Fallout 4 DLC Review


Along with DLCs, Bethesda has also released a few patches for the post-apocalyptic title.  However, instead of fixing bugs, they've mostly been optimizing the engine, and so several quests that were glitchy at the game's release are still glitchy now, like "Emogene Takes a Lover," which is annoying since if that quest breaks then you can't reach one of the game's bobbleheads.

But along with standard patch stuff, Bethesda has also made two important changes.  The first one is bizarre.  For some reason, Bethesda made it so if you're using mods, then you can't earn any achievements.  For a developer who relies on mods as much as Bethesda does, this seems like a questionable stance, if not a slap in the face of their fanbase.  Luckily, just like with all of Bethesda's doofy decisions and buggy elements, people have modded them away, and so a couple of mods popped up allowing you to put achievements back to the way they were before.

The other change is much better.  Bethesda introduced a true Survival mode, where you have to eat, drink, and sleep in order to survive.  Oddly, they also added extra elements to the mode, eliminating fast travel, only allowing saves when you sleep, introducing infections that require antibiotics, and more.  So the Survival mode is the true toughest difficulty.  I would have preferred if Bethesda had given you options for which elements to turn on or off, but a more challenging mode was sorely needed.  Unfortunately, as with all of Bethesda's games, no matter what the difficulty is, you eventually reach a point where everything becomes easy.  I played in Survival mode for the entire game (that's what I was using as I worked my way through the DLCs), and it kept things tense until around level 35, which probably not coincidentally is when I unlocked ballistic weave (and even though I'm using a mod to tone down ballistic weave, it's still overpowered).


Overall, I had some fun with the Fallout 4 DLCs, but I was disappointed with their content and quality.  Bethesda made all sorts of weird decisions in them -- focusing too much on settlements, adding puzzling items like pillories, ball tracks, Christmas trees and monster cages, and favoring cosmetic changes over true new content -- that I'm not sure who they were even building the DLCs for.  Did anybody complete Fallout 4 and think, "I sure hope half of the DLCs expand upon what I can build in my settlements -- and ignore the fact that I can get a lot of those items free in mods!"  I somehow doubt it.  That certainly wasn't my reaction.

That being said, I enjoyed Fallout 4, and I didn't mind playing through it again for the DLCs -- although mostly that was because of Survival mode.  The $50 Season Pass basically charges you for Automatron, Far Harbor, and Nuka-World, and gives you the workshop DLCs for free, but even so, and even if you liked Fallout 4, I'd recommend waiting for a sale.  Given the almost universal poor reviews of the DLCs, the price is bound to drop sooner or later.