At a press event in London this week, Bethesda revealed some new details about “Broken Steel,” the third DLC for Fallout 3. Available May 5 on the Xbox 360 and PC for 800 MS Points), the expansion picks up where the original game left off. It’s been two weeks since the original game’s main story ended, and the water treatment plant is up and running. But actually getting the water to people across the wasteland is easier said than done, and that’s where you come in.
Unlike the earlier expansions “Anchorage” and “The Pitt,” this new expansion is largely set in the wasteland, with the bulk of the side missions tasking you with getting water out to people in such places as Megaton. But the main mission — which Bethesda says will take most gamers slightly longer than the main mission in the second DLC, “The Pitt” — is a bit more involved, with you helping the Brotherhood Of Steel to build a Tesla Cannon, a weapon they need to defend themselves against The Enclave.
This isn’t as easy as just mean running down to Best Buy, though. The parts they need to build this W.M.D. are scattered throughout the wasteland, and you have to find them all while defending yourself against the usual onslaught of enemies. At one point, for example, you have to find a Tesla Coil, while another quest has you fighting your way into some train tunnels that run underneath what used to be the White House. This leads you to a heavily defended Enclave stronghold called Adam’s Airforce Base, an offsite location that’s not part of the wasteland.
“Steel” doesn’t just add new quests, though. For starters, it raises the level cap from 20 to 30, adding new perks such as “Puppies,” which will bring back your faithful companion Dogmeat if he gets killed (though you’ll have to go pick him up, this ain’t some magical resurrection spell). There are also new enemies — such as the grenade-happy Feral Ghoul Reaver and a new type of super mutant — some of whom come with their own weapons and armor you can use. A projectile flame thrower looked especially effective, while the Tri Laser seemed to improve upon the capabilities of similarly-styled weapons in the game Dead Space.
Most importantly for those who wish this adventure would never end is the revelation that, unlike the main game on its own, the end of “Steel” doesn’t end the game; you can continue wandering around, doing side quests you might’ve missed, even after the story concludes.
Sadly, Bethesda didn’t give us an opportunity to play “Broken Steel,” though from the live demo they did, it looks and seems to play exactly like Fallout 3.