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Fallout 4: Automatron Review

by Kyle Hanson

Fallout 4 certainly wasn’t lacking in content when it launched in November of last year. Fans jumped into the game without reservation, and found hundreds of hours worth of places to explore, and adventures to take on. However, talk quickly turned to what extra pieces of content Bethesda was preparing for the game via DLC. The Fallout series, and Bethesda RPGs in general, have a reputation for great add-on content, and fans expected Fallout 4 to be no different. Now we have the first piece of that DLC with Fallout 4: Automatron, adding in a new quest line, as well as extra mechanics, guns, and items. Overall Fallout 4: Automatron is a decent set of DLC, with a surprising amount of content, but some might feel disappointed that it isn’t on par with previous offerings from the developer.

Fallout 4: Automatron tasks the player with taking on The Mechanist and his force of evil robots. Along the way you’ll discover some new weapons and armor, and also unlock the ability to create and modify your own robot companion. But everything starts when you show up to help a besieged caravan. A couple of traders and their robot companion are under attack from other robots, whose style you haven’t seen before in Fallout 4. The humans are already dead when you arrive, but ADA, their robotic friend, survives and tells you of the trouble with The Mechanist. On your quest for answers, or vengeance, you’ll uncover new stories of the wasteland, explore new areas, and make new friends.

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Fallout 4: Automatron actually has one of the better quests in the entire game. It’s no classic, but it is very long and quite content-rich for what seemed early on to be a throw away piece of content. Of course, Bethesda continues to show a lack of creativity in some areas, with this quest featuring a lot of “go here, kill them” style objectives.

The extra elements of the DLC are quite fresh

In fact, the majority of this DLC, outside of the mechanics it adds, comes down to assaulting a couple of bases. This means spending an hour or two underground, wandering similar looking hallways, and battling the same enemies over and over again. And while the final showdown with The Mechanist might have some intrigue to it, there is still a bunch of mindless combat leading up to it. There are some interesting story pieces hidden away in the game, but you have to wade through so many blocks of text to get to them that most players will likely miss it entirely. In the end, if you grew tired of these sorts of “kill them all” missions in the main game, then Automatron won’t be too impressive, at least in the quest department.

However, the extra elements of the DLC are quite fresh. During the quest line you will gain the ability to create and modify your own robots. This also adds new pieces of “junk” for you to collect in your adventures around post-apocalyptic Boston. Once you have enough resources you can set about building a brand new robot friend, or turning your old ones into some sort of mechanical monstrosity.

Having this much control over your companion is actually pretty nice, allowing you to build something wholly unique to your session. You can really fine tune your companion, making them a giant, treaded beast, or keeping them small and light. It might not totally reshape your experience in Fallout 4, but it is a great addition nonetheless, and those that really dive into it will find a more rewarding experience awaits them, once they get over the initial hurdles of getting the right mods and resources, and figuring out how it all works.

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Unfortunately, using a robot companion will take the place of your regular companion. Considering how much players have likely grown attached to their currently available ones, losing them could be a hit that players aren’t willing to take. Also, outside of a few interactions, the new robot companion that Automatron gives you isn’t the most interesting, and the ones you build might not live up to your other choices. This could have been rectified, as Automatron does feature one of the more interesting characters in all of Fallout 4. However, she cannot become a companion, and simply becomes a nuisance once the adventure is complete.

The Verdict

Automatron kicks Fallout 4’s first set of DLC off in an overall promising way. It certainly could have been better, with some of Bethesda’s past works setting a very high bar, however it still exceeded expectations, delivering a nice new chunk of content for players to enjoy. The mission could have been a bit more engaging, only really getting interesting at a couple of key points, but if you have liked the mission structure so far, this is more of the same. Being able to build and modify your own robot is the real star though, and players will find endless hours of adventuring thanks to this.

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Fallout 4: Automatron

  • Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Published By: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developed By: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Genre: RPG
  • US Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
  • Reviewed On: PC
  • Quote: "Fallout 4 is set to have a ton of great DLC, and Automatron is a good, if not perfect start. Building your own robot is fun, and leads to tons of hours of scavenging and collecting. The quest is also much longer than expected, though it does begin to feel stale after a while. Overall, this is a good start to what could become a great suite of DLC."
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The Good

  • Tons of new content
  • Build and modify your own robot
  • Engaging characters

The Bad

  • "Go here, kill that" mission structure
  • Robots not as interesting as other companions
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