Fallout 4: Automatron Review

When Fallout 4 released, it was one of the meatiest games I had encountered that year. Every single task and objective combined to create a scale and scope of immeasurable size, showing how the unprecedented amounts of hype before had been worth it. However, some players are faster than others, and with so many gamers having already finished Fallout 4’s main campaign (or even 100 percenting it) Bethesda Game Studios had to not only offer something substantial, but also something that would match the chops of the main game. So a mere four and a half months later, and the first downloadable expansion, Automatron has been released; And with a newly added focus on robots and customization, is it Bethesda’s best, or in desperate need of some fine-tuning?

Gameplay:

Arguably the best thing about Automatron is that it doesn’t feel forced, and offers a new perspective on some of the more underrated characters in the main quests

One of the more immersive aspects about Fallout 4 was it’s emphasis on scavenging, and subsequently the crafting that followed. Whether it was ambushing a raider camp to supply your settlement with new goods, or just scouring the lands for weapons and ammo, Automatron partly accomplishes this feeling, but in a different setting. You’ll find yourself killing armies of mechanical adversaries, but as you finish the DLC, you’ll notice that this is one of the more tedious segments of it. The real gears and springs, in this case crafting, lie beneath the rust.

For many players, their previous encounters in the wasteland yielded very little enforcement for not only crafting, but also companionship. In my opinion, these portions of Fallout 4 never felt truly necessary, until the game explicitly told you. But after playing the Automatron DLC, I’m happy to see these insufficiencies were ironed out. New companions like ADA offer a fresh take on battling, and while they may be missing some mojo, it’s still refreshing to see a change of pace. The building of robots is also extremely extensive, proving how committed Bethesda was to making this DLC feel special, instead of haphazard.

Story/ Design:

Custimization starts off basic, but it’s possible that it can be daunting depending on your expertise and inventory

Automatron also has a lot more mission diversity, which is something that was present in my favorite games of last year, such as Metal Gear Solid 5, and soon to be incorporated in titles like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Although I am still disappointed that Bethesda wasn’t able to consolidate this into the main story, it makes it nonetheless entertaining to channel your inner Rambo with an armored robot, or take a more violent and close quarters approach to your combat.

I also found the story to be a lot more gratifying than some of the main game side-quests, or even main quests. The villain (known as the Mechanist) is cryptic but soon becomes revealing the more you’ll continue. All the characters, plot devices, and story arcs don’t overstay their welcome, and while this may be a disservice to some who crave a significant story experience, I imagine it will fit better when all the other DLC’s have been released too.

If anything, the antagonist contains some of the subtle wit Fallout’s been known for

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

Jezebel is another nice, although not long-lasting addition to the DLC’s cast

While the Automatron DLC isn’t the visual upgrade that other more aggravated gamers might desire, most dedicated Fallout fans won’t blink an eye. I’ve always felt that the muddiness and shoddiness of Fallout 4’s subpar graphics kind of adds to it’s old yet enriched aesthetic, and it’s ever so true here. Robots can be exquisitely colorful but have glistens of grime and filth, proving how nearly nothing is perfect in the post-apocalyptic world.

The Automatron DLC also unlocks at Level 15, meaning you don’t have to complete the main story in order to jump into it. I believe that this is especially welcome, since Bethesda has now given people the option to sidestep the predominant story and gameplay architecture, in order to experience something more varied and short-term. It’s also an added plus to use your robot expertise when heading back into battle.

Much like wasteland citizens, some befriended robots will easily repay you if you complete their needs.

Conclusion:

There’s a lot of things that the Automatron DLC cements for Fallout 4’s future, but unequivocally the most important is that Bethesda hasn’t lost their magic. If you finished Fallout 4, got tired of it, or 100 percented it and never wanted to touch it again, the Automatron DLC is a great panacea to anyone who may have been down or mixed on the franchise’s future. So far it’s just a taste of what’s to come, but that doesn’t mean that what we’ve already been served hasn’t been short of appetizing.

Fallout 4’s Automatron DLC gets an 8/10 (Very Good)

We’d like to thank Bethesda PR for sending us a code!

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