Some of you may be hesitant to reenter Fallout 4 for the latest Automatron DLC, I know I was. It’s like reopening an old wound that could take another 90 hours to heal, I wasn’t sure that my spare time can take a hit of that magnitude again.
Well it turns out that Automatron won’t take up too much of your time, and I’m okay with that. The DLC presents the Lone Wanderer with a new series of quests, some new loot, and customisable robo companions. Combined it’s enough to get you hooked to the Commonwealth again.
Let’s start by talking about the new storyline, which I suppose is the meat of the DLC. It has an overwhelming B movie quality to it, where homicidal robots are taking over the Commonwealth, and you guessed it, you’re tasked with stopping the onslaught. You partner up with Ava, a robot survivor, whose party were killed off by the evil Mechanist’s troops.
I won’t go into too much spoiler territory, but the ensuing fight with the Mechanist and the robot army is entertaining, surprisingly difficult and extremely chaotic. Now, Fallout 4 has always been one of those games that leans towards chaos, so I’m not sure whether some of my battles were scripted or just got out of hand. In one robot clash I took out a wave of Mechanist troops with Ava, only to have a Brotherhood Vertibird join the party, and after that inevitably went down around fifteen feral ghouls charged at us out of the flames. It was quite the ‘welcome back to Fallout‘ party.
All up the new story will take you around two to three hours to complete. The ending does have a great pay off, which is made even better if you have the Silver Shroud costume equipped, as that allows for some corny Shroud dialogue.
Before embarking on the Mechanist compound assault I strongly advise you stock up on supplies. The level goes on and on and left me with very few consumables. By the end I was forced to eat every food item in my inventory, including synthetic gorilla meat. I was saving that gorilla meat for a special occasion. I don’t know why, but my inner hoarder needed that gorilla meat, I had killed so many people to get it and felt conflicted about it at the time. It was most likely the last hunk of gorilla meat left in the entire world, and I was forced to eat it raw for a measly few HP.
Part of the reason I was reduced to a gorilla meal was the new enemies introduced in Automatron. A whole new range of robot enemies will keep you on your toes and blow you to smithereens, literally… stand back when you kill some of the new guys, they go nuclear. There are robots that will swarm you, ones that will one-shot you with a charged laser, and robots fitted with turrets, which are about as fun as they sound.
Apart from robots you will find a new faction in Automatron known as the Rust Devils. These guys build armour out of robot parts and look like a Mad Max fever dream. Their involvement felt way too short and I would have loved to read more lore about them, but for the purpose of the story they played their part. All up the new enemies are tough, and considering Automatron is endgame DLC, it felt weird being vulnerable again, I was so used to being the most powerful cat in the Wastelands.
Fortunately the DLC gives you some new toys to take down the robot menace with. New armour types brings out your mechanical side and have that amazing original series Star Trek vibe to them. I don’t want to ruin the surprise of finding them for you, but you will know what I mean when you put on that shiny armour. Automatron also introduces a range of robot themed weapons, including a separated Assaultron head, which you can fire rad filled beams from, and Mr. Handy buzz saws.
Aside from fighting your enemies with the severed limbs of their own kind, there are a few other options, including a Tesla Rifle, which fires electricity that chains between enemies. You can mod it into a few different forms, my favourite was the Charged variety. You can see it in action below:
Automatron also includes the ability to build your own companions at a new robot workbench. This means you can build an army of robots to do your bidding, which is a great addition. With the new robot building features comes the need for more supply scavenging, something which Fallout 4 has never had in short supply. New options include robot parts and an emphasis on different scrap items to prioritise when filling your inventory. I never thought I’d need so much ceramic in this game.
The types of bots you can build are relatively limited if you’re going for the traditional looks, but if you want to get creative there are a lot more options. You can mix and match between parts, leaving you with some bizarre looking creations. Ever want to build a flying robot brain with an Assaultron body and Mr. Handy arms? Well now you can!
Automatron is a strong opener to the Fallout 4 season pass. In terms of value as an individual piece it might be hard to justify the spend, but as part of the package it’s great. The story, whilst short, was one of the best in the game so far and up there with the Silver Shroud story. The new weapons are entertaining and fun to use, and the ability to customise your own robot companion is a great addition.
Pros: Great story. Good new items. Customisable companions is a cool feature.
Cons: Story short. Will cause you to relapse and play way too much Fallout again.