Brad Gallaway recently rolled out a new column titled This Is Not A Review. In it he discusses general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game he’s playing, but not reviewing. It’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
I’m hijacking his column to offer my impressions on Fallout 4‘s latest DLC — Vault-Tec Workshop, which is developed and published by Bethesda for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
I’ve been playing each of Fallout 4’s DLCs as they’ve launched, and in the interests of full disclosure, I was given a season pass from Bethesda to write about them.
Some content, such as Automatron and Far Harbor were story-based with new enemies, locations and questlines to accompany them. Other content, such as Wasteland Workshop, Contraptions Workshop and the new Vault-Tec Workshop serve as expansions to the crafting systems in Fallout 4, rather than being story-focused adventures.
Because of the story-free nature of the other Workshop add-ons, I was surprised when Vault-Tec Workshop opened with a quest that led me to a brand new Vault in the Commonwealth Wasteland — Vault 88.
Although Vault-Tec Workshop features several quest missions, they merely serve as stepping stones to introduce players to the new vault-themed items that are available to craft. The premise of the DLC is that it gives players the freedom to turn a network of underground tunnels into a personalized Vault-Tec vault, and it does deliver. I have to admit, I was shocked at how much underground space could be used for building and decorating. The maze-like tunnels took me much longer to explore and clear out than I was expecting.
However, despite being impressed with its scope, I ultimately found the DLC to be lame because I’m simply not interested in any of the crafting and decorating Fallout 4 has to offer. I’ll hand it to Bethesda though — crafting might be the worst part of the game, but they’re hellbent on supporting it to the end.
I understand the appeal of all this tinkering, but I’m just not that kind of Fallout fan. Maybe if Bethesda lifted a finger to overhaul the godawful user interface and the crafting system as a whole, I’d be onboard. As it stands, leafing through menu after menu just to find a wall I want to build and then have the game fight with me when I’m trying to place it correctly just isn’t my idea of a good time. I’d take another story-based DLC over more of this contraption crap any day.