Fallout 4’s first big DLC, the $9.99 Automatron came out today, and I’ve been diving in with renewed interest to the game because (quite frankly) who doesn’t want to build their own robot army? Read on for our first impressions of the game’s first big downloadable add-on.
For around 10 bucks, the Automatron DLC so far seems to be worth the price of admission. Essentially taking what was addictive about crafting settlements and extending it to robots and creating a robot army is pretty damn cool. The downers I’ve seen so far is that the UI and weight limitations are still something you’ll fight with when it comes to collecting enough materials and being able to carry them all in order to build your robots back at a settlement.
Like all other crafting benches, you’ll get a robot workshop early on in the new Automatron quest series, and as you collect pieces and parts from robots around the Commonwealth, you’ll unlock new modifications and tweaks to make them more dangerous. My Ada below (one of several new named robotic companions) has mods that make her deal bleeding damage and poison damage to enemies, as well as one arm that’s a flame thrower and another that’s a laser. In short, there’s a whole lot of potential for destruction you can cram into each robot.
The story starts with Ada, as it so happens. She and her group of survivors are trapped by combative robots, and you intercept a radio broadcast to go and help. Ada is the only one who survives, and you take her on as a companion and begin the hunt for someone known as the Mechanist, who’s creating waves of homicidal robots and sending them across the Commonwealth. So far it’s been a pretty decent story with some truly novel and dangerous encounters. When you take on Ahab, be forewarned. He burns a LOT.
I’ve put in about 3 hours so far, and I’m about halfway through the main questline of the DLC. If it holds, that means I’ll get about another 3 hours of story, plus all the crazy robot crafting and further Commonwealth exploration to boot. A lot of people saw the list of the first 3 DLCs for Fallout 4 and scoffed, thinking that the first two would be “filler”, while only the last would really be worth your time (the Wasteland Workshop for $5 seems like one I could skip). But having now played Automatron, I’m glad I did.
Not only are there several new quests, two huge new dungeons to fight through, and oodles of new weapons (who doesn’t want a Tesla Rifle?), but the whole mini-game of collecting and building robots to fight with you is far more interesting to me than the settlement side-experiment of Fallout 4 at launch. If there’s one more complaint I’d levy against the DLC, it’s that the robot crafting requires some deep investments into the SPECIAL tree. Luckily I had a high 20s save file to go in with, and this made crafting new robots easier. However, your mileage may vary, and for those looking for an extensive campaign out of Automatron, you’ll likely be disappointed as the DLC will only add a few hours of playtime at best. If, on the other hand, you’re like me and just like wandering and building things Fallout 4, then this DLC is a definite yes.
Automatron is the first of many DLCs planned for Fallout 4, with only the first three announced so far and more to come all throughout 2016. It’s $9.99 by itself, or can be purchased with a DLC season pass that includes all announced and unannounced DLC for $49.99. If you’re really into Fallout 4, I’d wager that the season pass, even with its higher price is worth the buy in. If, on the other hand you’re not sure it’ll be worth the price of admission, then the $10 for Automatron is probably a decent “test” to see if you like the path Bethesda is taking with its expansion content.