Fallout 4: Far Harbor – PS4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date (NA): May 19th, 2016
Genre: Action RPG
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
This review is going to cover the contents of Fallout 4’s third DLC pack, Far Harbor. 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.
pronounced FAH HABAH, is the third DLC pack for Fallout 4, the final of the original three covered by the Season Pass before the price was boosted up to that of the base game, but with a quarter of the content. It’s also one of only two DLC packs released that’s worth giving a shit about, the other being the superior Nuka-World, which was released last. Far Harbor is the DLC pack you’ve been waiting for Bethesda to release; actual original content, a new area to explore, and something that isn’t another goddamn Workshop DLC. I won’t try to spoil too much for anyone who hasn’t given Far Harbor a try yet, but considering how much the trailer already spoils, you’ll probably be as unsurprised as I was by this one.
Far Harbor tries as hard as possible to be as much a rip-off of Point Lookout, the best DLC pack from Fallout 3, and Fallout 4‘s main story as possible, while giving off the illusion that it’s an epilogue for companion, Nick Valentine. The story starts with the player receiving a radio signal from Nick Valentine’s assistant at the Detective agency, stating that a new, urgent, case has come in and to hurry there as soon as possible.
While it isn’t mandatory, it’s pretty obvious that the player should at least bring Nick Valentine along with them for the first half of Far Harbor, as there are quite a few instances of special character building conversations for him. But I digress; the case happens to be a missing person’s for a former acquaintance of Nick’s whose daughter, Kasumi, has disappeared after talking with someone on the radio she just fixed.
The few clues (read: audiotapes) around Kasumi’s own home reveal she went up to Far Harbor to a not-really-secret, secret synth colony called Acadia because she believes she’s a synth. Case closed, problem solved!
Well, Kasumi’s parents of course want you to head up to Far Harbor to find her and convince her to return. So after taking a boat-ride up, passing through the unwelcoming seaside town of Fah Habah, and up the mountain-trail to the observatory where the not-so-secret, secret synth colony of Acadia stands, the player meets….you guessed it, Kasumi! She spits out what is essentially a summary of the plot to Fallout 4 and refuses to do anything until you solve the “real plot” of Far Harbor.
Then the story-line for Far Harbor does a 180′ and becomes the ‘ol “Here are some factions that hate each other, figure out a solution” plot that was the entirety of Fallout 4‘s main quest-line. The animocity between the island’s two big factions, Far Harbor and the Children of Atom, serves as the focus point for the about four-quest long main quest line. The hunter-gatherer folks of Far Harbor believe the Children of Atom are creating a fog of radiation that has swept over the island (actually the area around Far Harbor is the only area where radiation is an issue) in an attempt to steal the island from them. The Children of Atom, on the other hand, think the residents of Far Harbor are pussies who can’t deal with a little radiation and want the island to themselves, even if it means killing off their rivals. Then we have the not-so-secret secret synth colony, Acadia, which sits right in the center of the conflict.
At the same time, the player also has to look into that aformentioned “big secret,” the answers of which (read: more audiotapes) are handed to the player all at once after completing a creative, but still stupid, simulation instead of as the result of real detective work. After which, the player sits and decides the results of this poorly-constructed power-play through a simple chat with one of the DLC’s main NPCs. Similar to how I felt after completing Point Lookout, the main quest for Far Harbor is wildly more uninteresting than the trailer and setting made it out to be. But unlike Point Lookout, it’s artificially lengthened using short and unimportant fetch quests for characters belonging to the island’s three factions.
While Far Harbor‘s story is a complete disappointment, the setting isn’t. In fact, the setting for Far Harbor is actually wonderfully done, setting the mysterious, depressed mood that the story hoped to feed from. New atmospheric tracks set the mood for Far Harbor‘s swampy cesspools of new creatures and foggy coasts of radiation. I’m not typically one to sit around slackjawed at graphics, but the fog of Far Harbor is so beautifully generated-when it isn’t pixilated like shit. The tone of Far Harbor is perfect for a Shadow Over Innsmouth-type detective tale, as I had expected, but the story completely misses the mark-well, all for a single miscellaneous, and easy to miss quest which actually IS done up as a murder-mystery. Best. quest. in the whole DLC.
Beyond quests, Far Harbor does have some other good spots. For one, the new enemy creatures added with Far Harbor are much more interesting than their Commonwealth counterparts. These ones, Anglers and Gulpers, will actually hide up amongst similar looking plant-life and up in trees, making them tougher to spot until you’re already in combat. Luckily, to combat these new beasts, the player is given a new permanent companion named Old Longfellow. He’s played just as you would expect an old drunken sailor to be, to at times an annoying extent. However, in order to keep him as an ally, you can’t have the citizens of Far Harbor hostile to you (but you still can join the Children of Atom and do their quests).
Overall, Far Harbor is a pretty fun piece of DLC out of a lump of shit. Could it be better, absolutely! But what it lacks in a decent story it makes up for in one of the coolest new land masses in Fallout 4. There is tons of new areas to explore, some cool new side quest, sea-themed weapons and armor to collect, and monsters to eviscerate. If you’re looking for a Fallout 4 DLC pack that’s worth about every penny it costs, and you already have Nuka-World, I’d highly suggest Far Harbor-second. But regardless, at least it isn’t another fucking Workshop.
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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