Fallout 3: Broken Steel
is set two weeks after the ending of the original game. Our hero awakens back at the citadel, having been in a coma for two weeks. Elder Lyons quickly brings us up to speed and informs us that, while the Enclave has been badly damaged, small pockets of resistance still remain and it is his hope that we will help the Brotherhood of Steel rid the Capitol Wasteland of these last remnants. Should the player choose to do nothing more than follow the newly introduced quest thread, gameplay is extended by a mere 5-7 hours, depending on the equipment and development of the character being played. This timeframe is in line with the two previously released downloadable content expansions, Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage
and Fallout 3: The Pitt
. Much like these two DLCs, players will come across some nifty new armor and weapons while questing.
Unlike the two previous DLCs, Fallout 3: Broken Steel offers much, much more for the player. The most obvious benefit is the ability to continue adventuring beyond the first ending. However, for players like myself who had avoided finishing the main story (because I was not ready for the game to end), there are other immediate benefits. The biggest, in my opinion, is the raising of the level cap to 30. This, along with the addition of about 20 new perks to choose from (many of them more "fun" than "function"), comes in to play right away, as players can continue to develop their character and explore some of the possibilities down paths not taken when choosing perks during the first 20 levels. You will need these extra levels and perks, as there are new, more powerful adversaries introduced to the menagerie of creatures already in residence. As Fallout 3: Broken Steel is a true expansion and not just an extra set of quests added to the gameplay, new creatures and locations have been added to the existing map, so some areas that may have been previously explored might just have new tenants when revisited.