Fallout 4 was released last November and many people are still finding new things to do in the Commonwealth, whether it be scavenging for junk to help craft elaborate structures or trying out different character builds, these fans have been waiting to see what Bethesda would be offering with their first piece of DLC. Now that the first of three already announced packs, Fallout 4: Automatron, has been released, is this first entry worth your time?
Fallout 4: Automatron’s story arc begins as anyone who is familiar with Fallout DLC would expect. When loading into the game the lone survivor will receive an unknown radio signal on their Pip-Boy about a caravan being attacked. When you arrive on the scene, strange looking robots are battling it out against a separate force and once the dust settles, only one thing is left standing, a heavily modified looking Assaultron that goes by the name of Ada.
Ada informs the player that her caravan has been dealing with these strange robots, proclaiming themselves machines created by The Mechanist, since they arrived in the Commonwealth and now she is seeking some manner of revenge against the robots and their nefarious creator. To do so players will be sent on a handful of quests to take down the returning Robobrains, face off against a brand new faction, and enter into the Mechanict’s lore filled lair.
Fallout 4: Automatron may provide plenty of new mechanics, that we will touch on in a bit, but as far as story content goes players will find that there really isn’t too much on offer here. Ada serves as a fairly standard companion that develops a bit over the course of the mission but, considering her limitations, never really stands out while other characters players encounter are either enemies or fairly standard, though the way the final encounter can be handled does offer a bit of choice.
The real story here comes from the amount of content that is scattered around the lair of the Mechanist. This means that players will need to spend time checking out various computer terminals to learn about the history of the place as well as the way that Robobrains were initially created in order to get the biggest bang for their buck here. Investigating both areas, the lair and the new faction’s area, does help extend the DLC’s playtime a bit since even examining every nook and cranny only took around two hours to finish.
That being said, while there is a serviceable story addition here, the biggest content for Fallout 4: Automatron comes in the form of being able to create your own robots from scratch. After completing the first mission, Ada provides the player with a Robot Workbench blueprint that allows players to customize any mechanic characters they have, such as Codsworth, possibly Curie, Ada, or even create their own from scratch. At the start players will find that the modifications available right off the bat are rather lackluster but there is a reason for this.
As you play throughout the DLC and fight off the mechanical hordes that stand in your way they will drop various mods that are then unlocked for use on the Workbench. This means that while players start off with some basic customization, the more enemies you defeat the more options open up and boy are there tons of modifications to pick through, especially once everything is unlocked. Players can create mechanical monstrosities covered in jagged edges, decorated with skulls, and capable of wielding devastating firepower, sleek machines designed to absorb as much damage as they can dish out, and everything in-between.
Feel like turning Codsworth into a massive sentry bot or decking him out with a better flying body? No problem. This creates some exciting possibilities though it is worth noting that you better hope that you’ve been storing away plenty of mechanical pieces and have specc’d your character a bit into various crafting perks or you’ll find out that some of the best weaponry and armor mods will be locked behind levels of science, robotics, and blacksmithing.
Outside of the fun robot customization that allows for tons of creative combinations, a few new weapons and pieces of armor are included in this DLC. Various pieces of robotic armor can now be worn on the player and two unfortunately uninspired melee weapons, based off robotic melee weaponry, are included alongside two new guns. The one happens to be a manually charging salvaged robot head that is fun to mess around with as well as a customizable Tesla Rifle that shoots out changeable bolts of electricity that can chain between enemies.
Visuals & Audio
Thanks to the wide range of mods available players will be encountering numerous new looking opponents throughout their time exploring what Fallout 4: Automatron has to offer. The various machines you face off against are all cobbled together with random mods, making it something of a delight to see in V.A.T.S. mode and provides a fresh feeling to most encounters since you never know exactly what the next robot will be using.
The new faction is fairly predictable in their designs but have numerous post-apocalyptic decorations that really take advantage of the mechanical theme. As far as the voice work goes, players can unfortunately not do too much regarding the voices of the machines they build and though the new characters do come off rather decent sounding.
Fallout 4: Automatron may not offer a very long quest line but this mission does offer players plenty of backstory to search for and a decent story on its own. The biggest draw however comes in the form of all of the extensive robot building that is on offer here and that is a true delight, especially since players can create and set up robots like settlers in their settlements. Fallout 4: Automatron may not have as much meat as one would have hoped for the first piece of DLC but those technologically inclined will be more than delighted with what they find here.
Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.