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Fallout 4: Far Harbor
Score: 80%
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG


Compared with the two puzzling expansions that arrived earlier in the year, Fallout 4: Far Harbor is likely much more along the lines of what fans have wanted out of Fallout 4 downloadable content. At least, it falls more in line with the expansions that players have grown accustomed to: it's a more substantive expansion that adds a new area, a series of questlines woven more or less around one core narrative thread, and a generous helping of new content that adventurers wouldn't be able to experience in the Commonwealth.

About a Girl?:

Valentine Detective Agency has picked up a job, but the details on it are somewhat fuzzy and unreliable. It's a missing person case that ultimately turns out to be more than what it seems. You are contracted to find a young woman named Kasumi Nakano, who her parents suspect has been kidnapped. However, a quick going-over of the house reveals that there's much more to this disappearance than that. It turns out poor Kasumi has been suffering from an identity crisis. Specifically, she suspects that she isn't human at all, but a synth. Signs point to Acadia, a safe haven for synths on the dangerous island of Far Harbor.

When you actually arrive on Far Harbor, you get a better (and more horrifying) idea of what the place is actually like. Turns out, the term "safe haven" is relative. Far Harbor is hardly removed from the dangers and problems that plague the Commonwealth. The island's core fishing settlement is frequently besieged by monsters, a mysterious radioactive fog is worshipped by the zealous Children of Atom, and in the middle, the synths of Acadia simply want to be left in peace. How you figure into this story is up to you, as it always is. Far Harbor's story has a neat concept at its core, but the primary story is ultimately a poorly-developed slog over ground that has been tread far too well. A handful of moments had me literally shaking my head at how little sense they made. But in the end, storytelling hasn't been the main draw (or strong suit) of a Fallout game since the first two games -- and maybe New Vegas. So it's forgivable.

Red Fog:

Far Harbor itself is a sizable bit of real estate, but longtime Fallout veterans may end up comparing its muggy, swampy dangers to those in the similarly-themed Point Lookout area from Fallout 3. That being said, Fallout 4: Far Harbor is able to get more mileage out of the setting. Lurking in the radioactive fog are several of the same kinds of mutated horrors you're used to fighting, but it's mostly marine life you'll be contending with. Far Harbor introduces special gear to help you put them down. Harpoon guns are slow and sometimes unwieldy, but they pack a serious punch -- especially in V.A.T.S.

Most of the new experiences in Fallout 4: Far Harbor are quite enjoyable because they are built on what the game does best: atmospheric adventuring and fun shooting action. However, there's one extended sequence that leaves all that behind for something newer. Without spoiling anything, I'll simply state that it's a great idea that just happens to be poorly executed. It's unavoidable if you plan on getting through the main story, and it absolutely kills the momentum established by earlier quests.


Fallout 4: Far Harbor is good, but at $24.99, it's overpriced. The Season Pass has turned out to be kind of a bust so far, especially when you consider the high standards Bethesda has set for itself with its previous cycles. While Automatron has its merits, I consider Far Harbor the only worthwhile expansion.

Fallout 4's downloadable content cycle has revealed itself to be shockingly weak so far, especially when you compare it with Bethesda's earlier efforts, which are often cited as the absolute best in the business. Its Season Pass is a big question mark. Its price was recently increased, and with no details yet on what's coming in the future, it's a massive gamble. If future expansions are more in line with Far Harbor, I'll probably be able to recommend it. However, if it's padded out with more content like Wasteland Workshop and Automatron, I won't.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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