Monday in London, UK, Bethesda Softworks presented journalists with an exclusive sneak peek at the third Fallout 3 DLC, Broken Steel, complete with new weapons, armor, monsters, missions and a higher level cap.
Executive Producer Todd Howard and his team at Bethesda Softworks have been focusing on developing Broken Steel since Fallout 3's launch. The DLC is the last piece of the puzzle before they're set to move on to developing something new and as-yet unannounced, according to Bethesda's Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, which many presume will be a fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series.
The most ambitious DLC pack for Fallout 3 yet, Broken Steel not only adds additional content, but changes the ending of Fallout 3 and expands the missions cap from Level 20 to Level 30, and adds plenty of extra perks.
Players will experience the Broken Steel adventure after completing Fallout 3's main quest and will allow players to continue playing in the game world even after all of the main story quests are finished. Originally, Fallout 3 ended immediately once the main quest was completed, leaving any uncompleted side quests or undiscovered places forever out of players' reach, a design decision to which many players objected.
Hines said Bethesda "got the message," and designed the add-on to resolve the issue, while leaving the story elements of the original ending intact. Players will be able to experience the original ending(s) of Fallout 3 and Broken Steel will then pick up where the main story leaves off. The players' decisions in the main quest will affect certain aspects of the world after it's complete and they will now have more options for completing the story.
In Broken Steel, players must assist the Brotherhood of Steel in tracking down an Enclave base and building a new weapon, the Tesla Cannon, to combat them. Much of the Broken Steel campaign takes place on a new game map, Adams Air Force Base, separate from the Wasteland, accessible via the secret Presidential Metro line, running underneath the destroyed White House.
The new campaign comprises about 4-5 hours of gameplay, longer than both previous DLCs, Project Anchorage and The Pitt, but additional side quests will expand that estimate considerably. In addition to fighting the Enclave, players can take on various new quests in the Wasteland assisting the Brotherhood, which may tie in to existing quests. As a result, Broken Steel should add considerably more gameplay.
The biggest addition included in the expansion pack is the increase in Fallout 3's level cap from 20 to 30. The additional levels increase the game's difficulty considerably, not only affecting the strength of various enemies, but increasing the XP requirements between the new levels. Pete Hines says the goal was to provide more incentive for players to play on after completing the main quest: "We want folks to really be able to play this a ton before they get to level 30."
The new levels also come with new perks, one of which, "The Puppy Perk" will essentially make Dog Meat immortal, creating a virtual clone each time he perishes in battle. Players who had grown attached to their in-game canine companion can now spend a perk slot ensuring his miraculous long-term survival.
New weapons include the Tesla Cannon ("Great for taking down Vertibirds"), the tri-laser and an Enclave "fire projectile weapon." There is also a new suit of Enclave armor and several new enemies, including the Feral Ghoul Reaver, the Enclave Hellfire Trooper and the Super Mutant Overlord.
Broken Steel will be available May 5th for 800 points.