|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Bethesda Softworks||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 5, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The new perks to pick up offer a little something for everyone. The bulk of them revolve around ramping up stats, but there are a few of particular interest. Chief among them, you'll have the opportunity to regain a K-9 companion if Dog Meat kicks the can, you can gain access to the ability to create all available custom weapons regardless of whether you possess the schematics, and you can pick a perk that immolates those surrounding you in a nuclear blast when you're hit points get too low. Perhaps even more interesting are several perks that let you drastically shift your alignment to good, evil, or neutral, affording you the chance to experience the game in a different way.
As with past DLC releases, Broken Steel gives you the freedom to follow the goody-goody path or embark into more morally ambiguous territory. One such opportunity comes towards the end of the new mission content, and it's a biggie. The weight of the decision you're presented with is quite potent, since it can have a serious impact on aspects of the game world based on your choices. Whatever you decide to do or not do, you'll have to be prepared to live with the consequences in the aftermath - two words: orbital strike. Hell yes!
Length-wise, the actual ground covered in Broken Steel feels substantially larger in scope than in the past two expansion installments, even if it covers terrain that's not much different than the main game. The overall amount of time you'll spend playing the new main quests through to completion is comparable in duration. A handful of optional side-quests are thrown in for good measure and extend the new content by an hour or two. Helping out the Brotherhood of Steel take down the Enclave is an enjoyable project. However, the best part is afterwards you can continue to do what you please in the game.
For a few obvious reasons, Broken Steel is a must-have for serious Fallout 3 players. This doesn't mean it's perfect. After the great changes in settings found in the past two expansions, the third installment feels like old hat in the visual department. That said, there are certainly some cool things to see, fun things to do, great weapons to pick up, and interesting places to explore. Altogether, DLC number three is a no-brainer.
CCC Staff Contributor