Game test: Fallout 3's Broken Steel

Reason enough to invest in the game is a single weapon, the Tesla Cannon -- a whacking great two-handed energy gun, and the only thing more powerful than an MP's expense account

Nate Lanxon Special to CNET News
2 min read

It's ironic: the cataclysmic end of Fallout 3 now feels like it should have felt from the beginning.

This is thanks to Broken Steel -- the third, final and most satisfying piece of DLC released for Bethesda's radioactive RPG -- altering the conclusion of the main game itself.

Broken Steel thrusts you back into the womb of violence from which you so recently burst. Your task: annihilate the remaining Enclave forces. And in the two weeks since your shenanigans at Project Purity, they've got significantly more narked at you. To be fair, you were asking for it when you started blowing up presidents.

Thankfully, you can now progress to level 30 and you're granted several new pieces of dominating artillery. One of these is reason enough to invest in the game: the Tesla Cannon -- a whacking great two-handed energy weapon, and the only thing more powerful than an MP's expense account.

Altered beasts
Hopefully you still have the save game you made just before completing Fallout 3 the first time around. You'll need to load and continue to finish the game again. Only now, instead of just ending, the main quest continues. Deal with Project Purity again and following the game's original ending sequence, you wake up a fortnight later in the Citadel.

This leads you into a new set of well-paced quests that continue Fallout 3's primary story line, along with a bunch of disposable new side quests. During your travels you'll meet some vicious new beasts to mutilate hilariously, including Super Mutant Overlords -- strong than Masters, but smaller than Behemoths -- and a less-than-charming new type of feral ghoul: the Reaver.

Of all the missions from all the Fallout 3 DLC packs, Broken Steel includes easily the most enjoyable. In terms of comparative worth, it strips Operation: Anchorage naked, forces it to its knees and paints the radioactive Wasteland with its easily forgettable brains. With a Tesla Cannon.

I just wish Bethesda had taken the time used to develop The Pitt and Operation: Pointless, and made this three times longer. Here's hoping it'll at least be released as part of the main game in a future Game of the Year edition.

GameSpot UK shot a video about Broken Steel, where I discuss my first impressions about the DLC and show off some new in-game footage. Check it out below.