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Fallout 4 Far Harbor DLC Review Roundup: Largest Landmass For An Add-On Worth The Buy?

23 May 2016, 6:28 am EDT By Vincent Lanaria Tech Times
"Fallout 4" DLC "Far Harbor" are making their way to homes of gamers here and there. Here's what they think of the ups and downs of the "largest landmass for an add-on."  ( Fallout )

The Fallout 4 DLC Far Harbor officially rolled out just recently and, without a doubt, a ton of gamers have been up and about to grab a copy of their own.

As luck would have it, a couple of those fans regaled the Interweb with stories about the "largest landmass for an add-on" based on Maine, giving the online community great ideas of what to expect from it without too much spoilers.

Role-Playing Element Kind Of Returns

(Photo: Fallout)

When Bethesda launched Fallout 4, it arguably took the RP from RPG. Sure, it had plenty of quests in store to keep settlers busy for hours on end, but it lacked what made the series truly engaging — adaptive ending, dialogue options, the companion wheel or anything similar to it and many others.

With Far Harbor, the developers sort of took a shot to right the wrong, filling in some of the gaps that left the players wanting more. Particularly speaking, the finale can be reached with a peaceful approach.

"Make no mistake: this is still an open world shooter, for the most part. Most of the locations on the map are still basically dungeons, where you'll go in, slaughter a bunch of trappers or super mutants, get a bunch of ammo out of a steamer trunk and be on your way ... So fans of the classic Fallout RPGs still won't find a faithful recreation here, not even will fans of Fallout: New Vegas. This is clearly an attempt to move the storytelling format from Fallout 4 forward, but it's still unmistakably Fallout 4," Dave Thier of Forbes says.

Fog Bogs Down Performance

(Photo: Fallout)

Gamers report that too much fog on the screen is one of the main causes of frame-rate issues on the PS4 version. Of course, that's a pretty huge hiccup that negatively affects the overall experience.

"A less subjective problem is the effect the fog has on the game's frame rate. Fallout 4 was never exactly silky smooth on the PlayStation 4 but now it stutters and stops whenever there's fog on screen or too much else going on, including the new lighting effects that filter unconvincingly through the forest trees," GameCentral for Metro.co.uk writes.

On the other side of the console fence, the Xbox One apparently does not suffer from it, according to a couple of Reddit users. That suggests that it's a bug-related problem rather than an ambitious attempt at cramming in hardware-intensive graphics, not to mention that the PS4 does tend to deliver better performance, just like the case with Doom.

Interestingly, a Redditor who goes by the name of AustralianPartyKid points out the irony in all this: Developers usually use fog to save the game from rendering distant objects, thus keeping the frame rate stable — remember Silent Hill? This goes without saying, but that aspect this time around caused a complete 180.

Delivers Massive Promise In A Whole Lot Of Other Ways

(Photo: Fallout)

It's no mystery that Far Harbor delivers a vast island for players to explore, and it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the creatures on it are extraordinarily big too.

"Hermit crabs aren't the only giants in Fallout 4's Far Harbor expansion. There are enormous mutated praying mantises called Fog Crawlers, truly towering Mirelurk Queens, Deathclaws (naturally), and a host of giant frog and lizard monsters inhabiting the expansion's new landmass. The island itself is big, too, and has a sizable main story to match," Christopher Livingston of PC Gamer says.

Minecraft Goes Post-Nuclear

(Photo: Fallout)

If the performance issue hasn't kept the player from proceeding with the story enough, there's a series of puzzles that'll finish the job.

"Far Harbor's single biggest flaw is the Minecraft-style puzzle sequence that appears about halfway through the main questline. In order to recover a series of DiMA's memories that unlock the most important aspects of Far Harbor's history, your character has to tap into a computer hidden deep within the Child of Atom facility. The resulting mini-game lasts anywhere from one to three hours," Matt Whittaker of Hardcore Gamer notes.

For the record, DiMA is the Synth leader who looks a whole lot like Nick Valentine.

The Bottom Line

(Photo: Fallout)

At the end of the day, Far Harbor delivers an all in all great experience. In other words, $25 for about 15 to 20 hours' worth of gameplay plus a vast island to explore, numerous quests and some new stuff to tinker with here and there make for one heck of a DLC.

"Fallout 4: Far Harbor adds a large amount of great quests and content within its gloomy but distinctive island setting. Thanks to some well-written, morally ambiguous characters, its choices are as gray as the weather, and much more interesting," Dan Stapleton of IGN says, summing it up nicely.

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