Yesterday I was sitting on the 29th floor of the rather tall 360 Altitude building in London - well, a chair on the floor of... you get it. The view there is spectacular (better, I was assured by several Londoners, than the view from the London Eye) and, for once, it was un-obscured by a pall of falling liquid. My eyes weren't on the spectacular panorama, however. In fact, the blinds had been pulled down. As it happened, I didn't mind. The blinds were stopping glare on the great big plasma screens in front of me, screens which were showing off Bethesda's 2009 line-up. Screens that were showing off, among other things, the third piece of Fallout 3
DLC – Broken Steel
Pete Hines, VP of marketing and PR for Bethesda, stood in front of those screens. He played, he talked. This is what I found out.
It's only fair to warn you that, thanks to the nature of the DLC, there are some spoilers up ahead. Most of them aren't very dramatic, save for one that is clearly marked. You need to decide right now how sensitive to mild spoilers you are. Anyway, on with the show...
First things first – it's out on May 5th. That's two short weeks from today. Now you know!
, in a nutshell, extends the Fallout 3
experience beyond the main game's ending. Where Operation Anchorage
and The Pitt
gave you new challenges that were tangential to the main game, this enables you to carry on. If you haven't reached the end of the boxed content of Fallout 3
yet, jump a paragraph because...
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS - BIG ONES - REALLY BIG
If you finished the main game already, you know that you kick the bucket. Being dead is generally understood to be a handicap when it comes to getting about and getting stuff done. To that end, Bethesda has changed the game's climax. Where once upon a time you would have had a reactor to sort out by yourself, now you send in one of your mates. You live! Which means you get to carry on from where you left off – happy news for many an irked player who didn't have a saved game to go back to after they finished the game.
END OF SPOILERS
Hines further noted, when asked, that Broken Steel
doesn't end the game. “God, that'd be stupid... We got the message”, he said. The DLC leaves Fallout 3
open for players to keep on wandering around the map – a feature that will be massively important for many.
There are new achievements and, of course, perks – Hines wasn't saying exactly what perks can be had, but one he mentioned was 'Puppies'. They're not the chesty kind - it enables Dogmeat to reincarnate, meaning you'll be able to go pick yourself out a brand new bundle of slobbery joy if you've been a bit careless with the first one.
Hines was understandably reluctant to give away too many plot points, for spoilers' sake, but as he fired up the game in front of Project Purity (now up and running), he revealed that a large part of it revolves around The Brotherhood of Steel's ongoing battle with The Enclave. It's also all well and good having clean water, but getting that out to folk isn't necessarily that easy a task...