Fallout 4's selection of post-release content has been divisive. Many will tell you that far too much emphasis has been placed upon the title's settlement crafting system, while others will swear that Far Harbor is better than the main game. From where we're sitting, it feels like Bethesda's latest hasn't quite lived up to its potential. Where Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas did a great job of expanding their respective experiences with chunky doses of downloadable content, Fallout 4's offerings have felt a little flat when taken as a whole.
A lot rests on Fallout 4: Nuka World's shoulders, then. The title's final expansion, it's up to Nuka World to ensure that when we stop to look back on Fallout 4, we'll at least remember that our journey through the Commonwealth ended on a high note.
Unfortunately, this last slice of DLC simply isn't the big finish that many may have hoped for; it never feels like the grand finale that Fallout 4 deserves. If anything, it just feels like another crazy wasteland story - not the definitive end to your vault dweller's tale.
However, Nuka World still stands reasonably strong as an expansion in its own right. The DLC's premise is enticing: Nuka World is a pre-war amusement park now rundown and crawling with Raiders, and you're dragged in to keep the peace between rival gangs, acting as the nicely named Overboss.
Getting the expansion's three Raider clans to play nice essentially boils down to capturing different districts of Nuka World and then handing out each new territory to a gang of your choosing. Naturally, your standing with the three gangs depends on how much land you give them, although aside from some threatening dialogue and the outcome of a later quest, you'll struggle to really notice how your decisions impact the opinions of your psychotic allies.
Indeed, role-playing doesn't, er, play a huge role in Nuka World. Dialogue choices are present in most important conversations, as you'd expect, but opportunities to breathe some further life into your vault dweller are few and far between. A bit of a disappointment given the amount of player choice found in Far Harbor, but this final DLC prefers to emphasise other areas of the release.
Basically, Nuka World wants to you to shoot things - a lot of things. The locations that you have to liberate in order to hand them over to your gangs are typically crawling with enemies, from feral ghouls (ugh, again? Really?) to a whole new breed of Deathclaw. It goes without saying that this expansion is very combat-centric, but at least there are several new types of foe to tear through.
There's also a heavy focus on exploration, which is quite possibly the add-on's greatest strength. Nuka World offers a large new map to traverse, with wide open, almost desert-like expanses making up most of the land that exists outside of the park's various attractions. In some ways, the setting reminds us New Vegas' Mojave Wasteland, especially when you're out in the open and the sun is beating down from a blue sky.
The aforementioned attractions provide a refreshing amount of variety, and make exploration that much more intriguing. As you venture from one area of the park to the next, capturing them as you go, you'll begin to notice that Bethesda has clearly had a lot of fun designing these locations and bringing them to life. Kiddie Kingdom, for example, is full of your typical fairground rides, with spinning teacups adding some stupidity to gunfights with ghouls. If you've grown tired of traipsing around the dusty old Commonwealth, scavenging your way through the same ruined buildings, Nuka World will feel like a breath of fresh air.
Your dealings within Nuka World can have an impact outside of it as well, if you wish. While the expansion may not seem like a true finale, it can alter Fallout 4's endgame to a significant degree. At a point during the main quest line, you'll be tasked with expanding your newfound Raider empire into the Commonwealth proper. This involves picking an existing settlement and overthrowing it, either by wiping out the poor hicks that live there, or persuading them to part with their home.
It goes without saying that this new Raider settlement system may seem a little weird if you're already hailed as a hero for establishing thriving communities under the Minutemen banner, but for those who enjoy being the bad guy, it's a very welcome addition.
Speaking of karmic alignment, it's worth mentioning that Nuka World is, unsurprisingly, geared towards ne'er-do-wells, but it is possible to get a 'good' ending by completing a particular quest which sees you take down the leaders of each Raider gang. A thoughtful option to have, but by seeing this objective through, you'll be missing out on a sizeable amount of content.
It may not be the grand finale that fans of Fallout 4 have been waiting for, but Nuka World is an enjoyable slice of content all the same. With a focus on exploration, the real star of the show here is the theme park itself, which is dripping with detail and dark humour.
