The Fallout from Far Harbor

I’ll get this out of the way first, Bethesda RPG’s are right up my alley. It’s difficult to explain why they are and eventually something more deep and impactful may draw me in but for now, this is my jam.

So you’ll not be surprised to hear that Fallout 4 was a resounding success for me. It was fun, it added to everything there was to enjoy about the previous two games made by Bethesda Game Studios including crafting, which I do way too much of, while retaining the charm it brings with it.

Therefore, it should have been a given that Far Harbor would be more of the same, yes? Well, it was more like kicking a car, you have that rush when you’re doing it but then you begin to wonder why you would do such a thing.

On the positive, they added a nice variety of missions this time without adding the obnoxious filler ones from the main game that fill your Pip Boy with nonsense, your mind full of rage and turn Preston into a meme.

The new enemies were a lot of fun, from the huge Fog Crawler that looks like an angry shrimp to utter nightmarish monstrosities like the Angler. It was a horrendous blend of a toad and an Angler fish that resisted ballistic damage, which made the high level versions almost impervious and frighteningly exciting at the same time.

Adding little plot points by bringing Nick Valentine along was fun too. It’s heavily hinted to do so as access to the new island begins at his detective agency but the extra story you get from the synth tagging along just made it feel more rounded and involved with having a friend there too.

Now for the bad and while the radiation-filled fog was a smart idea, especially as the effect it has is negligible, it makes the game chug like it’s downing a gallon of Guinness. On my PS4, it went down to what felt like three frames per second as it tried to run through treacle to get anything to go and it got worse when enemies were involved as well.

The size of the map is impressive, even if this was the main game, but it’s again filled without much going on. It could have been halved, saving the silly travel from one side to another as I piled up quests like a shopping trip to save me the hassle of trekking all that way again.

It’s final real hole in its hull was that the story wasn’t really enough flesh on the bones. I hadn’t got a motivation to save anyone, Far Harbour town was dull and the Children of Atom are irritating zealots. Even the middle man, Dima, was a little cold and with so many shades of grey in there, it felt like either letting them all live or blowing them all to smithereens were the only sane options.

In the end, it was solid chunk added to the game but it didn’t really benefit from it as much as it hasn’t taken anything away. It was just there and while it was good, it was the crafting again that drew me back in more and pushed me to do that bit extra.

I should become an inventor, maybe then I’ll be a little bit more of use to society.

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