DLC additions have been pretty consistently good in Bethesda games since Fallout 3. New quests, new weapons, and new places to explore. The first DLC for Fallout 4, Automatron, has just been released, and while it’s not a massive story pack like the DLCs of the previous Fallout titles, it’s a fun little romp in its own right. My general feelings on Fallout 4 haven’t changed, so read my review on it if you want a refresher.
Automatron starts with the player receiving a distress call from a nearby caravan. Upon investigation, the human members of the caravan have been wiped out by a horde of jury-rigged robots, and the only one left standing against them is a modified Assaultron named Ada. After destroying the robots, Ada requests your assistance in getting revenge for her fallen comrades against the robots’ leader, the Mechanist. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, it’s not the same Mechanist from Fallout 3. Same costume, different nutjob. Ada provides you with schematics for a robot workbench, allowing you to build and modify your own robots with parts scavenged from the Mechanist’s minion, and the two of you set off to put your foot in the Mechanist’s butt.
The DLC includes four quests with three dungeons of decent size to explore. Aside from the Mechanist’s mishmashed robots, you’ll also encounter Robobrains returning from Fallout 3 and a new raider gang called the Rust Devils, who outfit their robots with crazy barbarian spikes and skulls, all of which you can swipe for your own use. There’s some new weapons and armor as well, including a set of robot armor used by the Rust Devils, and a blaster made out of an Assaultron head, which is just as cool as it sounds (though every time you use it, you get irradiated to hell and back). Actually fighting the robots and Rust Devils isn’t much different from fighting any other raider or robot in the rest of the game, so don’t expect any big changes to combat, though the Robobrains do still have the brain shockwave attack that can blind you for a second.
The big new feature is the aforementioned robot workbench. You can build and customize as many robots as you want, each one functioning as a full companion character you can bring into the field with you. There’s a wonderful array of armor, weapons, and gadgets you can attach to your pet death machine, as well as some silly things like a head swiped from a Jangles the Moon Monkey doll. You can also change their voice, their color, and give them a name. I tried to make a robot modeled after Zuban from GoGo Sentai Boukenger.
He… could’ve turned out better.
I finished the quest line in one sitting of about two and half hours. A bit short for $9.99, but the robot fiddling lends some extra value. It’s not a story pack (those are coming later), but it’s an amusing quest line with a couple of memorable characters, and if, like me, you’ve kind of run out of stuff to do in Fallout 4, then the additional content is certainly welcome. If you’re not deterred by the price, check it out, and enjoy some robotic shenanigans. Oh, and here’s a tip. If you’ve got the Silver Shroud costume, bring it with you when you confront the Mechanist for some bonus dialogue. I love that hero voice.