'Far Harbor' Review: DLC Shows How Good 'Fallout 4' Can Be

8.5
  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • RPG
2015-11-10
Fallout-4-Far-Harbor-review
Far Harbor, the latest DLC for Fallout 4, shows how good the game can be Bethesda

Far Harbor is a strange and twisted place. On one hand, it has moments of beauty, with nature managing to endure in the face of overwhelming forces. On the other, there is evil lurking around every turn. The fate of the island is in your hands, are you up for the challenge?

The premise of Fallout 4’s newest DLC is great, taking players out of the city of Boston and making them ship up north to Maine. You find yourself on a detective mission, searching for a teenager who has run away from home because she’s got herself convinced she’s a synth.

Once in Far Harbor, things aren’t as they seem. Then again, are they ever in a Fallout game? The group of synths the teen joins have the general population of Far Harbor on edge, but these people also rely on the synths to make fog condensers. You see, the fog in Maine is not only annoying, it’s deadly and growing fast. The condensers clear the fog and are required if anyone expects to live through the night.

This uneasy truce has allowed for the synths and residents of Far Harbor to maintain peace. That is, until the Children of Atom cult decided to move in. These troublemakers think humanity will ultimately succumb to another atomic blast, and are looking to bring “the division” about as soon as possible.

As players make their way through Far Harbor, many major decisions must be made about who to trust, who to betray and ultimately the fate of everyone on the island. These are high stakes for what started out as a simple recovery case.

As for the gameplay, most missions adhere to the basic structure of “Talk to person, go to location, kill everything or get a required item, return to the original person.” A few missions did mix this up, with hit and miss results.

The biggest problem with the Far Harbor DLC is a series of missions where Bethesda has gamified the settlement crafting mechanics. Without spoiling too much of the story, players must interact with a computer using a special interface. This series of missions plays out more like if Minecraft was a tower defense game. While this could be cool and interesting, the crafting mechanic was infuriating to control, making it nearly impossible to  get boxes to go where I wanted them to. Unlike settlement crafting, these missions required very specific placements, which were really hard to line up.

On the flip side, there was one mission involving investigating a murder which was the highlight of the entire DLC for me. This mission was nothing like the others, and featured a goofy little story full of all sorts of twists and turns. It’s a shame this mission is a side mission, because some may end up missing it on accident. (Hint: Be nice to Pearl).

Perhaps the best part of Far Harbor is the wealth of side content. Because this is the biggest DLC Bethesda has ever released in terms of land size, there are countless little areas to explore and loot around for items. Not only that, there are plenty of new side missions as well. Be sure to do all these side missions first before finishing the main quest, because you can find yourself accidentally getting locked out of certain missions. Also, without ruining the ending, your actions do come back to play an important role in some of the final moments.

Overall, Far Harbor is a great addition to Fallout 4 and really shows the strength of Bethesda’s writing team. Both the main and side missions all kept me engaged in the story and the new cast of characters found in Maine. The added challenges of the creepy new monsters were also welcomed, even if some are really hard to kill.

So what do you think? Did you enjoy Far Harbor as much as we did? Are you looking forward to the next Fallout 4 DLC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

REVIEW SUMMARY
Fallout 4
8.5
Post-Apocalypse Wow
Fallout 4 is a must-buy for Bethesda fans, and a worthy investment for anyone looking to get a long shelf life out of a game. A few bugs and a few wasted hours on settlement management keep it from getting a perfect score, but don’t let that deter you from experiencing one of this year’s best games.
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