Fallout 4 gets a much needed robotic upgrade with the Automatron DLC

The main quest line is quite short, but the custom robot crafting system more than makes up for the lack of new areas.

The Commonwealth is under siege by a horde of mechanical menaces, and only you – the sole survivor of the cryogenics vault lab – can save your settlements from robotic annihilation!

Obviously this first DLC for the long-awaited Fallout 4 is all about the machine mayhem, and there's a ton of new robot enemies to be battled and salvaged. 

An Unexpected Thematic Direction

Don't be spooked off if robots aren't your favorite, as there's actually a dual theme going on here that wasn't fully let on prior to release. Although the Mechanist – the story's main antagonist – sends out hordes of junkbots, giant sentry robots, and more, there's a sinister evil cult vibe going on with the raider group you run afoul of in Automatron's second quest.

Rather than the typical super mutant gore bags, you'll run across sacks full of robot parts, and battle huge machines decked out with flaming animal skulls and featuring demonic names. It's an unexpected twist, but an entertaining one, as it ensures this short but sweet expansion isn't a one-trick pony.

One of the more terrifying robot bosses you'll encounter

New Villains And Friends

Speaking of the Mechanist (mild spoiler here), although the armor in this iteration clearly draws inspiration from the previous character of the same name from Fallout 3, in all other regards the two characters both named Mechanist don't seem to have any connection to one another, and they are not the same person (end spoiler).

That issue aside, the Mechanist is a fun villain with a crazy lair featuring an absolutely hilarious number of security doors that open, unlock, slide, unlatch, roll, or pull apart to the point that it becomes a (clearly intentional) joke.

The door gag is just part of the amusing oddity of Automatron, and its obvious Bethesda wanted to throw in some of the offbeat vibe from heralded previous expansions like Obsidian's “Old World Blues.”

The Jezebel character in particular is one of Bethesda's best in recent memory, although unfortunately she doesn't end up being a companion. It's a shame too - imagine a mashup of GlaDOS and HK-47 and you have an idea of the amazingly deadpanned, insane dialog coming your way.

Some solid logic there...

New Additions To The Fallout 4 World

With an engaging backstory, interesting characters, and fun new loot (electronic weapons galore and even new power armor!), Automatron is overall a winner, with the main drawback simply the short length.

There are only three main quests (with one bonus quest to hunt down a rogue robot if you resolve the main story peacefully), all of which are very straightforward. You'll very likely beat the entire Automatron story line in two hours or less.

You'll have a shockingly good time with this one!

That's more than made up for, however, with the addition of the robot building system. This updated system takes the already in-depth crafting of Fallout 4 and catapults it to a whole new level. Not only can you build your own entirely custom robot (with hundreds of options), but you can also now modify your existing robot companions with a stunning array of features.

Want a robobrain head, Mr. Handy flying thruster torso, one giant hammer hand, one minigun hand, and a pink paint job? No problem, that's an entirely possible build – and it gets weirder and more diverse from there. Sorry Dogmeat, but who wants a fragile canine when you can have a levitating (or tank tread rolling!) mechanical killing machine by your side?

For a complete rundown of all the different heads, helmets, arm weapons, torso armor, and leg options, check out our complete robot crafting guide here.

Just one of many, many potential combos

The Bottom Line

Despite the shortened quests found in Automatron, I can still recommend this DLC without hesitation to anyone who wants more Fallout 4 (or anyone who felt the base game was a little lacking and needed something else to spice up the formula).

Considering Automatron goes for $9.99 (if you didn't get the season pass all at once), while the upcoming Far Harbor DLC will go for $24.99, its a good bet this is Bethesda just clearing its throat, so to speak, before the main performance.

For an opening act, it does an admirable job pulling me back into Fallout 4, and I can't wait to see what's in store next.

Published Mar. 24th 2016
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