We really enjoyed Fallout 4, but it's been a while since we last roamed the Commonwealth and so Automatron serves as a nice reason to revisit a wasteland we've farmed for quests for about 100 hours to date.
Automatron is the first in an ambitious series of DLC for Fallout 4 that Bethesda will deploy as part of the season pass, but it can also bought separately.
What is Automatron then? Well, at its core it's a new questline where you're tasked with locating and taking down the a mysterious entity called The Mechanist who is sending robots to the Commonwealth to wreak havoc. The questline consists of a couple of rather short quests, and a longer more challenging dungeon to cap it off. There is no new land per say, but you'll likely see some new locales as you try and take out this robo-menace.
But Automatron is not simply a few new quests, it also adds a robot workbench that allows you to modify and construct robot companions. This adds more than a hundred new mods and for those who enjoy making mods and collecting screws, copper, fibre optics and such things, Automatron adds plenty to fiddle with. Upon completion of the questline you'll also gain access to a series of grind quests (if that's how you chose to roleplay things), and additionally there is a new mini arcade game called, you guessed it, Automatron, where you can chase a new high-score.
Overall, Automatron adds plenty of new content for a modestly priced piece of DLC. We found the story engaging, even if it may not be one of the more memorable side-quests in Fallout 4. Dealing with robots has its charms, but it's not as if the main game didn't have plenty of them already, and we found it grew a bit tedious listening to the dialogue after a while. Perhaps this new content is best enjoyed as you would enjoy other other quests, one every now and then, as opposed to going through the whole 3-4 hour long experience in one go (depends a great deal on play-style and level).
One thing that was quite annoying, and keep in mind we played this with a rather beefed up character (level 44), was that more enemies than we would have liked came with self-destruct protocols. It gets to be a bit tiresome when bots come charging towards you and you know that if you kill them as they are close to you it could mean having to restart at the latest checkpoint. It feels a bit cheap. We chose to play without power armour for the most part, and that may have been a mistake (you're given a steady supply of fusion cores in some sections so it's clearly been designed with the power armour option in mind), as the extra protection comes in handy when facing bots who take their revenge after deactivation.
We do appreciate the fact that this DLC has taken a few months to launch, in the meantime Bethesda has focused on patching the main game and making sure it runs as smoothly as possible while making tweaks and adding features.
While Automatron isn't the most inspired DLC we've ever encountered it does the job of supplying Fallout 4 players with more content, and the concept of creating your own robo-companion is rather neat. There is tons of parts and functionalities to chose from. The actual story is solid and has some brilliant moments (we're not spoiling them here) and overall it's good value for your money as part of the season pass, and while perhaps not stellar value it should still appeal to those looking for a one-off addition to the game.
Given the diversity of the robot enemies you'll face, Automatron offers some of the more engaging combat we've seen Fallout 4, even when considering the annoyances mentioned above. It doesn't add more real estate to the map, and while there are some new props to make the dungeons feel distinct, this is very much a case of more of the same.
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