Fallout 4: Automatron
The Good: Build your own robot sidekick. Introduces Rust Devils.
The Bad: Very short. Just a handful of new quests and dungeons.
The Ugly: Nothing.
Have you always wished you could build your very own robot sidekick in Fallout 4? Yeah, me neither, but I’ve been given access to the Fallout 4 season pass to review, and the first piece that has been released, the first very small piece, allows you to do just that. Using a new workbench that you get the blueprints for, you can build up robots from scrap parts. For those who have spent a fair amount of time tinkering with their mech suits, the interface will be instantly familiar. Select torsos, arms, heads, and legs from various scrolling menus, and you’ll have a robot assembled in no time. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the options narrow – arms for example come with a number of grasping, bashing, and shooting weapons you can integrate – but you’re limited to bipedal robots which are primarily differentiated by their speed and their hit points. Sure, they look different, but ultimately they’re not very dissimilar from the selection of other sidekicks you already have available except for some reverb in their voice boxes. Think of how cool it would have been to build a tank robot on treads, or a goliath with six arms, each wielding a heavy laser – alas, it is not to be.
With your new sidekick at your side (the first one is named Ada), you embark on a mission to explore and eradicate enclaves of rogue robots, discover a new faction called the Rust Devils – something like raiders who dress up in robot armor and have robots of their own – leading up to a boss battle with the source of these rogue robots called the Mechanist. Along the way you get to explore a couple new locations. One is pretty big with an interesting back story that I won’t spoil, and has an extraordinary number of elaborate doors you get to watch roll, wind, split, iris, fold, and otherwise dramatically swing open.
The big question is, clocking in at maybe three or four hours all told, unless you have a yen to become a robot assembling fool, is it worth it? I’ve become somewhat philosophical about the prices of things recently. Automatron costs about $10 (USD) when purchased separately. A movie in a major US city can cost easily that much or more depending on what combination of IMAX/3D/stadium seating you choose to pay for and runs about two hours. A paperback, brand new, is a little under $10, and could take ten hours to read depending on its length and you’re reading skill. So without really a lot of regard for how many hours it lasts, $10 is a very common entertainment price, and in that sense, Automatron falls right in line. Some may think it expensive, but I think if you’re looking for just a little more Fallout 4, go for it. If nothing else, Automatron succeeded in dragging me away from the world of XCOM2 and back into the world of Fallout 4, which in itself is no small feat.
Reviewed By: Phil Soletsky
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
This review is based on a digital copy of Fallout 4: Automatron for the PC provided by Bethesda Softworks.