Fallout 4: Automatron Review

Technically Speaking

While Fallout 4 was a divisive title when it released late last year, nobody could argue that it was chock full of content and systems that players could sink their teeth into for hours at a time. Now Bethesda has released the first piece of downloadable content, Automatron, and while it adds to the game in some fun and very deep ways, it offers little story or content that will interest players who don’t want to spend hours chasing down and building robots.

The main premise of Automatron is fairly simple: there is a madman creating robots and the player needs to stop him. It’s a straightforward yarn, consisting of a mere three missions, and it wastes no time in taking players from point A to point B as soon as possible. There are a few interesting characters along the way—such as the maniacal Mechanist who is controlling the robots, and the new companion Ada, a robot who has made it her mission to stop the Mechanist at all costs—but they never get enough material to be properly fleshed out as characters. Even the missions themselves get rather boring, relying on the same basic formula as missions from the main campaign, and featuring an especially overlong incursion into the Mechanist’s Lair.

Despite this, Automatron succeeds on account of its robots, which serve as both new enemies to face and new companions to create. The Mechanist’s army now roams the commonwealth, offering a nice change of pace to the regular grind of Super Mutants and Raiders that players have become accustomed to. But instead of looting their for ammo and stimpaks, players can now scavenge fallen robots for parts to build robot companions of their very own (More on that later). The robots vary widely, and feature a new array of weapons including Cryo-beams and gauss Rifles. For the most part they are fun to fight, but they do have a very annoying habit of exploding without any warning, which killed me on more than one occasion once I thought I had just won. It’s a very frustrating habit to say the least, but for players who save diligently, it won’t be anything more than a minor annoyance.

The real meat of the DLC comes in the form of the new Robot Workbench, a settlement fixture that lets allowing players to construct their own robot companions from various parts they’ve scavenged elsewhere. It’s deeper than the crafting for weapons or armor, and making new companions from the ground up is a constant joy, especially when they can fight competently by your side. There are all manner of body and weapon types, with some even coercing me to put points into skills I hadn’t even touched previously. You can even use the workbench to modify other robot companions, including Cogsworth. Want to turn him into a beefy Terminator tank with one arm? Done. Interested in giving him proper legs and a skull for a face? It’s all up to you, and it’s a great addition to the base game. For players who already love the scavenging and crafting components of the game, this might just be enough to get them to come back for a good bit, and considering how well it’s implemented, it will be interesting to see what effect the robot companions could have in future DLC.

Aside from the workbench, there are also a few new weapons to toy around with, including the Tesla Gun and the Gauss Rifle. While both can be gained during the main story, they are quite fun to use against both organic and robotic enemies, and are nice additions to an arsenal that is a tad too heavy on the side of bullet-based weaponry.

Fallout 4: Automatron is a mixed bag of DLC. On one hand, it is lacking in its mission structure and story, but on the other it is a rich and deep addition to an already bustling open world. With fun new weapons, enemies, and a fantastic robot-building system, the highs of Automatron far outweigh the lows, and it has proven to be a worthwhile piece of downloadable content that will appeal to fans of Fallout 4‘s crafting and scavenging.

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