Available with a season pass or individually, the Fallout 4: Automatron downloadable content is the first of a number of add-ons for Bethesda’s latest open-world role-playing game. Fallout 4 was released in November 2015, and in February 2016 the publisher announced the season pass price would increase because of the large amount of support they have planned for the game. As of now, that includes three downloadable content packs and the ability for console players to create and play mods. All in all, Bethesda expects to offer over $60 worth of new content, apparently a whole new game’s worth.
Fallout 4: Automatron isn’t a huge expansion of the game. As a matter of fact, the add-on can easily be completed in about three to four hours. It begins as many new quests do, with a new radio signal. Once you’re tuned in, following the distress signal will set you on your way.
Unfortunately, by the time you arrive and deal with the situation, the only one you’re able to save is a robot, named Ada. Strangely, she’s hell-bent on retribution, and wants your help going after an army of homicidal robots led by the mysterious Mechanist.
There are just a handful of missions and achievements involved in Fallout 4: Automatron. It boils down to gaining the ability to create and modify robots, and then going after the Mechanist. None of this really takes you too far off the beaten path. The whole thing would actually be a really simple endeavor, if you were a high enough level and really focused on crafting and science perks from the beginning. Automatron does require a player to be at level 15 to begin the quest, but without having a technologically proficient character, it was somewhat difficult for me, at level 30-something.
The ability to create your own companions is an interesting one. However, the most compelling part of Automatron is probably finding new additions for your creations. It’s not that the story isn’t interesting, it is serviceable if not compelling. It is worth noting that if you finish up this side-quest in the Silver Shroud’s outfit, and remain in character, there is some unique dialogue. Unfortunately, at the end of it all, the world isn’t really changed. Yeah, you can now make robots, and there’s another annoying, endless “oh there’s a robot over here that needs to be destroyed” set of missions. As if the never-ending settlement protection missions were a high point of the game.
Fallout 4: Automatron is essentially a side quest, not a full-on expansion like the upcoming Far Harbor is supposed to be. It is also bigger than the Wasteland Workshop add-on. Considering players have been waiting months for some new Fallout 4 content, Automatron is a little anticlimactic. My biggest complaint with Fallout 4 is its sparse and half-baked narrative, and Automatron does nothing to really fix that. I would rather have more interaction with the companions I already have, than the ability to make more nondescript sidekicks. However, if building robots appeals to you, and you’ve run out of missions, Automatron should give you a reason to put the Fallout 4 disc back in your console.
Fallout 4: Automatron is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Use of Drugs. This game can also be found on: PlayStation 4, and Windows PC