Fallout 4: Automatron review
Fallout 4: Automatron is the first of Fallout 4’s DLC add-on, though it is not a major addition to the game. With an individual price of $10 (it is also included in the $50 season pass), it includes a handful of new content that will keep players occupied for just a few hours. With that being said, Fallout 4: Automatron has more features than I initially anticipated.
After receiving a distress call from a caravan, you take up arms and eliminate a small group of hostile robots, saving the friendly robot Ada in the process. Ada tells you of a new threat in the wasteland. A mysterious person known as The Mechanist is building an army of evil robots to unleash on the Commonwealth and it’s up to you to stop him. Ada becomes your new companion and helps you to track down The Mechanist.
The first hour of Fallout 4: Automatron consists of fairly basic Fallout 4 quests. You’ll be travelling to various locations, eliminating the robots there, and retrieving important parts. Ada teaches you how to build a robot workbench, which allows you to craft and upgrade robots. Every robot you encounter from now on drops a specific part which can be used at the new workbench. This allows for customization of robots by mixing and matching parts from various Fallout 4 robot models. For example, you can create a Sentrybot with an Assaultron head and many other variations.
You’ll be encountering a lot of new enemies in this DLC expansion. A new raider faction known as the Rust Devils use robots to defend their base and cause havoc in the Commonwealth. They construct armor out of robotic scrap and deploy customised robot sentries in their headquarters. They seek out robots that they can use to their advantage, making them a threat to Ada and all other friendly robots. Utilizing robot armor for themselves, Rust Devils appear bulky and tank-like. This custom armor can be looted from their corpses for players who want a heavy armor alternative to power armor.
The Mechanist and Rust Devils both utilize their own workshops to customise robots into deadly killing machines. Each dungeon is filled with robots equipped with buzzsaws, tesla cannons, shock arms, and missile launchers, make sure to have enough bag space before you go in. These parts can be salvaged from their bodies and added onto your own sinister robot customizations. Keep in mind that this customization aspect will now be present throughout the rest of your Fallout 4 experience. You’ll be able to use your new robots in any of the mainline game quests.
There are essentially only three quests in Automatron, which will last about three or four hours. This standalone story takes place within the main area of the Commonwealth and features two massive dungeons. Consisting of seemingly endless corridors with tons of loot, they take a while to get through. There is plenty to see in both since they are filled with detail and intricate design. In terms of aesthetic, nothing is too dissimilar from the core content of Fallout 4, but the story in Fallout 4: Automatron is engaging enough that it remains interesting.
For those who enjoy the environmental storytelling aspect of Fallout games, Fallout 4: Automatron has a lot to take in. Exploring through abandoned labs will offer context as to what happened in the past. Reading terminal log entries and examining corpses closely pieces together a fascinating story about prior events. This also provides some backstory to The Mechanist’s origins as you learn about robot-human hybrids and how they have impacted the Commonwealth. Within each dungeon, there are also small bonus items to find such as tabletop mini figurines of each robot type and the twin-stick shooter holotape minigame “Automatron”.
The Mechanist’s lair, which serves as the final dungeon, is filled with all sorts of unique robot threats as well as an awesome miniboss. The mysterious villain will torment you over the loudspeaker until you fight your way to the final encounter. In order to progress through the story you’ll have to do some very light robot modding to a new companion, but other than that the workshop aspect is fairly optional. For players who lack modification perks such as “Science!”, “Gun Nut”, and “Armorer” there probably won’t be much motivation to invest time into the robot workshop. Additionally, it doesn’t have a ton of depth and will only occupy you for a couple hours.
Completing Automatron rewards you with a new suit of armor, the tesla rifle, access to all robot modifications, and yet another sequence of radiant quests. While the story content ends with the final dungeon’s completion, building and customizing robot companions can last you a bit more time if you are inclined to do so.
Overall, Fallout 4: Automatron is a fun comic book-inspired story that will last players about 3-4 hours. I found it to be worth its $10 price tag as a good standalone experience to hold me over until Fallout 4’s biggest expansion, Far Harbor, releases in May. In terms of quest structure, it is very similar to what we’ve already seen in the base game. For anyone looking for additional quests and story content, the Fallout 4: Automatron DLC is definitely worth picking up.
- Engaging story
- Lengthy and detailed dungeons
- New loot to collect
- Short length
- Modification lacks depth