The Fallout 4 adventure appears to be coming to an end with the release of the final DLC by Bethesda titled Nuka World. Normally we try to avoid any sort of critical spoilers in our review within the side quest and main story sections, this will be the rare exception due to reasons you will easily discover upon reading those sections.
As with our other Fallout 4 DLC reviews we will break down to see if it worth the 20$ USD price tag associated with it if you did not get the season pass, or if Bethesda churned out yet another cash grab. Those joining us for the first time may enjoy our Fallout 4, The Automatron DLC, and/or the Far Harbour DLC reviews we have written as to better understand our journey through them and to sort of wrap up the Commonwealth trip.
We are still running the same system that we have been for a while now as it is still able to keep up with everything we want to throw at it. At some point we may do some upgrades when there is a large call for it, until then here is the platform we are running on:
• Processor – Intel i7 4930k (Stock, Turbo boost enabled)
• Motherboard – MSI X79MA-GD45
• Memory – G.SKILL TridentX F3-2400C10Q-16GTX 16GB 4X4GB DDR3-2400
• Storage – Crucial MX200 1TB SSD
• Video Card – PNY GTX 980 XLR8 Pro OC
• Display Monitor – Samsung LS27A850DS 27IN 2560 x 1440
Nuka World is what one would expect a theme park in the Fallout universe to look like having survived a nuclear apocalypse. There are several differently themed parts of the park that offer variety of areas to explore and enemies fight. Nuka World does ‘seem’ to be bigger in scale land wise than Far Harbour though a lot of it starts to look the same as a theme park has to follow a certain basic design scheme or schematic. There are a surprisingly limited amount of buildings you can actually enter in the Nuka World theme park with most of the ones that can be entered are tied to the main story. It gives us a bare minimum amount of effort given in that regards.
Loading times are still just as bad as with Fallout 4 and Far Harbour, with Nuka World sitting somewhere between the two. We are not surprised by this as Bethesda has shown that they are not going to improve loading times for PC as that would require additional work for a mostly console ported game. We still have to compare it to the Witcher 3 or to either one of its DLCs (Heart of Stone or Blood and Wine) where those games have better looking graphics and quicker loading times. It feels more like Nuka World was something that they needed to finish and release compared to a labour of love. Yes there is a limited amount of what Bethesda could do with the older graphical engine Fallout 4 is running on, they would have had to put in additional effort to upgrade graphical assets to improve the visuals of the game (and probably increase the loading times more).
There is not a lot to report in the realm of gameplay additions with Nuka World. In reality there is only one, and it to do with making your own mixtures of Nuka-Cola beverages. This can be accomplished at any Nuka World Mixer stations. These stations can be found throughout the park as well as can be built at any of your settlements. In order to create various ‘new’ combinations one must traverse most of the Nuka World theme park to find them hidden throughout it. This addition allows you to use up your stockpile of Nuka Cola (what, we have a lot, what can we say) that has radiation in it into safer radiation free drinks that may benefit your style of with temporary boosts or enhancements. This can be quite advantageous when playing on Survival Mode where you need to drink to stay hydrated and having a stock pile of radiation free Nuka-beverages would allow you to make that happen more easily.
Now this may not be a gameplay addition, there was a new sniper rifle that can be found within the DLC that uses 7.62 ammunition and seems to do more damage than any other snipe rifle weapon we have been able to craft or find. The oddity of this weapon is that it has a lot higher rate of fire than a normal sniper rifle. It became our new favourite long and mid-ranged weapon allowing us to removing both our radiation rifle and our hunting rifle thus freeing up more space for scavenging. That is about it, better than nothing we suppose.
Just like there were no combat changes with the Far Habour and Automatron DLCs, Nuka World follows this trend. This once again is fairly standard for DLC, meaning the combat section will have the same or similar scoring as the rest of our Fallout 4 reviews.
One step forward, two steps back. That’s the best way to summarize Bethesda’s journey for side quests for their DLCs. The infinite quest generator makes it ‘triumphant’ return for a majority of the side quests available in Nuka World. These side quests do not make much sense based on how Fallout 4 has been pitched to us in anything prior to this DLC, we will get into it more shortly.
There is the odd exception to the infinite quests, focusing on Hubology, which happens to be Bethesda’s little poke at Scientologist and its evolution as a religion in the Fallout universe post nuclear Armageddon. They are only a handful at best, and if you are the sort that does not enjoy tongue and cheek humour such as that, you will find even less unique side quests to enjoy.
That’s really about it to say for side quests, we could be missing mentioning the odd one, it does reflect how few there were and how minimally they impacted our play through of the Nuka World DLC. We had hoped more of a Far Harbour experience than an Automatron, though the latter is what we got with a bulk of the side quests.
Sigh…we were very spoiled when it came to a meaningful story or plot when it comes to Fallout 4 and its DLCs when we played Far Harbour. We say this as not only does the main story for Nuka World ‘not’ really matter, one of the two options is severely out of character for what has been the main narrative of the game. The case could be different if you did not have to be at least level 30 to start playing Nuka World, meaning you will have probably worked with the Minutemen for a bit in order to help build settlements and protect them from attacking raiders, ghouls, super mutants, etc. Protect them from raiders. Why does that sound odd?