But does it have console crippling fog effects?
@Gatatog strangely enough it almost does in parts of kiddie Kingdom with a green mist
There's not enough stuff trying to kill me I was disappointed, was also disappointed I couldn't create more creatures with the recombinant machine thing. Also the main quest line can be pretty quickly broken.
A 7 good enough for me Harbour panned if i'm right.
This is it for Fallout 4 .
Far Harbor is better than Nuka World if you want to look at it from a cohesive piece of content. Nuka has some interesting locals but it's pretty lacking when it comes to cohesive depth of characters or quest design.
Not saying Far Harbor didn't deserve the criticism of its technical faults on the PS4 btw, just saying it's better outside of the initial issues. It fixed a lot of the problems found with the main story arc, while Nuka reverts back to its shallowness.
I've only started this DLC, but I'm really liking it so far. I still haven't finished the main story (or really tried any of the other dlc yet for that matter), but I really like the initial setup of this one. Judging from this review, it sounds like it will hold that pace pretty well!
One thing I'm confused about was it said Level 30+, but it let me in at level 26... Did they just mean 30+ as a suggestion or am I missing out on something by going there early?
Well this was a long time coming! Still, it's here now, and I much prefer it that you didn't rush it and gave it a full detailed play through before reviewing it. I actually completely agree with your review and score. It's a real shame to me that fallout 4 has only had a couple of expansions, and neither one has hit the heights of what they could have. All in all, a bit disappointing, rather like the main game for me unfortunately
@carlos82 Sigh ...
@NathanUC Yeah, recommended level is 30+. Worth noting that if you're over that, enemies will scale to some degree.
@BranJ0 I wanted to have this review done and dusted last week, but with the PlayStation Meeting I ended up being stupidly busy, and didn't even have enough time to finish the DLC itself. Fortunately I managed to find the time last weekend to finish the main quest. Took me around 40 hours!
On one hand I'm going to miss them releasing a new DLC every few months but I gotta say Fallout 4 did not live up to my expectations like 3 and New Vegas. Fallout just seemed like an empty shell of its former self.
I reckon Fallout 4 is a "great" game,......just that sometimes it tries to be an adult-oriented Minecraft / modern FPS at the expense of nailing the RPG fundamentals.
Great games can also be disappointing in some aspects.
I've decided I'm going to play all the DLC content by greeting all new NPCs with a Mini Nuke and a Baseball bat. I'm literally going to smash my way through all the DLC and be done. Love the game but no big finish? That's unacceptable for the price hike.
@sub12 I'd say it exceeds in the RPG fundamentals dept. Its just a little dated.
Hmm, my big gripe is that although some of the characters and quests feel well crafted (say, the Far Harbor vault murder mystery), a lot of it's also uninspired (the main story arc for the base game is rather sloppy in execution, Nuka World is interesting but ultimately rather shallow, etc).
Maybe instead of working on so many settlement building options, Bethesda should spent that time sprucing up the dialogue and thus making you care about these characters / world on an emotional level.
No technical review?
At about halfway through i agree with the score of 7 given. Lots of exploration and enemies to clear but the story will probably be where the love/hate opions will be formed. I believe more will score lower than 7 than higher.
I found my interactions with the raiders in this raider dlc to be less interesting than with the raiders in Fallout 3 like at Paradise Falls and the Pitt dlc.
Whatever your level you will have no regrets bringing your spray and pray and best power armor.
I really hated kiddie kingdom, no real direction, and nothing seemed to die from what normally killed in a few hits. 😔 Otherwise it let me be bad, so I gave it a solid 8. Fallout 4 in general has been a disappointment. They should just let obsidian make all future titles.
@sub12 definitely, dragon age is my favourite game this gen, absolutely loved all the dialogue and interactions
@ShogunRok Ah that's fair enough, the PlayStation meeting must have been a ton of work! I'm glad to hear the DLC provides plenty of entertainment though, you get quite a lot of time out for its relatively cheap price!
Here's my honest 2 month late review of Fallout 4 @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-early-fallout-4-review/
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