Set sail for intrigue
HIGH: Hermit crabs!
LOW: Tedious workshop crafting puzzles shoehorned into the main quest
WTF: Could everyone in Fallout 4 be an android?!?
Six months after Fallout 4’s debut, the third DLC is out—Far Harbor. For players familiar with Fallout 3 and New Vegas’s DLC, Far Harbor is more like to those outings than Fallout 4’s previous Automatron and Wasteland Workshop content.
Nick Valentine, a main quest companion and private detective, has a lead involving a missing person case. Girl named Kasumi Nakano has disappeared, and her parents want her back. Evidence leads players to suspect the 19-year-old set sail for Far Harbor in search of a synth colony (Fallout’s brand of androids) and the player follows her trail.
Far Harbor is a large island completely off the original Commonwealth wasteland map, and when players arrive, it’s not long before they discover the island has a lot more going on than just the possibility of finding Kasumi.
Fog covers much of the island and different factions emerge with explanations for the fog and the island’s inherent danger. They’re not joking about the danger either—Far Harbor features new enemy types that are fast and deadly. Despite clocking more than 120 hours with Fallout 4 and being level 69 when I started this DLC, enemy encounters were still challenging.
Overall, Far Harbor’s best quality is the amount of content it offers. Players have the entire island to explore, the main quest to complete, and there are several sidequests for the island’s separate factions.
Because I like to dive in and do supporting content before tackling the meatier, main fare, I spent more than five hours just doing jobs for the island’s residents before I picked up the missing woman’s trail. Not only is that a substantial amount of time, the sidequests shine light on Far Harbor’s characters, its factions and their motivations. In fact, there’s so much to do here, it’s a shame Bethesda bothered with the two previous DLC episodes. I’d have much preferred three episodes like this rather than the smaller bits we already got, even if it meant waiting longer for release.
While Far Harbor is generally great, I was disappointed to find a lengthy quest featuring settlement building elements with a puzzle slant. Although it might hit a Portal-like sweet spot for some, I found this section annoying, tedious and far too drawn out. I didn’t care for settlement building in Fallout 4’s original story, and this isn’t changing my mind.
Another issue is that despite introducing a handful of new weapons and armor, I ended my run without finding a single item better than what I already had. I picked up a cool harpoon gun and a lever-action rifle, but even after checking out ways to mod and upgrade them, they were nowhere as effective as weapons I found halfway through Fallout 4’s original campaign. I like being able to mix it up with new weapons, but if the new stuff isn’t any good, I’m not going to use it just because it’s new. What’s the point?
Those complaints aside, I still recommend Far Harbor. After the smaller and less satisfying DLCs that came before, it’s nice to have something larger and deeper to add to my Fallout 4 experience. Although this is really just more Fallout, Bethesda hit a high note here.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Bethesda Softworks and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is currently available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. This copy of the DLC was obtained via publisher review code and reviewed on the Playstation 4. Approximately 16 hours were spent with the DLC. The main quest and every side quest I could find were completed.
Parents: Fallout 4 is rated Mature for blood and gore, intense violence, strong language and use of drugs.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing: Subtitles are available and some visual cues to notate threats and enemies are available.
Controls: Fallout 4 features Y-axis inversion, look sensitivity adjustment, vibration toggling and full face-button remapping on the PS4 version.
Colorblind modes: No colorblind assistance is available.
He has a Bachelor’s in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri. He also has a personal blog (who doesn’t?) that he updates sporadically. He’s been writing for GameCritics.com since 2012 and has appeared on the podcast a handful of times.
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