Fallout 4 Far Harbor
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 9

What starts as a missing person’s case from Valentine’s Detective Agency quickly becomes an eerie adventure on a desolate island in this Fallout 4 DLC. In contrast to the previous DLC for the game, Far Harbor adds a massive new area to the game, along with plenty of story content. While there’s still lots of exploring to be done and things to kill, this DLC also takes more creative risks and requires players to make more meaningful choices. In addition, the atmosphere is quite different from that of the Commonwealth, and the island offers a nice change of scenery.

Gameplay: The greater emphasis on story elements and choices should make Far Harbor more appealing to old-school Fallout fans.

Graphics: The foggy environments of Far Harbor make for creepy exploration, and there are plenty of memorable locations to discover.

Sound: While there are no new radio stations, the music in Far Harbor is quite moody, and the voice acting is good

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Fallout 4 Far Harbor

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Action / RPG / First Person Shooter | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

After the custom robot companions of Automatron and the new construction options from Wasteland Workshop, the third DLC for Fallout 4 finally provides players with some sizeable story content. Reminiscent of the Point Lookout DLC from Fallout 3, Far Harbor takes players to a brand new area called The Island, located just off the coast of Maine. The journey begins as with a lot of things in Bethesda Fallout titles, with a search for a missing person. Thankfully, this time, it’s not a relative of the protagonist but a family searching for their daughter who has seemingly run off. Players are presented with this quest via Nick Valentine’s Detective Agency, making him the perfect companion for the adventure. 

After a visit to the family residing in a secluded part of the Commonwealth, players start to comprehend the reasons behind the girl named Kasumi’s departure. A short boat trip later, players find themselves in Far Harbor, a foggy island with its own share of factions and issues. The harbormen, huddled around the docks due to the radioactive fog that has forced many from their homes, are in conflict with the Church of the Children of Atom, a cult that reveres the fog as a divine gift. The third faction on the island is a colony of synths led by a highly advanced rogue synth named DiMA. As is customary in a Fallout title, the search for the missing person is quickly overshadowed by a multitude of quests that players can undertake for these three factions, each with their own unique motivations and perspectives.

Although the DLC is still filled with fetch quests and killing sprees, the developers seem to have paid some attention to qualms from Fallout fans. Conversations, in particular, have been improved, and players now have more dialogue options to choose from. Far Harbor also makes it much harder for players to keep their hands clean while doing quests, as even the most peaceful outcomes might require some morally gray choices. Players can try to keep the peace between all three factions or outright perform quests that can lead to their destruction. For example, the Children of Atom live in an old nuclear submarine with intact and functional atomic warheads, which unscrupulous players can use against them. Even minor quests, such as finding tools to help the harbormen shore up their defenses, feature moral components. Upon locating the tools, players encounter someone willing to pay ten times more for the tools to use for their own nefarious purposes. Ultimately, players’ actions can lead to one of eight different endings, some of which are pretty grim.

Far Harbor adds a pretty sizeable new area to the game, and thanks to the radioactive fog, it is also home to some strange new creatures. Players can expect to encounter wolves, anglers, and gulpers, all with variations like glowing, albino, diseased, and so on. One of the most impressive new enemies is the giant hermit crabs that use vehicles as protective shells. The giant fog crawlers that terrorize the island are not quite as imposing but just as deadly. The combination of thick fog and mutated sea life gives the DLC a very Cthulhu feel, which is a nice change of pace compared to the Commonwealth. It’s not all just crustaceans either, as the island has trappers to deal with instead of raiders. These were ordinary humans before the fog drove them insane, and they tend to attack with melee weapons like meat hooks while wearing trapper or coastal armor. 

Visually, Far Harbor still runs on the same engine as Fallout 4, so it doesn’t look radically different. The amount of fog gives the island a spooky atmosphere but can also cause a performance hit on slower computers. Bethesda did make an effort to populate the island with unique locations to explore so players might stumble across a lighthouse, tannery, crashed airliner, campgrounds, orphanage, and more. There is also the Vim Pop factory, where the island’s beverage of choice was made, and a vault hidden underneath a hotel. The latter is particularly interesting as it is home to a bunch of robobrains and requires players to solve a murder mystery instead of just murdering everyone in sight. Bethesda has even thrown in a quest that involves a tower defense-style puzzle game set in virtual reality. Players are required to use blocks to build pathways and redirect laser beams. It is a little clunky, considering it uses the settlement building interface, but kudos to them for shaking things up a bit. Speaking of settlements, the island has four more for players to establish around farms, cabins, and a visitors center.

Players who prefer violence to words will appreciate the two new weapons in Far Harbor. The first is a harpoon gun, which is extremely slow but very deadly. The second is a powerful radioactive hammer capable of extreme melee damage. In addition, the island is home to a new companion named Old Longfellow. Unlike other companions, he is not romanceable but has his own story and can grant players a perk that permanently reduces the damage dealt by animals and sea creatures. Although Old Longfellow has some interesting observations about the island, we preferred having Nick Valentine in our party as some of the story elements linked to the synth colony also involve his past. 

Overall, Far Harbor offers a fun romp through a new location, along with some interesting stories and characters. The inclusion of some actual choices and moral dilemmas makes for a more engaging experience, and the island is big enough for some decent adventuring. We really enjoyed the setting, and the greater emphasis on the story should also appeal to fans of the older Fallout games. Some elements, like the virtual reality section, could have been done better, but all things considered, the island is well worth visiting. Just make sure to avoid venturing there at too low a level, as it is a pretty inhospitable place. 

System Requirements

  • OS *: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
  • Storage: 30 GB available space
  • OS *: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Processor: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB or equivalent
  • Storage: 30 GB available space

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