By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Automatron was the first DLC for Fallout 4 and it basically felt like a comic book. It was a hokey Superhero vs. Supervillain story, but for all the right reasons. The important part? It was fun! Downside? SHORT. Lord it was short. One sitting and I was down to the last dungeon. The end results of it were pretty spectacular. Wasteland Workshop was even less interesting; I didn’t even look at that. However, now we have Far Harbor: The finale of this first batch of DLC for Fallout 4. This is the one that sold me on the Season Pass; there’s even more coming, and that is exciting. We’ve been promised a lengthy narrative this time around, so the fun won’t stop after the first night. It is a massive island, on par with the Elder Scrolls “Shivering Isles” in size, if not content. I will do my level best to avoid spoiling major plot points. I’m actually sitting at the very end of it as we speak. You do so many different things in this DLC, more than simply running and killing. That matters to me.
Sure, this is Fallout, and we expect a ton of violence, but on the isle of Far Harbor, there are three factions. There’s Acadia, Home of Misfit Toys… I mean Runaway Synths, the people of Far Harbor, fighting the “Fog”, and . . .Children of Atom.
Yeah, those assholes are back. Each of these factions have a goal, and they try to tug you, the Sole Survivor, in their direction. Are there rewards? New, fancy gadgets and guns? You bet your ass there are! Which side did I take? I don’t want to talk about it. All I can tell you is that Fallout 4 really needs a way to unaggro from a faction. I accidentally aggroed the Children of Atom. . . yes, really. It was by mistake. And so, instead of doing all their faction quests, I had to obliterate them with a series of rockets. I only feel a moderate amount of remorse. Those guys are effing crazy.
Who or what created this “Fog”? Why does it encroach and threaten to swallow this island, this Far Harbor? Why are Synths hiding there? This looks like a job for. . . Nick Valentine, Private Dick!
One of the most endearing and interesting characters in the game [as a Synth no less!], Nick goes with you to the Isle, and helps you get started on your mission. Sure I bet you could change him for someone else, but why would you want to? There is a potential new ally here, much like in Automatron, and while having a crusty sea-dog at your side would be pretty badass, I’d rather travel for now with my Deathbot, or Nick. Again, this is not just a walk and quest fest. Deep in the bowls of one of the areas, you will go and endure a mixture of the Matrix, and the building mechanics of the game. Diving into a PC world, you learn secrets, and solve puzzles. I honestly hated it, but I LOVED the concept. I just couldn’t be bothered to do it right away. It’s also important to note that you must complete the main quest “Getting a Clue” before going to Far Harbor. From there you’ll listen to Nick’s radio station, and it will give you another quest. The citizens only want to live in peace, and try and push back the fog using condensers that convert it into water. But is it enough? Is it too late? What will befall these islanders?
There are lots of creepy new enemies, new art assets, and just everything about it is new and shiny. Wait, this is Fallout, so it’s really grimy and filthy. But the art assets are beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see when the sun beats down on the fog, but it’s all visually appealing. This island is practically drenched in radiation, probably due to the Fog, a creeping mist that swells and pours around the island. I recommend lots of Rad-X or a Hazmat, or something of that nature. I found lots of pockets of radiation, but luckily I was prepared. The new enemies are right out of a Sci-Fi/Horror film, as the radiation mutated once regular creatures and turned them into some kind of vile, diseased amphibians.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. My favorite thing from this expansion? Vim! Pop Factory: It contains a Power Armor suit that is painted with their logo, slogan, and colors. It’s a thing of beauty. You can also access a terminal to get this for your other suits. But let’s get down to the fun stuff. Do you like guns? Looking like a member of the Power Rangers, or the Kamen Rider franchise? I’m gonna spoil you the fun stuff – NEW GUNS:
Radium Gun: The Children of Atom, lunatics who worship radiation, have a gun. A pre-war carbine outfitted to do Radiation Damage. There are two unique versions I know of, one in the Nucleus, and one for completing a quest. One of them also has the “Penetrating” affix. But it’s a gun that shoots radiation! I’ve also seen guns that enrage, which are pretty neat.
HARPOON GUN: “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s spite, I spit my last breath at thee. . .” – Captain Ahab. This gun speaks for its freakin’ self. It shoots harpoons. It’s slow, super super slow on the reload, but if you hit a human in the face with it, it pretty much makes them explode. “Admiral’s Friend,” a unique weapon, does double damage if the target is at full health. Sneak up on someone, head shot, and BLAMMO!
Meat Hook: Ever want to be Captain Hook? This unarmed weapon gives you that joy. It’s pretty simple, and to the point. The “Butcher’s Hook” is the only unique I’ve found.
Marine Armor: It’s basically the top tier armor here in Far Harbor. There’s a complete set of it, but you REALLY have to work for it. Or use console commands. Whatever, I don’t judge. It has energy, radiation and damage resistance, and is absolutely worth acquiring. But I wouldn’t carry it and power armor. So. Heavy.
There’s plenty of really fun unique guns I’ve found on the island, and I haven’t explored it all yet. There’s still so much to do! If this DLC doesn’t make you want to spend the [admittedly high price of] fifty bucks to get the DLC, nothing will. Though you should’ve bought it when it was cheap! I honestly, sincerely feel that Fallout fans will love this DLC story. It’s in-depth, the music is chilling and serene, and the island is beautiful. The story changed how I view Fallout 4 in its entirety, as well as any other Sole Survivor in the franchise. Are my memories real? Is this real? Are the Synths really all a menace? Of course not, there’s Nick! But this story will challenge your perceptions of good, evil, and your very character. At least, it did for me. If you aren’t diving into Far Harbor, I don’t know what you’re doing.