The Bethesda-produced Fallout titles have all had DLC, and Fallout 4 is no different. What does vary, however, is how well each one is received. They each add bits to the mythology, places to visit and loot to grab. Again, we can gather that this edition’s extra paid content will be no different, as there is the glorified “stuff pack” in the Wasteland Workshop -- but for this review I’m covering Automatron, a story DLC.
The gist is -- following a radio signal (as usual), the Sole Survivor comes across a band of robots fighting another band of robots. Wading in guns-blazing, you meet Ada, an Assaultron and your new companion for this expedition. It turns out that this group of violent robots is under the command of The Mechanist, who claims to have arisen to save the Commonwealth from evil, with the aid of countless robots and laser fire. Quite why the ‘saving’ involves murdering anyone and everyone, you’ll have to play to find out.
In the process of helping Ada avenge her fallen comrades, you get to build a Robot Workbench, which is for building and modifying robots -- as you might expect. One tip: make sure you have a large supply of metals and ceramic. Otherwise this will take much longer than the five-or-so hours it took me to finish… If I was playing Survival, I wouldn’t even have been able to Fast Travel to traders for supplies!
Constructing robots is as easy as customising a weapon or armour at either of those workbenches. Choose a part, choose the customisations for said part, hope that you have enough components and the right perks… As you destroy robots across Boston, you’ll begin to find parts, which will be stored in the Mods section of your inventory and can be used to upgrade/build them. I was level 48 when I began, and had already upgraded the relevant perks at that point, so obviously that may alter your playthrough of the story. The robot workbench is available after the mission, obviously, so you can always come back to build your almost-perfect copy of Futurama’s Bender.
I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with The Mechanist’s headquarters. After having to go across the Commonwealth to find what I needed to locate him, it was quite a surprise to find such a large facility. I had been used to going a certain distance before hitting a door used to load the next area, but there was absolutely no visible loading involved. I lost count of the amount of times I said to myself “Okay, boss fight is behind this door”, only to be surprised to find more exploring lay ahead.
One of the things I love, and I think most people do, is the amount of worldbuilding in the Fallout series. The inside of The Mechanist’s lair is no different, with terminals scattered about the place telling you how awful and worthy of nuclear apocalypse the 2070s were.
As I mentioned, this may only take you about five hours, but there has clearly been a lot of attention put into Automatron. The new areas aren’t copied and pasted from anywhere that I’ve been, with new enemy types mixed with some old favourites. There is also a new weapon - the lightning gun, which can both charge and hit multiple targets, which I’ve had quite a lot of fun with. There are a couple of melee weapons, but having not specced my character for that I didn’t bother with them. Finally, in case you needed one, there is a suit of power armour hung up somewhere in The Mechanist’s lair.
There’s plenty to do in Automatron, but I know that personally I wouldn’t pay £8 for five hours of DLC. It’s yet to be seen whether the eleventh-hour price increase of the Season Pass will be worth it, but I’m personally glad I grabbed it before it went up. If Bethesda can put out enough content over the next year, I don’t see the price being too much of an issue. Focussing on settlements, the Wasteland Workshop probably won’t be my cup of tea, but as the first DLC, Automatron is pretty good.
This game is good, with a few negatives.
A bunch of new items and weapons, with a new companion and a huge amount of exploring to be done, there’s little reason Automatron shouldn’t be on your radar.