the Andrew Bailey

Fallout 4 Season Pass

During the last Christmas Steam sale, I picked up the Fallout 4 Season Pass. I had considered getting it about a year prior before the price got jacked up to $50. But I had not played the game yet, so per my DLC policy, I passed. The season pass was on sale for $30 (its original price), and that seems about right for the regular price.

Automatron adds a superhero villain to the wasteland. The Mechanist hopes to use robots to improve the wasteland, but is blissfully unaware of the robots true actions, while he lives secluded behind dozens of doors and lasers. When I was going through this place, I realized that this could not be anything else than the bad guy's lair.

Screenshot of The Mechanist's lair.

The DLC adds options to create robot companions. Somehow I imagined leading a squad of robots across the wasteland, but, like regular companions, you can only have one at a time. What a rip off! Like most other NPCs in the game, they aren't that intelligent, or maybe they are that way on purpose. Once you put the sentry legs on them, they have trouble getting around, so they tend to teleport everywhere, like dropping between you and other characters during every important conversation.

Then I realized that I had came across The Mechanist before! A trader town in Fallout 3 was being fought over by another 'The Mechanist' and 'The AntAgonizer'. How unimaginatively named. After dealing with this new Mechanist, he mentioned that he had stumbled across a dead caravan, and pulled out a few drawings from the mess. Being shy, it was a way to project another persona into the world, without being self-conscious. The only relief, is that while there are many robots in Fallout 4, I haven't seen a single ant anywhere.

Far Harbor takes you for a ride to a far away island, in search of a girl who is trying to figure out answers about herself. She had came across some material that asked if you were a synth. She got freaked out about the part of missing memories, and went to Far Harbor.

Screenshot of a foggy road in Far Harbor.

A slowly encroaching radioactive fog has rendered Far Harbor mostly uninhabitable. This has forced the locals to retreat to a shanty town on stilts along the shore, surrounded by fog condensing devices. Acadia is a synth commune, located roughly in the middle of the island. At the island's submarine base, the Children of Atom live in and around an old nuclear submarine. I suspect that the base is the fog's source, as the fog has "always been there" on the island. The locals accuse the Children of Atom of spreading the fog, but no evidence has surfaced.

Like the base game, Far Harbor can end in a handful of very definitive ways, mostly involving the destruction of a faction.

Also included with the season pass is the Wasteland Workshop and Contraptions Workshop. Wasteland Workshop expands the amount of buildable structure pieces and power generators, along with buildable traps and cages. I had been using some of these throughout the base game (like power generators), but don't care for the traps. Contraptions Workshop allows the construction of factories and manufacturing facilities. Unlike the other one, I wasn't even curious about it when I read about it on the wiki and poked around the menus. Neither have any kind of quest content.

Vault-Tec Workshop adds in an entire vault (Vault 88), whose entrance is located in the very irradiated Quincy Quarries. The Overseer had been in the vault when the war happened and got trapped inside, and has since turned into a ghoul. She is rather sociable and level headed, despite the radiation and loneliness. This vault is woefully incomplete. Even though there are extensive tunnels and equipment inside, it needs cleaned out a bit, though the completed part of the vault is in relative pristine condition. The Overseer is still under Vault-Tec directives to establish a vault and run those hideous experiments on the residents. That's your job. Don't worry, there are ethical options for every experiment, and to annoy the Overseer. I never considered the architecture and design of the vaults, and gave up building anything recognizable as a proper vault. I left the majority of it in its natural cave setting.

Screenshot of the poster over the entryway of Vault 88.

Nuka World is a massive amusement theme park that, when you get there, is overrun by three hyper-violent raider gangs. They've taken over one section of the park, and enslaved its once thriving market. The entrance leads through a twisted maze designed by insane people. That ends in a fight with the "Overboss", the guy that leads the three gangs. But before that, a man on an intercom explains everything, and tells you to look around for a gun. What I found was a very different kind of gun. The game wanted me to say that this was insane and not going to work, but I wanted to say "Brilliant! This gun is perfect!" Turns out that the other Overboss was a total loser, and everyone wanted him gone.

Screenshot of the northern entrance to one park area, Nukatown U.S.A.

I checked out the place. Despite the park being smack dab in the middle of a wasteland plain to the west of Boston, the park itself is as desolate as its surroundings. Even though more than two centuries have passed, garbage lies around like snow banks along the streets. I don't care much for the decorations the locals put up, and I eventually decide to stop putting up with the local gangs. With one of the areas liberated, I decide to explore the other 5. Robots malfunctioned in the space park, worms invaded the wild west, a foul cloud hangs over kiddie land, mirelurks nest in the bottling plant, and deathclaws are on safari. In so doing, I came across the first mutated ants in the game, even though they are not as big as in previous Fallouts. Despite the 6 large park areas, they are not settlements. There is only one in the area, adjacent to the park.

After playing this entire game beginning to end, I've become disillusioned by Bethesda's (Todd Howard's) open world games. Ninety percent of it feels like I've been playing the same game for the past 10 years. Sure, they've got prettier and acquired some interesting gimmicks over time. But unless something radical changes in the formula (like an engine rewrite), I will not be playing the next one. I'm too old for this crap.

Posted under Gaming.

You can't complain about this anymore. It's perfect!