basically just huge amounts of hit points on legs and aren’t exactly super fun to fight. Adding new perks was an incredible opportunity to spice up character building, but instead the fresh offerings are total duds. They all require a level above 20 to access, and more than half of them are karma, attribute, or radiation related. Snoozers. Only a couple are actually interesting and/or truly useful, and that just ain’t good enough for a creative bunch like Bethesda.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that Broken Steel is more Fallout 3, and if you’re a fan that can’t possibly be a bad thing. Like with the other DLC, the story will probably only take you a few hours to go through and then you’re left with the goodies. The weapons are decent, the enemies mostly annoying, and the perks borderline useless, but…jacking the level cap up to 30 is a godsend, making Broken Steel and absolute must buy for any dedicated wasteland wanderer. For those less hard core, your mileage may vary.