Fallout 4 DLC is the first downloadable content and, reading between the lines, it’s clear that the game has been hit beyond even Bethesda’s expectations. Fallout has always been a popular series, but the fourth entry has now sold more than 12 million copies, making it the most successful game in the company’s history, according to GAME RANT.
The DLC post-launch plans show a development studio ready to run with that success — and fix some of the stuff it didn’t get right first time. Three Fallout 4 expansions have been detailed.
The first, Automatron, features “robots, robots and more robots” and arrives in March, introducing — yes — a robotic overmind to the wasteland and a range of new enemies, as well as the ability to build your own robots from their scrap. April sees the Wasteland Workshop, which adds more customisation options for settlements and what is basically a Pokemon mode, allowing you to capture enemies and make them fight each other. Then in May there’s Far Harbor, a story-led expansion that adds a new location and focuses on Nick Valentine, easily the game’s most charming companion.
Those are the Fallout 4 DLC facts, but here’s what we can glean from them. A major focus for Fallout 4’s development was settlements, inspired by the fact that in previous Bethesda open-world games players have always enjoyed creating their own little dens anyway. Players want to make their own space in these worlds.
There’s a lot to like about settlements but only the most loyal Vault-tec employee would say Fallout 4 got it all right. They’re extremely fiddly to construct, the settlers are more like wallpaper than people, and the cosmetic customisation side is somewhat lacking. The Wasteland Workshop DLC looks like it will fix the last point through the blindingly simple tactic of adding letter kits (which obviously have infinite permutations) alongside new lighting options, which will help make the prefab walls a little more you. One more addition, which rather boggles the mind, is taxidermy: presumably you’ll be able to mount a Deathclaw head above your dinner table.
What the Wasteland Workshop’s really going for, however, is giving you a reason beyond fiddling with the curtains to hang around in settlements. A great mechanic in Fallout 4 (and other Bethesda games) is that enemies can fight each other, which you see relatively frequently but is rarely triggered by the player’s agency; it’s always an incidental part of the world, or scripted into a quest line. Come April we’ll be able to “design and set cages to capture live creatures” which can then either be tamed or set against each other.
The arena should give settlements a purpose that, for me, they lack, and the implications of taming a Deathclaw, which presumably means you can take it around as a companion, are just delicious. The idea of domesticating feral radioactive monsters may seem daft, but this kind of silly chunkiness is the very best thing about Bethesda’s worlds, and it’s great to see it being embraced by the developers.
Smooth-talking synth Nick Valentine is the daddy of Fallout 4 DLC companions so Far Harbor’s focus on him is welcome — plus, the new area it will add to Fallout 4’s world is the largest DLC expansion Bethesda has ever created - and if you’ve played the Skyrim expansions you’ll know that means massive.