Fallout 3: Broken Steel

The end of the end.

When it arrives on 5th May, Broken Steel will be the third piece of DLC released into the wilds of Bethesda's irradiated Washington. You'd think by this point the development team could have found the time to include that appearance by the mutated cast of the West Wing (chirpily arguing over seatbelt legislation or bludgeoning vagrants with radioactive trinkets) I've been requesting for so long now in the rambling handwritten letters I've sent them daily, but once again they've chosen to look elsewhere for inspiration.

Luckily, even if Bethesda isn't listening to me it has been listening to everyone else. The result is the game's latest care package has at least one feature everybody will be pleased with.

It's always a shame when a good thing comes to an end, particularly when that good thing is a game so stuffed with side-quests and distractions it's inconceivable to reach the conclusion without a few threads left hanging. So when Fallout 3 reached its abrupt finale, banishing the protagonist from its wastelands in a haze of reactor smoke, a lot of players felt miffed.

DLC to the rescue. Broken Steel reverses Bethesda's original decision before the first gunshot's been fired, flinging the doors to the Capital Wasteland open again. The action kicks off two weeks after the end credits originally rolled as you wake up back in the Citadel.

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Matthew Perry really likes Fallout, apparently. Could that be any more of a mutant?

Even more promisingly, unlike Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt, the narrative doesn't then send you off on a parallel plot. Nor does it set you rummaging through old simulations in order to find you something to do. Instead it dumps you back into Washington itself, where old rivalries are still brewing and fresh mysteries await.

In some ways the city's changed since you've been away. Project Purity is now up and running, and offering a range of side-quests that see you distributing clean water to the outer reaches of the wastelands.

In other ways it's business as usual; the main storyline zeroes in on the ongoing fight between the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave. Liberty Prime wasn't enough, it appears, and the Brotherhood has a new mission for you: tracking down the pieces needed to build an entirely new weapon. Titled the Tesla Cannon, it's designed to turn the tide once and for all.

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