Platform PC, Xbox One, PS4 Genre FPS, RPG
Developer Bethesda Game Studios Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Platform Played On PC
Big Bethesda fans may recall the ‘Dragonborn’ DLC that released for Skyrim back in 2013; it added a whole new landmass, new quests, sidequests, player homes, and mobs. Fast forward to the present, and it seems like Bethesda is sticking with a functional formula. The new Fallout 4 DLC, ‘Far Harbor,’ follows a similar pattern, but has the distinction of being the biggest landmass Bethesda has created for a DLC. Players will board a ship and sail to the deadly coast of Maine where creepy new creatures and more than a few eccentric new characters will offer around several more hours of entertainment
When the game first loads up after installation, players are sent back to fan favorite Nick Valentine’s office, where his assistant Ellie has yet another missing person to track down. From there, the Sole Survivor and companion travel to the far northeast edge of the map where they will eventually take a boat to the mysterious fog covered island of Far Harbor. Players may want to stock up on Rad-X and Radaway before heading out, though, because there are a few pretty dense pockets of radiation on the island.
As previously mentioned, ‘Far Harbor’ is downright huge. Though the actual town has been driven to the docks by the radioactive fog that covers the island, the landmass itself offers plenty of new locations to discover and explore. Among these locations is a defunct nuclear submarine housing the Children of Atom, the potentially loony worshippers of nuclear horribleness, and what looks like an old observatory housing DiMA, a synth with too many secrets and a few shadowy ties to Nick Valentine himself. That said, players will also have access to Old Longfellow, a citizen of Far Harbor who is well acquainted with the island. I chose to keep Nick with me, though, because he and DiMA have some interesting dialogue.
Far Harbor is definitely not for lower level play. New monsters like Anglers and Fog Crawlers have a ton of health and pretty vicious attacks. Anglers literally spit balls of flaming goo at you. On the bright side, new weapons like the Harpoon Gun deal out a pretty heavy amount of damage. Aside from the new creatures and weapons, combat in Far Harbor does not offer much of a change from the base game. There is, however, a pretty innovative set of puzzles within the main quest that offers a new way to explore the existing workshop system. The change of scenery is an abrupt but somehow fitting shift from the foggy Far Harbor setting. It is difficult to say much more than that without spoiling the story mission, but if you are a fan of puzzle minigames, you will definitely be pleased.
One of the most important differences the Far Harbor DLC offers is what feels like a greater focus on player choice. There is a conflict brewing between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the people of Far Harbor, and it falls to the player to stop (or encourage) full on catastrophe. The Sole Survivor has the ability to make his or her mark on the entire island, and there is an urgency that the base game seemed to lack. Whereas I had no problem taking a break from the hunt for Shaun to build a settlement or three, the way the events unfold in Far Harbor kept me on my toes at all times.
Overall, Far Harbor is a fantastic add on to the already beautiful and rich Commonwealth of the base game. You may remember our resoundingly favorable review of Fallout 4, and ‘Far Harbor’ was definitely not a letdown. The Island itself is well crafted and overflowing with secrets just waiting to be discovered, and the new wildlife is challenging even at a higher level. In all honesty, at some points the Island is just plain frightening, which works extremely well to heighten the sense of looming disaster. The minigame in the main quest breaks up what occasionally feels like the monotony of running from place to place and killing whatever happens to attack you, and there are plenty of higher level items to find. If you haven’t picked it up yet, Far Harbor is well worth the $25 USD price tag.
- New items, enemies, and NPC’s
- Bigger focus on player choice than in the base game
- Eerie setting creates excellent atmosphere
- Interesting connections to base game characters
- Puzzle minigame may not appeal to all players
The Score: 9
Hope Hornsby is a PC Editor for AnalogAddiction. She doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on tumblr anymore, but you can follow her on twitter at your own risk.