Title: Fallout 4: Automatron
Version Tested: PS4
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: RPG, FPS, Action
Official Site: https://www.fallout4.com/age-gate
Release Date: March 21st, 2016
Where to Buy: PSN, Xbox Marketplace, Steam
Just when you thought that the Commonwealth couldn’t get any more dangerous an army of robots wage war on the every living thing around. Fallout 4‘s first DLC, titled “Automatron”, sees the entrance of a new antagonist called The Mechanist and several new quests to complete. Though this isn’t the biggest add-on, it’s deep robot builder and new enemies gave me a reason to return to the Wasteland once more.
Unlike most DLC’s in the Fallout series, “Automatron” does not take the player to any new and exotic locations. All of the conflict takes place squarely in the territory you probably have explored by now, adding a bit too much familiarity in this add-on. While returning to the Commonwealth is always fun, it would have been nice if “Automatron” added more interesting and varied locations that I had not seen before. Going from a run down factory to a Raider-controlled hanger to a Mechanist controlled factory didn’t really give me a new sense of wonder. I’ve explored enough bombed out factories in the core game, that these three “new” locations just felt like retreads. Which is a shame because the actual variations on the robots made for some of the most dynamic combat Fallout 4 has. Though “Automatron” does introduce several new weapons, with the electricity shooting Tesla Rifle and radiation inducing Assaultron’s Head standing out among the rest.
Make no mistake, the robots are the very core and lifeblood of “Automatron.” These are not just reskins of existing bots, but entirely different makes and models of them. Their weapons and abilities will vary wildly, offering new challenges that change the way you handle engagements. Whether it’s a Robobrain that can temporarily blind you or self-destructing Eye-Bots, there was always the feeling of danger around every corner. Boss battles have also stepped up, offering unique variations on old favorites like the mortar firing sentry bot dubbed Ahab. Though this DLC is not for the faint of heart as even at level 40, some of the battles had me trying over and over again. The Legendary class robots now unleash a Mini-Nuke style explosion that will instantly kill you if you’re anywhere near it once it dies which becomes increasingly troublesome as almost all the new quests are in extremely tight corridors.
Speaking of quests, “Automatron” adds four 4 main missions and one side mission that can be beaten in under four hours if you are the proper level. They’re nothing special, as each one pretty much has you going from location to location in search of The Mechanist. Though the combat is dynamic, these missions are rudimentary and serve as nothing more than to push the player from battle to battle. This could be overlooked if The Mechanist made more than just a few brief appearances during the course of the new questline. You will rarely ever hear anything from him, which is a shame given what dialogue he has is hilarious. The Mechanist is very much a Saturday Cartoon villain that hams up his motives and embellishes in theatrics.
You also get a new robotic companion named Ada, who is out for revenge against the costumed tyrant. Though unlike other companions you can roam the Commonwealth with, Ada is excessively boring and just plain uninteresting. She lacks anything close to a personality, which is odd given how all your other robotic companions are so wildly different from one another. It doesn’t help you are basically tied to her in order to finish these quests as Ada is used to unlock specific security doors and continue the story missions. Thankfully once you finish this relatively short DLC, you can drop Ada completely for your own custom made robot.
Modding weapons, armor, and other gadgets have become a staple component of Fallout 4, so the introduction of designing your very own robot seems like a no brainer. There are a wide variety of designs, weapons, armor, and attributes you can apply to your new mechanized buddy, allowing a deeper customization than any living companion offers. You can fine tune them to your place style in a way that compliments any style of play. Need a robot to act as a tank for you while you pick them off from afar? No problem. Having trouble with hacking computer terminals? Upgrade your bot with the ability to decrypt and watch the security doors buckle to your robotic might. Though it doesn’t just extend to creations you start from scratch as robots like Codsworth and Curie can also be fully redesigned and upgraded. However, unless you have invested heavily into the crafting perks you will be quite limited as to what you can build. Which could make or break the experience and enjoyment you get out of the robot building. Despite that, I spent more time than I’d care to admit fine tuning my personal death machine to the best of my abilities.
“Automatron” doesn’t redefine the Fallout 4 formula nor does it take you any place extremely memorable; though the unique weapons and deep robot crafting system offer more than enough to justify the ten dollar price tag. While I do wish The Mechanist made more of an appearance and the story itself was expanded upon, I walked away from this new DLC happy. Now if you excuse me, I have to continue building my army of Mr. Handy robots.
- Gameplay: With a wide variety of new and improved enemies, Automatron successfully builds upon Fallout 4‘s superb combat.
- Graphics: Nothing new or old in terms of a graphical upgrade.
- Sound: Fantastic voice acting for The Mechanist, while Ada couldn’t be any more boring.
- Presentation: Prepare for more lasers, explosions, and electrical arcs that you may have ever seen in Fallout 4. Level design is fairly by the books while the enemies are unique and extremely varied.
- Deep Robotic Crafting System
- Challenging Combatants
- The Mechanist!
- Very Familiar Ground
- By The Books Story
A recent graduate of Arcadia University, Collin MacGregor is a freelance video editor and writer. He covers video games, television, and film for The Nerd Stash. Collin currently is the head film/television reviewer for the site.