Fallout 4: Automatron – PS4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date (NA): March 22nd, 2016
Genre: Action RPG
Nerd Rating: 6 out of 10
This review is going to cover the contents of Fallout 4’s first DLC pack, Automatron. This isn’t an overview of the base game, nor the Season Pass. For those interested in the other DLC packs, be sure to check out their individual reviews below.
At the beginning of this year I covered Fallout 4 for the PlayStation 4 for Nerd Bacon, since then six DLC packs have been released for the game so I figured it’d only be right if I returned back to give the fine folks here my thoughts on each of them. Note though, that although the screenshots I’ve used for many of the DLC packs come from a modded saved game, I did in-fact play though each DLC pack at least once without mods (as trophies are disabled for modded saved games) and I’ll be judging them on that.
Not that it really matters though, because you can’t get the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch for the PlayStation 4 version of Fallout 4 anyway, since Sony’s anti-piracy paranoia has turned the sweet prospect of mods on consoles into little more than legal game cheats. So if anything, you’ll want to stay away from this lesser version.
Automatron was the first DLC pack released for Fallout 4, coming out last March. As part of the original three DLC packs promised before Bethesda decided to raise the price of the Season Pass to that of the base game (but with only a quarter’s worth of content), Automatron was meant more as a teaser to what was to come than much of a pack in its own right. Everyone was waiting for Far Harbor to take its place as the Dragonborn, Point Lookout, Shivering Isles, and Bloodmoon of this generation, so whatever else was planned didn’t need to be big-per-say, it just needed to be fun.
And Automatron is…sort of fun..
For $9.99 with the same amount of content as Vault-Tec Workshop, Automatron is clearly overpriced. In reality, this could’ve just been released as a “Robot Workshop” for half the price and I would’ve been fine with that. You get a short, mostly forgettable story-line, a single settlement, and a new crafting system, and that’s it.
The story, which consists of about four quests, revolves around the player teaming up with a modified robot named Ada, who’s traveling caravan team was murdered by robots unleashed by the mysterious new Commonwealth player, The Mechanist, in their hunt for revenge. In order to find The Mechanist, the two of you will need to hunt a few of their RoboBrains for their radar beacons….so you can have the final showdown against The Mechanist in the most obvious place possible. And…that’s it.
Firstly, the whole “hunting down RoboBrains for their radar beacons” felt more like busy-work than the sort of super-villain hunt I was expecting. For the bulk of the quest-line Ada sends you to areas already in the vanilla version of the game to defeat not-so-difficult enemies so she can pin-point the “oh-so-mysterious” super villain’s location. There’s no drama, no urgency to do any of this, it’s just a series of crappy fetch quests.
Then there’s the new raider faction introduced in Automatron, the Rust Devils. During the fetch quest that Ada sends you on to retrieve a RoboBrain-she somehow knew they had at their single hideout in the Commonwealth-Ada makes these guys out to be like dangerous savages who’d hunt robots like her down to salvage for weapons, armor, and even scarier robots. In reality though, they just fight as Gunners in Raider-armor. There is so much wasted opportunity in the quest line to have made the Rust Devils as some sort of suspect in the hunt for The Mechanist, as they use practically the same robots. Instead, they’re just glorified Raiders in a special dungeon only seen during a crappy fetch-quest. That’s it, what a dud.
The only thing Automatron’s story did get right was the final boss fight with The Mechanist, which was pretty satisfying. Of course, since the only time the player really has words with The Mechanist is during the final boss fight, it only makes sense to make it the only decent part of the entire story-line. Without spoiling much, when you finally find The Mechanist, you have to face off against wave-after-wave of robots while explosives fall into the arena and robots are carried around the ceiling. The whole thing is done in stereotypical super-villain fashion as well.
There’s also special dialogue during the final showdown if the player wears their Silver Shroud (Fallout 4’s Batman) costume while speaking to The Mechanist, which is actually pretty funny. It’s not Nuka-World funny, but perhaps if Automatron had been written as a special Silver Shroud II quest-line, it wouldn’t have sucked so much ass.
However, let’s be honest with ourselves here, the lame plot isn’t the real reason anyone bothers to buy Automatron (or downloads it if they already bought the season pass), it’s the new Robot crafting that the DLC pack brings.
During Automatron’s quest-line you’ll be given the schematics for a Robot Workbench, which is a new crafting workshop that allows players to customize robotic companions such as Codsworth, pre-synth Curie, and Ada, as well as build new robotic companions. In case you’ve killed off settlements by setting them up in cage matches with the Wasteland Workshop DLC like I did, you can now replace them with a robot army of your own!
Seriously though, the Robot Workbench is truly the only thing about this DLC pack that you’ll care about after trying it. Players are given a ridiculous amount of customization options to choose from when creating and modifying robots, with new mods lootable from defeated robots, including a whole new batch added by the Nuka-World DLC.
You can mix-and-match parts from every type of robot imaginable, then further customize those parts with different pieces of armor additions, granting modifiers that make using robotic companions with stealthier character builds much easier than the vanilla options. However, once you’ve modified Codsworth (or pre-synth Curie) you won’t be able to equip them with bowler hats, but it’s not that bad of a trade-off since you’ll be able to make your robot companions as efficient as your human and synth companions are using traded weapons and armor.
Hence, why I think Bethesda should’ve just sold Automatron as a Workshop DLC. Players are given the tools to build the robotic army and companions they’ve always dreamed of. Yet the DLC pack is bogged down by a quest-line that feels more like uninspired busy-work, and less like the action-packed head-hunt that it was marketed as. I’d whole-heartedly recommend purchasing the Season Pass instead of buying this separately, as it is still an overpriced piece of shit, not too unlike Horse Armor.
Looking for my thoughts on the rest of Fallout 4’s content? Check out the following:
- Fallout 4 – PS4
- Fallout 4: Automatron – PS4
- Fallout 4: Wasteland Workshop – PS4
- Fallout 4: Far Harbor – PS4
- Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop – PS4
- Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop – PS4
- Fallout 4: Nuka-World – PS4
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