All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Fallout 3: Broken Steel
Score: 90%
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/Adventure/RPG

Graphics & Sound:

The creators of Fallout 3 over at Bethesda Softworks have released some downloadable content in the form of the Broken Steel DLC. Once again, the graphics of this pack remain with the same desolate and neutral-toned environment as the original game, which is a great thing. Where Operation Anchorage (another DLC) changed up the visuals a bit in the simulator, Broken Steel continues the storyline of the one who emerged from Vault 101. As such, don't expect any drastic changes to the visuals.

The audio is in a similar state, as the environmental ambiences, enemy proclamations, and weapon discharging sounds all are pleasing to the ear and professionally done. The dialogue is also great and doesn't miss a beat while continuing the original's storyline. There is one problem, however, in that there were a fair number of noticeable differences between the spoken word and the subtitles at times, but the gist of the message was the same.

With that said, there are a few newcomers to the scene, so you'll be able to at least enjoy the new audio and visual elements that they bring to the world of Fallout 3.


The newest Fallout 3 DLC picks up exactly where the main storyline ends. [SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE NOT DONE WITH THE MAIN STORYLINE YET] After installing Broken Steel, and assuming you've already beaten the game, you find yourself revived from what appeared to be your death after two weeks of apparently being unresponsive while being cared for by the folks at the Citadel. From here, your new adventure truly begins. [END SPOILER]

While you don't technically have to have beaten the game for the Broken Steel DLC to load, getting to the storyline of the DLC cannot be attained until completing the main mission. Until then, you will at least be treated to the ability to now level-up to 30 instead of the original maximum of 20. With that, Broken Steel brings some new level perks that range from ho-hum fillers to outstanding lifesavers, like the perk that fills your Action Points faster. As far as the timeframe goes to completing the DLC, some reports I've read mention approximately five hours for the main quests, but my estimates bring that total closer to ten if you aren't in any hurry to get through each of the three... although some of that time may have been fulfilling smaller side quests as well.

Like the Operation Anchorage DLC, Broken Steel involves a lot of action and a lot of enemies to fight, making it a very entertaining and worthy download. Unlike the previous DLC however, this is no simulation, which gives it even more value in my mind, adding a much needed injection of life to continue the story started by Fallout 3.

In Broken Steel, you are essentially on missions set forth by the Paladin and the Brotherhood of Steel to remove, once and for all, the Enclave from Capital Wasteland. There are a handful of new enemies and creatures to fight thanks to this DLC, and some of them are downright tough little bastards. However, with the right techniques, and a lot of Stimpacks, you'll be able to mow through them in no time. There were even a couple of moments of surprise that snuck up on me, which shows that the game still can draw the player in.

The quests, both main and side, are fairly well thought out and interesting as well. While some of the side quests are quite basic in nature, the main quests do feel fulfilling and allow the player to gain a variety of new weapons and items. The weapons are actually quite cool, in fact, ranging from simple guns to lasers, high-powered weaponry, and flame-based weapons like the heavy incinerator... which is cool no matter which end of it you are on.


Believe it or not, the Broken Steel DLC actually kept me on my toes for a good share of the action. It wasn't so much that the enemies were all that difficult to take down by themselves, but more that there was difficulty in numbers. Having more than one Deathclaw attacking you, for example, proved to be a bit of a nightmare... but at the same time, when you befriend the Deathclaws, they can help make taking out the Enclave soldiers a breeze.

In the same way that the Deathclaws were more difficult to take down, there was also a horde of uber-ghouls that, for the life of me, tore me a new one. Using tactical advantages, I was able to take them out as well, but when faced with two or three at a time, I went through some serious Stimpacks to stay alive.

The main enemy throughout the Broken Steel DLC was with the Enclave, however. There were times when numerous soldiers would attack, but in general they were easy to defeat. The different soldier types - some with plasma pistols, plasma rifles, Gatling guns, and even incinerators - made the experience fun as well.

Game Mechanics:

Since Broken Steel uses the same controls and Menu sets as that of Fallout 3, there shouldn't be much to report here, right? Wrong. I don't know if it was by design or a flaw, but throughout much of each mission it was impossible to drop anything from your inventory! Because of this, it took VERY careful planning of what to pick up and what to leave behind so as not to be over encumbered at an inopportune moment (it happened once, and I had to restart from my last save!). This was quite annoying as it didn't allow for as much exploration as I would have liked, due to the fact that I was nearly full in my weight from the start and didn't want to drop anything in my inventory anyway. I do tend to think this was an unintentional bug, however, because along the same lines, the PIP-Boy's interface was also messed up at times.

I have been playing Fallout 3 with an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller since the beginning, and since the beginning, the interface has accounted for that. For example, in the PIP-Boy, it would always list the Controller's functions (LT, RT, X, Y, A, B, etc) instead of the keyboard's. However, during the times when I could not drop items, the keyboard's functions would be listed (but only partially - i.e. no drop), as in "R" for Repair... yet my controller functions still existed. In other words, if the keyboard equivalent was on the screen, I could still use the controller... but if it wasn't on the screen at all, neither the controller nor keyboard would function as it should.

Now that I got that annoyance off my chest... here comes the biggie: after installing the Broken Steel DLC, the game crashes every time I try to exit on my test system. The screen actually freezes up and never goes away (stays in full screen), so the workaround is to use the good old CTRL-ALT-DEL to force-quit the application in the Windows Task Manager. While this is very sloppy, the good news is that it doesn't affect your saved games in any way, so the game and the DLC still have their integrity intact.

Overall, Broken Steel is a great addition to the Fallout 3 universe. While there are some annoyances and problems, the overall gameplay was outstanding. The fact that you can continue your game past level 20 and are able to extend your character's life is a great bonus for those who have already completed the game. For those who have not yet fought their final battle, the DLC blends seamlessly into the storyline and, even though you won't get to the content until after completing the main game, you'll be able to work toward the extra level-ups and perks that Broken Steel adds. Broken Steel is like a shot of Stimpack because it extends the life of Fallout 3 for another ten levels of play.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele
Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista; 2.4GHz Processor; 1 GB RAM; 6 GB Free Hard Drive Space; NVIDIA GeForce 6800 / ATI x850 minimum; ENHANCED FOR MULTI-CORE
  Test System:

Dell Vostro 1700 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7100; Dual 1.8 GHz Processors; 2 GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT; Xbox 360 Wireless Controller with PC USB Wireless Receiver

Microsoft Xbox 360 Fallout 3: Broken Steel Windows X3: Terran Conflict 2.0 - The Aldrin Missions

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated