Fallout 4: Far Harbor
The Good: Some of the most fascinating characters to survive the apocalypse.
The Bad: Main plot line not terribly interesting. Everyone is so needy.
The Ugly: Bland, annoying VR portion somewhere in the middle.
Looking for that perfect escape from the daily grind of supermutants, synths, railroad activists, raiders, rust devils, and Brotherhood of Steel do-gooder types who parade around the post-apocalyptic Boston wasteland like they frigging own the place? Then welcome to Far Harbor, a lovely, picturesque, stupendously highly radioactive island off the coast of Maine. For your vacation dollar, you’ll find Far Harbor tough to beat. Far Harbor is big, much bigger than that sham of an amusement park and tourist area, Point Lookout. What’s that? It doesn’t feel bigger? Oh, it’s definitely bigger. So much scrumptiously, fabulously bigger. Trust us.
Start your trip with a stopover at The Last Plank, a Far Harbor landmark. Just look at all the buoys and lobster traps hanging on the walls. That’s how you can tell you’re in an authentic Maine harbor bar and not some cheesy tourist spot. Mention this ad to Mitch, the man behind the bar, and get half off a grilled Mirelurk steak. Mmmmm-mmmm! While you’re there, say hi to Old Longfellow, the surly town drunk. Why, he won’t even talk to you unless you get him some whiskey. Oh, Longfellow, what a card! On the dock outside you can say hi to Cassie Dalton. She’s the last of famous and wealthy Far Harbor Daltons, doncha’ know, or at least they were famous and wealthy, until the bombs fell. Now all Cassie has to keep her warm on cold Maine nights is her thirst for vengeance against everyone and everything she feels wronged her family. Pull up a chair, and she’ll give you an earful. You’ll also get to meet many other colorful locals, including Captain Avery, Faraday, the grand high poohbah vizier wizard of the Children of the Atom, and DiMA, a highly advanced rogue synth.
Such loveable characters one and all, and you can while your days away running meaningless errands for them. Hey, want to wander through the ghostly, radioactive fog looking for some old machine parts? Go right ahead! Want to fight huge, mutated creatures or recover a shipment of disk drives? Step right up! Want to kill someone that Cassie feels has wronged her family in some way in the distant past? You can, quicker than you can say accessory to murder! There are dozens of menial tasks you can perform for the locals that we could do for ourselves, but that’s not the Far Harbor way. We prefer to sit and wallow in our own melancholy and self-pity (and sometimes our own filth) and wait for someone to come along and help us. That person could be you!
Treat yourself and experience the many exciting leisure activities the island has to offer. Take a hike in the National Park Campground. Marvel at the mutated flora and fauna, or avail yourself of the camping facilities and spend the night. But be careful; it’s inhabited with bloodthirsty ghouls. Or you could choose to stroll along our waterfront, taking in the breathtaking vistas of swampland, wrecked ships and closed storefronts. Be careful there also – the whole place is crazy infested with ghouls. Or you could pay a visit to the modern and attractive Cliff’s Edge Motel, now regrettably abandoned (or is it?). It boasts every amenity you could possibly imagine, plus it’s home to a friendly group of cheerful Shriners. I’m kidding of course! There are tons of ghouls there too!
No visit to Far Harbor would be complete without a spin through our virtual reality simulator, and we mean that literally. No one is allowed to leave Far Harbor without it! Use the clunky workshop interface as you try and manipulate light blue blocks (not the slightly darker shade of blue blocks – you can’t touch those, silly human!) to bend beams of light and try to recover DiMA’s lost memories. Sure, the controls are slushy and inexact, but think of the fun of guiding little glowing cockroaches while protecting them from floating red balls of death. OK, we admit, the whole thing is terrible, but it’s over pretty quickly. Like stabbing yourself in the thigh with a big, rusty, dull knife coated with tetanus juice, just think of the feelings of relief and comfort that will wash over you when you pull it out. Aaaaahh. Like a day at the spa.
Oh, and I almost forgot to add that while you’re there, you can help Nick Valentine look for a runaway girl. Or don’t. She’s in the middle of some kind of existential quandary, plus, she’s a teenager, and who needs that drama? I sure don’t! And why bother, when there are so many other thrilling and wonderful things to do?
So come to Far Harbor. Just don’t forget to pack your radaway, and some sunscreen. An SPF of about three million or so should do the trick.
Reviewed By: Phil Soletsky
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
This review is based on a digital copy of Fallout 4: Far Harbor for the PC provided by Bethesda Softworks.