Maybe you’ve been playing non-stop like I have for the past six months, or maybe you’re just wandering back to the Wasteland since the DLCs have come out. Either way, I’m sure these add-ons have been keeping you busy until Bethesda serves the main course in May – Far Harbor.
Until then, let’s talk pros and cons in the new Fallout 4 DLCs.
Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead; read at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
An homage to one of my all-time favourite Fallout 3 quests, The Superhuman Gambit, The Mechanist was a blast to the past for me, but with a fresh twist. I particularly love the premise, and with the widespread AI presence in the Commonwealth, using robots to help the wasteland makes sense. In terms of story, I sympathised with Isabel, but also wanted to smack her for not considering what might happen in the first place.
And, of course, the new robot building capability is amazing. I love that we can make a Mr. Handy with Sentry Bot legs. I wasn’t wild about having the Mechanist’s Lair as a settlement since I feel there are enough in the game, but it gave me loads of materials for building on Spectacle Island. This bitesize DLC had just enough content to get me excited about playing again (not that I haven’t been busy building #TheManor or anything…).
This isn’t so much a DLC in the traditional sense as it is an expansion pack in my opinion. I have mixed views on its implementation, but I’ll start with the positives first.
The arena options exceeded expectations, though there have been several glitches with them. Sometimes, contestants won’t fight at all despite having the team platforms down and the gates shut. I’ve found that settlers, particularly provisioners and their Brahmin, wander into my arena and refuse to move even after I’ve commanded them. Equally, settlers try to walk through the fence I’ve built around it and get stuck. But it’s Fallout, so glitches are expected. I’m sure Bethesda will patch it soon.
My main issue with this DLC lies with the fact that it’s a DLC in the first place. I felt that many of the improvements they made and items they added, particularly with the settlements, should have already been part of the main game. If I hadn’t had the season pass, I’d have been a bit peeved at having to pay $5 for a few new gadgets to play with. Fair play to Bethesda, though – the game is already huge without that stuff. I got my money’s worth out of it months ago. And I do think the new items are a nice touch.
My only other complaint – or disappointment, rather – was that they didn’t do much with the actual building mechanism. I wanted to see more options for building large structures: group, mirror, undo, etc. A group option would be particularly useful, since I’ve built this huge freakin’ manor and now I want to move the whole thing to another part of the island. Then again, I can’t judge things like this as I’m not a game developer and have no idea how much time it would take to do this or if it would even work. But being able to move something without having to move each individual piece would be nice. (And I’d also like to rename my settlers, but that’s a smaller point.)
All in all, these small DLC’s leading up to the big event were an excellent way to keep us invested in the game. Bethesda has been prompt about releasing them as well, with each DLC being released a month after the previous one. I’m just glad the season pass exists – I wouldn’t have been thrilled about paying $15 overall for these two add-ons as I feel they weren’t quite worth their individual prices. But I can go into crazy cat lady mode in my settlements… so it’s a win for me.