Today saw the long anticipated release of the first snippet of DLC for Bethesda’s Fallout 4 called ‘Automatron’, and I spent a few hours getting to know it and what it was all about. I can now say with certainty that the add-on deserves a resounding ‘yeah s’alright’.
The new content of the new DLC is primarily focused on the ability to craft a new workbench that gives you the ability to make yourself new robot companions and heavily modify them to meet any and all of your needs.
Firstly, let’s get the negative out of the way, the new missions are pretty dull. The story of Automatron has you chasing after a tyrant called ‘The Machinist’ who is sending swarms of robots across the commonwealth to attack random people. Across the course of the questline you hunt down special robots and kick your way into the Machinist’s hideout to stop his evil plan.The story is pretty basic, but at least vaguely interesting from a Fallout stand point, but the actual missions are a little dull. You basically have to go to three different locations and kill 3 robots you find in those locations to get the objects you need, leading you to a fight with the Machinist himself. It couldn’t be more basic than ‘go here and kill a thing’, which is a little disappointing. One of the nicer things about the actual quests is that they do end up taking you to an interesting dungeon controlled by a new faction of raiders that the game has added (we’ll get to that later) which looks pretty damn amazing. The dungeon is littered with interesting takes on traps using robot parts and newer versions of tripwires that are a bit more of a challenge to deal with.
Outside of the few new missions, Automatron actually manages to do a great job of adding new stuff to the Fallout 4 formula. The first and most major addition is the ability to construct your own companions, in the form of a robot workbench.The workbench gives you the ability to mix and match different types of robots; you want to see a sentry bot that flies like a Mr.Handy? You can do that! You want to add Assaultron Arms to a Robobrain? You can! Honestly, the amount of combos is pretty staggering, including the ability to modify the style of armour plating and the colour of your ‘bot’s paint work. If you’ve always wanted to create your own companions, then this is the DLC for you.
The next thing the game adds is some new factions, firstly ‘Rust Devils’, a group of raiders who like to use robot parts both to create junk robots and to add pieces to themselves as armour. It’s from these guys that Automatron gets a lot of its cool and interesting visuals, including the aforementioned dungeon. Secondly, ‘Swarmbots’ are a group of robots sent out into the world by the Machinist to hunt down people while claiming to want to save them. These guys are pretty much more basic than the Rust Devils, but they serve their purpose well and they are pretty functional.
There is also a whole slew of new items, things like robot based armour, and special robot based guns and swords come from the Rust Devils. You also now have access to ‘Robot Repair Kits’ which are basically Stimpaks only usable by robots. At first this seems pointless, but when you consider that you cannot use these items yourself, they actually become useful when you need a robot back on their feet mid-combat so they can act as a diversion or back-up.