Automatron, released on March 22, 2016, is the first DLC available for Fallout 4, which was initially released on November 10, 2015 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC by Bethesda Game Studios. After clocking in a solid 6 days playtime, you can bet that I was ready to get into some new quests and content. I was awake at 11 finishing some homework, so I figured I might as well queue up the DLC download so that I’d be able to take a look at it and get everything set up for the next day. Easy, right? It certainly should have been, but oh. Oh no.
A small camp and a whole lot of angry robots and one not so angry robot greeted me. After cutting down all of the angry ones, I turned to the modded Assultron named Ada, and she thanked me for my help. There was a great moment where she expressed sadness and anger at the loss of her human friends; definitely felt some robot-sympathizer feels happening as she expressed that they were like family to her.
During our conversation, we were rudely interrupted by another wave of robots! It didn’t really feel intentional, as we weren’t at a stopping point in our conversation or anything, so I chalked it up to a very excited game engine spawning these new robot adversaries. Again, I took them down, no problem, and returned to Ada to finish our conversation and get the quest started.
“Ada,” my character addressed her while she stomped around the campsite that was littered with her friends’ bodies. No response.
“Ada?” The tone got a little more insistent, more concerned. Still nothing.
“Ada…?” The only indication of awareness that Ada gave me was the fact that her one glowing eye followed my character as she frantically jumped around the smoldering camp, trying to trigger the rest of the conversation to get the quest started.
“Ada!!” There is no response. There is never a response. There is no Ada. There is no Commonwealth. Only darkness. Shhhh, just dreams now.
After a few unsuccessful 24-hour waits, fast travels, hard reboots, and full uninstalls and reinstalls of the DLC, I have definitely learned my lesson about installing new content immediately after release, and got the DLC up and running again the next day. Definitely put a little bit of a damper on my fun at first, but I can’t fault them too much for it.
As for the DLC itself, after the initial hiccup, it played smoothly and was a good way to introduce the new robot-building mechanic. The story they crafted was a lot of fun, and really made you feel attached to your new robot buddy Ada. As you uncover more about the story, it becomes apparent that not everything is what it seems. There were two new locations and a great new settlement that were really wonderfully crafted, really helped highlight the spooky atmosphere.
I highly recommend reading as many terminal entries as you can while you go along – it fills in a lot of story that while you might get if you didn’t read them, they definitely fill in some specifics. Uncovering the mystery of the Mechanist felt satisfying, and I would have been absolutely fine if it had been a little longer, but for $10, the length felt about right. The main complaint that I’ve seen has been in terms of length and depth of the story, and the story definitely did seem like a way to introduce the robot-building mechanic, but even with that in mind, it didn’t feel too shoe-horned in or boring. Basically, I feel like if you love the in-game armor and weapon modding, you’ll really enjoy all of your options when it comes to building new robot friends, and the story quests won’t feel grind-ey or boring.
For the $10 price tag, I feel like there was just enough to get me re-engaged with the game and make me want to keep using this new robot-building mechanic. The new characters that were introduced were believable and fun to interact with, and I really liked the little story twist at the end. It had the right amount of early Fallout silliness with the reminder that the Commonwealth survivors are all just human, and they’re trying their best to make it in this post-nuclear wasteland.
Overall Rating: 7/10