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Far Harbour elevates Fallout

June 7, 2016

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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FalloutDepending on whom you ask, Fallout 4’s debut add-on, “Automatron” and the succeeding “Wasteland Workshop”, either satiated the Fallout 4 fan base or left them feeling underwhelmed. Regardless of the aforementioned two DLC’s reception, Fallout 4’s third DLC release Far Harbour was easily the most anticipated of the three and was touted as the first “legitimate” expansion by fans following its initial reveal. With this said, a reasonable portion of die-hard fans still continue to meander the wastes, especially those entrenched within the modding community.

From the standpoint of plot, length, writing and more, Bethesda’s latest DLC offering feels and plays like a genuine expansion in ways previous efforts did not, thereby elevating Far Harbour to a status similar to the likes of the fan-favourite narrative driven add-ons that accompanied Fallout 3. One of the main reasons that Far Harbour stands head and shoulders above Bethesda’s prior efforts is due to its concentrated narrative.

FalloutAfter a brief preamble, The Lone Wanderer finds him or herself aboard a vessel heading to the titular Far Harbour, a coastal township shrouded in mystery and swathed in what seems to be a perpetual state of fog. Accompanying the Lone Wanderer is none other than the inimitable sly talking gumshoe, Nick Valentine. Valentine’s presence in Far Harbour is welcomed as each quest involving the cyborg detective in the base game was amongst some of the strongest in regards to both writing and plot.

As the weathered locals pejoratively welcome the two outsiders, an atmosphere that is equal parts both morose and surreptitious begins to take hold. Shortly after docking, I was swept up in the town’s local politics and heard many a spiel from the respective figureheads of the estranged factions residing in Far Harbour.

FalloutFar Harbour’s narrative goes in some surprisingly interesting places. In typical Fallout fashion, numerous tough decisions are to be made but these ultimatums don’t feel as black and white as a majority of the ones in the base title did. Instead, the choices presented blur the lines between nobility and selfishness and culminate in morally ambiguous outcomes.

Since Far Harbour is an add-on, its experience is inherently truncated, causing events to move at a brisk speed. That’s not to say Far Harbour’s pacing is fickle, though. Think of it as a two hundred-word mystery novel that shares a canonical bond with a three thousand-word epic.

FalloutHalfway through the main quest-line, the player is presented with an odd, Minecraft-like logic puzzle that occurs outside of the game’s setting. Its inclusion feels ham-fisted and ultimately needless. These portions, along with some performance issues account for a large majority of Far Harbour’s cons. In addition to the main quest-line, some interesting side quests lie in wait. And of course, unique loot and weaponry is also to be found across the foggy expanse that is Far Harbour.

Far Harbour re-establishes Fallout 4’s relevance in 2016 and raises the bar for the title’s future DLC’s moving forward. It’s odd as to why Bethesda waited so long to introduce Far Harbour, as an earlier debut may have worked in Bethesda’s favour and captured the fleeting attention of now former Fallout 4 fans. Far Harbour though is more than a step in the right direction and is a worthy add-on to an already exceptional title.

 

Fallout Fallout 4: Wasteland Workshop
Format: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site: https://www.fallout4.com/

Rating: 8 / 10

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.