Fallout 4 Automatron DLC Impressions – All Brains And Brawn
From Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's meaty Shivering Isles expansion to Fallout 3's numerous (and exceptional) add-ons, Bethesda Game Studios has a long history of making meaningful downloadable content for its games. Fallout 4's first DLC offering follows suit. Automatron features a wonderfully penned quest line that, while short, ends up affecting the entire Commonwealth, and adds a nice layer of depth to an already deep experience.
Once downloaded, Automatron integrates into your existing Fallout 4 playthrough, but requires the player be at least level 15 to access the first mission. As soon as a save file is loaded, your character is alerted of the impending robot war. Bethesda wastes no time throwing players into harm's way. Before you even know anything about the war, you are pulled into a battle against a powerful legion of robots. This new crop of enemies challenge you in different ways. Some robots are all about fire power, while others use an octopus-like smoke-screen ability to mask their movements. The new enemy types are in great abundance, and they all drop unique loot.
After the first skirmish, your character runs into a friendly robot named Ada, who becomes a customizable companion. In this moment, she serves the purpose of a story data dump, quickly bringing you up to speed on a new adversary named the Mechanist. She doesn't say too much about him, but does enough to establish him as a threat that must be taken down immediately – if that wasn't already apparent from the everything-must-die directive of his mechanical creations.
What comes next is a series of fairly straightforward fetch missions to uncover beacons that lead to the Mechanist's location. These missions introduce a new raider faction, even more robot adversaries, three great boss fights, and a satisfying story that dives deep into the role artificial life plays in a world run by organics. It's a heady story, but one chock-full of humor and interesting new characters. One enemy wears unique Tesla Power Armor that you can add to your collection after defeating it.
While Automatron's story stands on its own nicely, it has a lasting effect on Fallout 4's world, giving players the ability to build their own robot companions through a new workbench. Crafting a war machine is as easy as assembling a new suit of Power Armor, but has more of an immediate allure. as most robot adversaries drop new parts for you to add to your collection. The thought of "I want to add that to my robot now" runs through the entire new quest line. And yes, you are given some outrageous parts, ranging from saw blades to a wide variety of chassis.
The DLC can run longer in time if you haven't been harvesting the world of supplies. Building robots requires plenty of rubber, adhesives, ceramic, circuit boards, and more. I ended up having to create vegetable paste for adhesives, which meant scouring the world for corn and fruit. The idea of questing for corn to make a robot doesn't seem right, but that's part of this experience if you aren't loaded up on components.
Automatron is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $9.99. I enjoyed the hell out of this new quest (which is one my favorites next to any relating to Nick Valentine), and it gives the player a companion that can truly be built from the ground up.