Well throw that idea out the window when you arrive at Nuka World. Not only are you thrown into what is the only boss battle in this DLC near the very beginning, the events that follow make no sense based on what we just said.
You become the leader of three separate raider gangs who are trying to take back the other sections of Nuka World. Each section has its own set of tasks you need to do to clear it them out. Be it turning off a cloning machine for an altered Deathclaw, to disabling the security system of another by gathering enough modules throughout that area, to getting rid of a queen of bloodworms.
Once that is accomplished the main story wants you to go out into the Commonwealth to start setting up raider settlements, negating any ‘positive’ or good settlements you may have started and can eventually alienate you from the Minutemen and/or Diamond City. You heard that right, after being a positive(ish) hero in the Commonwealth, the Nuka World DLC wants you not to randomly play the villain (if so you choose).
This may have made sense with New Vegas as you do not really have or start with a moral compass, you the player get to choose. Fallout 4 on the other hand guides you towards being moral in the beginning then throws Nuka World at you and tells you to break character if you want.
There is a ‘saving’ grace of sort as you can at any time (before alienating yourself with the Minutemen and/or Diamond City) you is can talk to an enslaved trader in the Nuka World marketplace that says if you take out the four leaders of the raider gangs, the remaining raiders will give up and leave Nuka World. Attacking/killing at least one leader will make every single raider in Nuka World your enemy, giving you additional ‘work’ of clearing them all out. On the positive, it allows you to have a raider free Nuka World.
That summarizes the story; either become a raider boss or get rid of the raiders in Nuka World. Not only is the plot weaker than that of The Automatron, the DLC itself took us only 12 hours to get through. The ‘main’ story of clearing out the 5 sections of Nuka World and restoring main power to it probably took us about 6ish hours, with the other half involving side quests (not realizing at first that they were infinite quest generator quests) and just exploration. True it is a longer DLC than the Automatron DLC, it still comes up short of a retail price of 20$ USD from a story standpoint.
As we just mentioned, Nuka World at the price point of 20$ USD is a rip off in terms of how long and how much new content DLC offer. You could get more out of it if you played as part as a second play through, especially if you choose the opposite main story decision though everything else will be the boring same thing. Nuka World could have been as good or better than Far Harbour, instead it is just another piece of DLC Bethesda released riding on the fact people will pay whatever price they set for a subpar addition to a subpar game.
Too Long, Didn’t Read (TLDR)
Nuka World is not as bad of a cash grab of The Automatron DLC when it comes to locations, it is not their best DLC with Far Harbour comfortably retaining that title. The graphics are not as good as Far Harbour with loading times are still longer than they should be whether it is a console port or not, especially when compared to Witcher 3 and any of its DLC.
The Nuka-Cola Mixer allows you to create all sorts of Nuka beverages with different benefits (except for the alcoholic one) that can help boost a certain play style while turning the Nuka drinks into radiation free iterations. This promotes exploring the theme park to collect them all and can be beneficial to Survival mode enabling a larger stock of radiation free beverages to rehydrate the player.
The side quests are mostly ‘pointless’ as a majority of them are from the infinite quests generator, that add towards raiding the Commonwealth versus trying to save it from raiders. This ties into the main story where at level 30 you get to decide if you want to continue being the good guy and remove all the raiders from Nuka World or for some reason to pull a Breaking Bad and lead the raiders to not only retaking Nuka World, but raiding the Commonwealth too (and setting up raider settlements). The main story, if you want to call it that is only about 6 hours long, it can be much shorter if you decide to kill all the raiders in the beginning, ignoring anything they may have wanted you to do and just clear out the sections of Nuka World instead.
The entire experience of Nuka World lasted only 12 hours for us which involved helping the raiders take back Nuka World then kill them all when they wanted to raid the Commonwealth. As with every DLC that Bethesda has released for Fallout 4, it is priced about twice as much as what it should have been. It was not worth 20$ USD. The only way to get your money’s worth is to replay it the opposite way you did the first time on a second play through. At the end of the day it is still a DLC that once again did not deliver and merely milked consumers out of their hard earned caps.
Nuka World does not look as great as Far Habour or what a AAA title could or should look like on the PC, we did not run into any bugs or glitches.
Nuka-Cola Mixers are available throughout the theme park and can be constructed at your settlements enabling you to craft different mixtures of Nuka beverage that are radiation free (for the most part). Sadly, nothing else was added and if you’re the type to just use stimpacks and/or cooked meat these Nuka Cola Mixers would not mean much to you
Same Fallout 4 when it comes to the combat system, we did like the addition of the 7.62 sniper rifle that does more damage than a hunting rifle and has a higher rate of fire such as that of an assault rifle.
The return of the dreaded infinite quest generator with minor sprinkles of real quests that for the most part poke fun of Scientology with the invention of Hubology in the Fallout universe.
Just as weak as the side quests, the main quest is the choice between killing raiders and cleaning Nuka World of all threats, or siding with the raiders and eventually raiding the Commonwealth. Not much substance in either decision, the latter making no sense with the level 30 requirement.
The game only took us around 12 hours to complete, at a price tag of 20$ USD it is not worth it. It SHOULD have been priced at half this. Replaying it on a second play through making opposite decisions as the first might be the only way you can get some worth out of it, siding with the raiders still makes no sense in Fallout 4.