6

Broken Steel adds length to Fallout 3's story and open world, but has a nightmarishly bad framerate on the final quest

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Contains: Strong Bloody Violence and Threat
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Fallout 3: Broken Steel commences right after the official ending of Fallout 3 with your character being brought back to full health within The Citadel 2 weeks after the events at the Project Purity control room. Finish the fight against the Enclave remnants once and for all alongside Liberty Prime and the Brotherhood of Steel, and encounter tougher enemies and new weapons as you are allowed to continue your freedom of exploration across the post-apocalyptic, open world of the Capital Wasteland.
With the entire wasteland still available to traverse however and whenever you want with everything you had from the main game, you'll relish in the fact that your level cap has been raised to level 30, revealing new perks to attain, and skill points to distribute when levelling up.

Broken Steel basically comprises of 3 assignments (quests) that take you to 3 areas unseen before within the Capital Wasteland, but there isn't any real spark ignited about the few missions you must undertake, and overall Broken Steel is a tedious add-on that just drags on the Fallout experience disappointingly rather than providing new means of enjoyment. You'll be traversing deadly underground areas of Old Olney that you haven't seen before filled with Deathclaws and Enclave soldiers to hunt for a secret Tesla Coil, and also navigating through the Presidential Metro subway in your final attempts to completely thwart the Enclave once and for all. But the last mission is extremely frustrating due to the framerate, and it soon becomes painful to witness the game freeze continuously even when rebooted and further lessens any potential enjoyment factor because of the developer's poor lack of consideration by releasing this in a blatantly unfinished state, and proves critically a broken, technical mess that accomplishes nothing except aggravating you more and more the further you go into it. Sound faults are common when the framerate randomly goes unstable, and the game will freeze unpredictably at frequent intervals, making saving often crucial to actually completing the quest. To see many unresolved problems actually become worse makes matters even more difficult to endure, and by the end of the experience you'll be glad to be done with it, and likely won't feel any incentive to complete the side missions available or witness the water purifier in action because of the devastating technical flaws that are unbearable. Frequent technical hiccoughs defuse what little excitement there is of disintegrating foes with the common energy weapons found on Enclave soldiers, where VATS is finally showing it's age and despite the excellent gore effects and cinematic camera presentation of the deaths it's easier to avoid utilising it since it's prone to aggravate the framerate, and subsequently inducing a crash.

Within the few new environments, art design is mostly uninspired, drawing repetitive designs from the main game and the presentation of similar designs is unimpressive. While there is plenty of action, most of it is unjustified and concluded with horrific screen tearing, visual blemishes and slowdown that all inhabit the screen at once and fail to dissipate quickly enough to avoid unnecessary troubles. In the end, what you see is what you get - developer's who fail to produce a solid framerate to contain the high amount of action and characters on screen at once, which ultimately causes the early anticipation of reaching level 30, earning new perks and unleashing the Tesla Cannon to dissolve far too quickly, and ensuring a disappointing conclusion to the original story that ironically proves that Broken Steel is well and truly broken.

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OVERALL SUMMARY - 6/10
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Good Points: Level cap is raised to 30 with extra perks available, Still free to explore the entire Capital Wasteland, Tesla Cannon is an awesome new powerful addition to your arsenal.

Bad Points: Uninteresting story continuation from the main game, Nightmarishly bad framerate and many other frustrating technical issues cause unpredictable freezing problems on the final quest, Nothing new in art design.

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