Video Game Review: Fallout 4 – Nuka World DLC (Mild Spoilers)

A game where I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth is Fallout 4. The Fallout series has always been my favorite RPG series, appealing to the explorer/ completionist/ hoarder/ survivalist in me. Fallout 3 and then New Vegas were my favorite RPGs and I was so excited for 4 that I bought the season pass. Did Fallout 4 replace F3 and NV as my new favorite? Nope – Witcher 3 did; however, Fallout 4 is still a very solid game in what it set out to do – provide a massive world to explore while killing a whole bunch of irradiated creatures and raiders, lots and lots of raiders. According to my trusty Pip-Boy, 1,919 raiders and their militaristic peer group, the Gunners, went to raider heaven in my game.

It is on that note where the story of Nuka World fails for me. Nuka World is a Disney-esque theme park devoted to the ultimate beverage of the Fallout Universe, Nuka Cola. As your character arrives, the park is completely overrun by three raider groups held together by one Overboss. The park itself is mostly destroyed, infested with creatures, and lacking power to run most of the rides.  Spoiler Alert – In the early stages of the DLC, you become the Overboss and it is your responsibility to prove your worth and bring the raider factions together.

Dead Boss
There can be only one (Boss)!

I had a lot of fun acting like the Overboss while exploring Nuka World and destroying its denizens to prove my worth to the raider factions. Clearing out the areas proved my character’s strength (Not that hard at level 105 on Very Hard), but there was a catch. I was perfectly happy being Overboss of the raiders at Nuka World as a self-contained and controlled experiment,but as soon as they wanted to take their mayhem to the Commonwealth (MY Commonwealth) the deal was off and I murdered them all. I assume I missed out on some great perk and achievements by taking the route of releasing the slaves and killing the raiders, but in the end this is a ROLE PLAYING game and my character is a do-gooder out to solve problems. With no way to convert the raiders to peace loving settlers, they had to go.

In order to get the full effect and satisfaction out of the Nuka World DLC, you would have to decide from the beginning that you were going to be the Raider Overboss of the entire game. Or, you would have to decide to overturn your dozens (hundreds?) of hours of play to convert all of your settlements to raider bases, I guess taking the route of absolute power corrupts absolutely. I wasn’t willing to do that and the DLC “punished” me for it by failing to develop what happens after you take the goody two-shoes route. In the end, I believe this is a fair consequences of my actions since this DLC is designed to give other player a viable “bad guy” route.

Overall though, Nuka World is full of some very interesting and exciting quests and locations which I enjoyed exploring.

PROs

  • You get to build your own Vault! If you are an avid settlement builder and want to build your own Vault and conduct experiments, this DLC is for you! I’m more a minimalist with my settlements, so my Vault is pretty pathetic, but well defended!
  • Once you get the power back on, I really enjoyed going back and riding the roller coaster! It was well done. There are several other rides, but the roller coaster was the highlight.
  • There are a few unique and well developed areas with good depth and storytelling. I liked the haunted mansion best. The group seeking spiritual enlightenment through space travel had an interesting twist at the end. My bad…
  • The arcade-type games are fun, but forgettable after the first time.
  • The factions and bosses are interesting to interact with, but would probably be more fun if I hadn’t planned to murder them all from the beginning.
  • The DLC gives you the ability to completely destroy the Commonwealth and turn it into a raider paradise with spiked heads and impaled bodies everywhere, if that’s your thing.
  • The new radio station is entertaining.
  • VERY CHALLENGING combat if you decide to clear out the raiders.
  • 7.62!!!

CONs

  • Combat is essentially fighting the same enemies, re-skinned to look a little different, which made clearing a couple of the areas a boring slog.
  • Really annoying that some of my locations in the Commonwealth somehow became undiscovered.
  • It’s been reported that you can’t complete the main quest line as the Raiders and certain people (Preston) won’t talk to you if you are the Overboss, so be careful when and how you make the transition to Raider Overboss.
  • No real change after deciding to free the slaves. They still wear their collars, call you “Boss,” and go about their lives. Would have really rather they become your settlers and work to get rid of the raider “decorations…”
Open World
Power’s back on! Now go ride a roller coaster.

Being a completionist, I will probably head back to Nuka World to find what other secrets it holds (or just to ride the roller coaster again). I doubt it will compel me to revisit the game from scratch as an Overboss, but it is a good final DLC to a game which has given me quite a few hours of entertainment.

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