It’s official, Nuka World will be the final piece of downloadable content that will be released for Fallout 4. It was mentioned at E3 2016, but after i had heard, i was in shock and frankly, in denial somewhat. I simply couldn’t believe that out of the 6 DLCs that were released, 3 were focused on additional items for the settlement system. I’m including the soon to be released vault-tec workshop because it seems to be pretty much the settlement system, but it’s a vault. I think back to the post release content of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas and i feel heartbroken.
An article from PCGamer.com that reported on Nuka World being the final DLC called the run a “mixed bag.” A term i would use to stay political. But let’s look into that.
Build your own robots, new raider faction, and embark on a quest to defeat the evil mechanist. As the first DLC, i liked it a lot and thought that this is decent starting off point. They should only build up from here. Clearly bethesda wants to keep adding to their settlement system while also adding more interesting quests to the world. This is why i got my hopes up for what came next.
From the sound of the title i was expecting bigger and better things coming based around the settlement system. More things to build of course, but also easier ways to build what you want, more jobs for settlers to do and, your settlements affect the rest of the world. I even had misguided ideas like the ability to shape the land, including the land outside the green box to some degree, and maybe even the ability to build certain things anywhere in the world for added advantages gained from spending time in the settlements system. Maybe even add more settlement specific quests; civil war between settlements due to disagreements or synth infiltration or something. Choose a side and wipe one of your own settlements out and rebuild it, find a peaceful solution, or…. *sigh*... Nothing of the sort happened of course…
After Wasteland Workshop i lowered my expectations. I figured i was being unreasonable asking for so much. But going into Far Harbor, i was still unable to dive in without any expectations. Using the knowledge of it being the first story add-on as bait, i swam straight towards it once they cast it out. From the moment i walked out into that fog covered paradise of death, i was hooked. I got reeled in so fast by the story that i barely noticed the new settlements and settlement items that were added, not to mention the fact that there was some experimentation going on with settlement specific quests. The water was already chummed with a great main story line, but they had to go and kick it up a notch in the side quests department. I think my favorite involves solving the crime behind a suspicious murder. Fitting for me, since like a fresh catch out of the water, and certain PETA members i went in almost as naked as the day i was shipped off to the meat packing plant.
Pretty much wasteland workshop, except they added slightly more interesting things to build. My first thought was to build the east coast version of the gun runners. But then i thought that i’m just going to end up with truck loads of guns and nothing to do with them. I can’t possibly sell that much hardware, i’m already having a hard time getting rid of the crates full of guns and armor i strip off of dead raiders. I ended up being entertained more by watching videos of people far more creative than me build things on YouTube. I initially considered the entire settlement system as nothing more than a template for modders to extend on. Bethesda games seem to be going more and more in that direction, at least on PC. I understand that all this may have simply been to cater to console players. Sure, they have mods now too, but only to an extent.
Time to get into speculation territory. More stuff will be added to the settlement system as a whole i suspect. Can i only build one vault or can a hole be dug in every settlement to build a vault? Can i build special robots, using the robot workbench, that do the digging? Can this whole thing link up somehow with Fallout Shelter? Can i incorporate robots and deathclaws into the vault experiments somehow? How about a vault where you tell them that one of them is a synth and see if they rip each other apart trying to find it, only to be told later that it was all a lie, there is no synth? Oh god… Hopes?! What are you doing up there?! Come down here this instant!
A second story add-on and final DLC offering. This one had better be huge. It’s already known that you’ll be able to become a raider, but do you build an entire gang? I’m not sure. Of course it’s going to add more to the settlement system. If you launch the game right now you’ll already see a “raider” section in the workshop menu. Just like i did in Far Harbor, i’m gonna jump in bare ass first into this one. Maybe i should just go play Dead Money from Fallout New Vegas again.
Game vs Modding Asset
I suppose you could say that it’s been a mixed bag. But as i’m writing this, i just feel foolish. I don’t know anything about what really goes into developing video games. As a customer, i bought the fallout 4 season pass before they increased the price from $30 to $50. The argument was tossed at me that Bethesda decided to support the game for more than their usual one year of post release content. But this august would be 3 months before the first year anniversary of the release of Fallout 4.
Are DLC video game development costs going up? I’ve been told by individuals that the additions to the settlement system seem like the kind of things that a company like CD Projekt Red would add in a patch or free DLC. I don’t know about that, but it does give me pause. Sure, CDPR and Bethesda seem like two vastly different companies. How is it that CDPR could support The Witcher 3 the way they did? I guess one explanation could be because unlike Bethesda with Zenimax, CDPR have no masters. Payday 2 developers were recently able to cut ties from publisher 505 Games, and seemingly as a result remove the controversial microtransactions from the game.
Some may argue that the Fallout franchise has lost its way with Fallout 4, and i may be inclined to agree, but i think it’s still an enjoyable game. It is reminiscent of Max Payne 3; good game, but would have been received as a great game if it was called something else. Fallout 4 - good game, bad Fallout game. Good open world action game, bad RPG.
With all that said, i suspect- or i should say i hope even that Fallout 4 goes the way of Skyrim. After Nuka World is released, we’ll see a couple of patches added in, including a “game of the year” version, then finally it’ll be abandoned and completely turned into a modders playground. Unofficial patches are already in the works. Person or persons will bring us “The Settlement Overhaul” mod, and someone will turn that horse racing track into a fully functioning robot racing spot where the player runs the place or is a customer placing bets. Kotaku will publish “Fallout DLC ranked.” New land masses will be built complete with story lines and voice acting. People will debate about whether or not modders are offering better content for free than Bethesda ever could.
I hope that Bethesda can silence those individuals. They’ve shown with Far Harbor that they have what it takes. Nuka World is their chance to show us that maybe they even have what it takes to go toe to toe with Obsidian entertainment, at least in terms of writing. Do i wish that they delivered more story and less settlement additions? Sure, but maybe that’s just the pc gamer in me talking. With Nuka World being the final DLC it’s also their last chance to prove that the season pass price hike was justified. I hope it was. For Bethesda’s sake Nuka World better deliver and deliver big time.