Fallout 4: Far Harbor Review

Watch Your Geiger Counter
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios Publisher: Bethesda Softworks Platform: PS4/PC/Xbox One

This is still the Commonwealth, but not as you know it

You’ve woken up in your comfortable and secure settlement. You know the Commonwealth like the back of your pretty little hand don’t you? Every corner store, every town, every Vault. But while you’re working out which colour power armour makes your eyes pop you receive a radio broadcast from Valentine’s Detective Agency. A young girl is missing, and the search for her leads you to a place you’ve never been.

Makeup on fleek

Sorry, you just look like someone i know

Okay let’s not dance around any longer.

Far Harbour is the third and most recent Fallout 4 add-on Bethesda announced they’d bless us with so far in 2016, and to get down to the business end of this turkey I can confidently sum this incredible DLC up into four key-points. Have a seat.

If you’re driving to work this morning please be sure to turn your lights on

Marine armor looks fierce, and some of the strongest available in the wasteland

It’s big

The mere size of this expansion was enough to excite me to no end, and you can understand during gameplay why it’s such a biggie. When you first catch a boat over to The Island (and yes, it’s a completely different map to the Commonwealth) you arrive at the town of Far Harbour where you straight away get a heavy feeling of unfamiliarity in this brand new environment you’ve landed in. Once you’ve walked around a little and spoken to some very hostile sounding townspeople you eventually venture out of the town you arrived in and into the HUGE landscape which makes up The Island. You will spend a lot of time walking around it and finding new loot and interesting new creatures and people and for the most part it’s a constant excitement. However, I would have liked to have seen more discoverable locations in closer vicinity.  In some places it feels like you spend a lot of time walking around an area with nothing in it. Regardless, it’s still a really interesting place with hours of good times to be had discovering new locations and settlements as well as just enjoying the good old exploration gameplay. That is, if you can filter your way through the fog. Geez, that bloody fog. I’ll elaborate in a bit.

Mind if I snap a pic real quick, madam?

I shall call him Winston

It’s hard

As you make your way around the gloomy map you come across many things unseen before this DLC. I took three steps into fog and was ambushed by Trappers (like Raiders but with better armour), then before I could slam a Stimpak into my arm a pack of Wolves tried to take my kidney, I even died for only the third time in 300+ hours of gameplay!  Now I’m the type of player who needs to see everything, who has to do everything and who has to level up as much as I can before moving onto the next location or quest, so being a relatively experienced player I carry some pretty powerful weapons (let me just hop off of my pedestal). But, a large amount of the horrible creatures you find in this merciless wasteland won’t go down quick enough with anything smaller than a 50.cal rifle. Even my Overseers Guardian rifle couldn’t take some of these beasts down in under two or three full clips. Honestly, I love it. Fighting huge creatures that can set you on fire with their venomous spit or catapult you like a frisbee is simply grand. Oh, and you will be fighting them in a large, thick, irradiated blanket of fog that’s slowly turning you into a ghoul. There are machines called Fog Condensors throughout that subdue it, but in true post-apocalyptic fashion they are broken, and you gotta fix ‘em.

It’s deep

Far Harbour ends up being very rich in terms of its quests and story lines. The main quest initially revolves around you and Nick Valentine searching for Kasumi, a young girl who ran away from her parents for reasons unknown to them, but this story falls so much deeper than just finding a missing girl. Whether you stumble upon a Synth refuge or a large Children of Atom faction you better make your decisions within them wisely, as every action you make affects the end of the main objective. Your choices will spell the difference between someone living and dying, and ergo severely alters how the story unfolds from that point forward. It will even affect your side quests! So you can make a wrong decision in a main story and have certain side quests become unavailable. It’s really well thought out, and makes you consider what the best option for the situation would be.

Go on, kiss.

Mother told me not to talk to strangers

It’s different

The feel of Far Harbour is just… different, and it feels so disconnected (in a good way) from the Commonwealth. That deathly fog and damp, uninviting atmosphere makes the Commonwealth look even a little bit… well… nice! Not to mention that slight fear of the unknown you have when you enter that foggy wasteland and encounter things Fallout veterans haven’t seen in the franchise before. Like oh, I don’t know, maybe a hermit crab with a flippin’ bus as a shell! You also have a whole new array of armour, tools and weapons including a sluggish, but powerful Harpoon Gun. Then there are the people. These people you speak to in town have a “those damn mainlanders” type of attitude and it really shows when you interact with them, they’re very untrusting. Some are completely hostile and won’t let you speak to them, and some are just insane. I had a man ask me to send people to an eerie, dense part of the map so he could eat them, all while giggling and talking to himself. I kid you not.

You can take on this massive and completely new experience with Old Longfellow, a new whiskey-loving companion Bethesda has thrown into Far Harbour. For the most part it’s quite exciting to have a new face follow you around and react to your clever sarcasm, or tell you how good you are at picking locks. Alas, he isn’t anything special when it comes to a fight. He tends to wander off a lot and his aim is terrible. I ended up just giving him a wood plank to prod around with. Also, he sings to himself a lot, which is a nice and quirky little touch when you’re wandering the desolate plains in silence, but when you’re speaking to an NPC about an important story detail or quest objective he happily sings over the top of them (“Dang it Longfellow go play with your stick over there!”). I personally venture with Valentine because he’s very interactive with the people and Synths on this island. He is also connected with another important character in the main missions, DIMA, another proto-type Synth who remembers Nick from their time in the Institute a century ago. Plus he’s good in a fight and his smug attitude towards everything makes the game more enjoyable for me.

Of course it’s safe! Trust me…

Excuse me, my eyes are up here

Final Thoughts

I have played Fallout 4 to the very end. I have collected everything there is to collect and done everything there is to do. In terms of DLC, Wasteland Workshop was just a way for players to catch humans in cages and make them fight Deathclaws (admit it, you animals). The other recent DLC Automatron was a good little add-on, but the story was short and you quickly forgot the small adventure you experienced. But Far Harbour will supply you with a very different experience. I was surprised at just how new and fresh everything was, how strong and crazy-looking the newer creatures were, how it has a different atmosphere to the Commonwealth and how jam-packed it was with new goodies to discover. I haven’t mentioned any bugs because I started the DLC expecting the good old Bethesda patch party to commence soon after but in honesty I only encountered clipping twice, neither of which affected my gameplay. Hats off to you Bethesda. I just wish Old Longfellow would shut his gob.

Reviewed on Playstation 4

Good

  • Completely different ambience
  • Many potential hours of gameplay
  • Well thought out storyline/quests
  • Minimal bugs

Bad

  • Could have included more discoverable locations
  • Old Longfellow is an annoying companion
9

Bloody Ripper

Seafood, gaming, music and sports bikes. In that order. Brett's been a radio presenter, event manager, wedding reception host and even a telemarketer, whatever allows him to listen to his own voice. When he isn't working on silly Instagram sketches and broadcasting poorly executed playthroughs of free Steam games on YouTube, he's writing hiphop tracks, strumming guitar or playing RPGs. Add him on PSN: unclebrett90 - follow him on Instagram @ brettbatley
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