Fallout 4 has had five DLC expansions released so far, with Nuka-World being the sixth, and final one. The quality and size of these expansions has varied wildly, ranging from minor Workshop additions, to the massive landmass and mission structure of Far Harbor. For this final release we are getting our second taste of what Bethesda can do with a huge new addition, adding the large theme park style area of Nuka-World to the Fallout 4 map. It’s great getting a bunch of new, and somewhat varied missions, and Nuka-World itself is pretty awesome to behold, but there are still some missteps here that don’t quite live up to Bethesda’s high standard.
Nuka-World doesn’t have any major world ending consequences to it, despite being the final piece of DLC that Fallout 4 will ever see. Sure, there’s some endgame stuff that impacts the Commonwealth directly, but for the most part it is a self-contained bit of extra content for players to dive into.
The park, which is accessed by the new Nuka-World Transit Center in the west of the Commonwealth (check here for how to start Fallout 4 Nuka-World), is massive. Obviously taking bits and pieces from other, real-world theme parks, Nuka-World is a Fallout styled wonderland. Full of rides, attractions, and other amusement park staples, it’s a really cool place to simply explore. Of course, this is Fallout, so pretty much nothing is running, and the entire park is overrun by three groups of raiders, various wild animals, and lots of homicidal robots.
It’s those three groups of raiders that make up the bulk of Fallout 4 Nuka-World’s mission line. After a short intro sequence, in true Bethesda fashion, you are swiftly welcomed to the group, promoted to their leader, then asked to perform a number of tasks for all of your newfound followers. The setup is alright, and Bethesda goes well out of their way to make this whole thing make sense, but it still feels like well-worn territory for anyone who has played Fallout 3, or any of the latest Elder Scrolls titles.
You are swiftly welcomed to the group, promoted to their leader, then asked to perform a number of tasks for all of your newfound followers
Aside from your side tasks, which can win you favor with or draw the ire of the raider groups involved, your main mission is simply to explore Nuka-World itself and secure it’s many areas. The raiders gained control of the central city, but the surrounding environments were all overrun by different groups. This is where Nuka-World provides its most enjoyable moments, and environments. With areas based on real-life theme parks, with a heavy, and very meticulous emphasis on Disney World, these areas are a ton of fun just to check out and explore. As someone who has spent a lot of time at Disney World it was really cool to see areas lifted almost directly from the parks.
The missions found within are of varying quality, with a unique and intriguing trek through Kiddie Land’s ghoul infested attractions followed by a dull shoot-em-up in the woefully underutilized Nuka-Cola Bottling Factory. Overall these missions are more hit than miss, but when they miss you just want to push the skip button and get to the next area. Some even feature an actual skip option, which would have been more appreciated in other areas, such as the fetch quest heavy Galactic Zone.
That’s been the problem with most of the Fallout 4 experience. Overly simplistic missions that rely mostly on violence to solve your problem. The game also lost a lot of the deeper RPG elements that players expect from the series, and while the faction aspect of Nuka-World seems to bring some of it back, a lot of it is simply a facade. For example, my character is essentially video game Jesus. He never does anything bad, and always tries to stay on the good guys’ side. He will turn down rewards, rather than ask for more, and will usually try to end conflicts without even firing a shot. However, this DLC forced that character to become the leader of groups of Raiders, and doesn’t offer many options to be the good guy.
There are conversation options sometimes, such as later in the DLC when a big mission is being planned for the Raider groups. I could select things like “this doesn’t feel right” or “I’m not OK with this”, but the game kept pushing the mission forward regardless, even having the other character say things like “oh, you’ll be alright. Now go here.” Finally there was no option to say “we are not doing this”, instead there was only a “wait” choice, which means that mission will remain active forever, unless I want to change how my character acts in certain situations.
Luckily there are a few missions outside of this questline, and they are a refreshing dose of old school Fallout fun. The hidden Cappy mission might be a massive fetch quest, but it’s totally optional and is a definite challenge even for seasoned players. Meanwhile there’s the Scientology-esque Hubologists, whose mission to restart a spaceship is a lot of fun, even if it sort of peters out in the end.
Outside of the missions, Nuka-World provides still more things to do. The Nuka-Cade was a big part of the marketing, promising carnival and arcade style games to play within Fallout 4. These games are somewhat interesting at first glance, but are easily cheated and offer very little in terms of motivation. The prizes at the arcade are simply terrible, perhaps sticking a little too close to reality, making it not worth your time to work to get more tickets. The arcade also feels very empty, with barely any other people, and almost no sound. It makes for a much duller experience than players were likely hoping for.
Fallout 4 Nuka-World also adds in some new weapons and gear to try out. Nothing has really stuck out so far, especially when compared to the awesome offerings in Far Harbor, but it’s still got some neat stuff to discover and try out. Still, if you buy your Fallout 4 DLC specifically for the new items they provide, then Nuka-World is probably not going to be worth it to you.
Nuka-World is a fine new addition to Fallout 4. However, as the final piece of DLC it is a bit of a let down. It does offer a huge and interesting new area to explore, and the attention to detail in creating Fallout’s Disney World is very much appreciated. But there’s just not much here that hasn’t been done before in the series. The factions can largely be ignored, and many players will find that the role-playing aspect is almost non-existent this time around. But overall Fallout 4 Nuka-World provides a ton of new things to do and check out, which is enough to warrant a purchase from anyone who has exhausted what’s available now.
Fallout 4 Nuka-World
- Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Published By: Bethesda Softworks
- Developed By: Bethesda Game Studios
- Genre: Action Role-Playing
- US Release Date: August 29th, 2016
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "Nuka-World is a fine new addition to Fallout 4. However, as the final piece of DLC it is a bit of a let down. It does offer a huge and interesting new area to explore, and the attention to detail in creating Fallout's Disney World is very much appreciated. But there's just not much here that hasn't been done before in the series. The factions can largely be ignored, and many players will find that the role-playing aspect is almost non-existent this time around. But overall Fallout 4 Nuka-World provides a ton of new things to do and check out, which is enough to warrant a purchase from anyone who has exhausted what's available now."
- Massive new area
- Unique and fun atmosphere
- Some interesting missions
- Cliche beginning
- Illusionary choices
- Some bugs to work out