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Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop
Score: 60%
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/RPG


When Bethesda announced their future plans for Fallout 4, I was pretty much heartbroken. As much as I understand their intent, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And I’d be willing to bet more than my share of bottlecaps that most of the fans agree with me. Maybe we’re spoiled; the downloadable content packs for Bethesda’s past releases have essentially been the benchmarks. But when it comes down to it, the Workshop add-ons are just plain insubstantial. Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop is exactly what you’d expect it to be. If you’re still messing around with Fallout 4’s creation tools, you might find some value in it. It’s better than Wasteland Workshop, but it’s still a Workshop DLC and probably not worth your time.

Action RPG, Hold the Action and the RPG:

Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop is an expansion that only targets the creative aspect of Fallout 4. And that, in and of itself, is an attempt to capture the essence of Minecraft. With resources broken down into core components and special designs calling for very specific recipes, it’s not hard to see where this gameplay mechanic draws its inspiration. And while it has some merits, it doesn’t really hold a candle to the kind of stuff that modding communities get up to. In the spirit of disclosure, my experience with building and decorating settlements begins and ends with the terrible experience I had bringing a settlement’s Happiness rating to 100. Forgive me for not being terribly enthusiastic about this addition.

New Toys:

So what kind of stuff can you play around with? Well, as I implied in the introduction, the toolset is expanded in ways that allow you to get much more creative with your settlements. Thankfully, these go beyond animal and people-trapping, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still an addition to the smallest and most inconsequential part of the game.

But what specifically? Well, put plainly, this is an expansion for people who are far more into complicated Rube Goldberg-esque machines than they are into Fallout 4. And even for those people, I have a hard time imagining them having the patience to work within the limitations of the core game's crafting and building systems to make the contraption of their dreams.

To be fair, some of the new items and systems at your disposal are neat. Warehouses, scaffolding, and conveyors can make you the Marvin Acme of the post-nuclear Commonwealth. You can make all kinds of wacky things, but you can aim for practicality by assembling factories that produce useful items. The problem is, most of it serves little to no purpose other than passing entertainment -- you get an achievement for building a pillory and assigning a settler to it. It isn't nearly as funny as it sounds. And the practical stuff, like ammo production? It's far more enjoyable to earn through combat and exploration. You know, the kind of stuff that makes Fallout 4 so good in the first place.

Buyer's Remorse:

I gave a qualified endorsement of the Fallout 4 Season Pass after the release of Far Harbor. But now that we know Bethesda’s future DLC plans for the game, I have to withdraw it. Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop is an almost entirely pointless addition that continues the trend of ignoring what’s great about Fallout 4 while focusing on its weakest aspects. The Workshop DLCs are cheap in price, but they're also cheap in entertainment value. Unless you're really into this part of Fallout 4, skip Contraptions Workshop.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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