Fallout 4’s Far Harbor Feels Like A Post-Apocalyptic Vacation

By Jenni . May 23, 2016 . 1:30pm

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Going through DLC or an add-on can often feel like you’re taking a vacation from the main game. It’s an opportunity to enjoy activities you normally wouldn’t, see new places, and step away from the primary storyline. Naturally, Fallout 4’s Far Harbor is going to offer that experience to players. It takes us from Massachusetts to Maine, after all. But, there are a number of locations on the island that intensify the experience. It made me feel like Bethesda was turning these spots into points of interest. Not only are we getting additional quests. These places are giving us an impromptu tour and (dangerous) respite on what was once an actual tourist destination.

 

After all, we do get two hotels and a campground to explore on Far Harbor. We can stop by and see the National Park Campground, Harbor Grand Hotel and Cliff’s Edge Hotel. The former is rather basic, but the latter two are in what would be a scenic location, if it wasn’t for all the fog and radiation. The existence of these spots not only serve as a reminder of what the island was once like, but encourages exploration to see how people might have lived. It’s an opportunity to appreciate what was there and, while many of these hollowed out living spaces start to look the same in Fallout 4, places like the Cliff’s Edge Hotel and National Park HQ stand out.

 

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It’s a shame they can’t be reestablished as settlements. Though, there are places that can be reclaimed and turned into new homes. The aforementioned campground’s Visitor Center is one of them, as well as Longfellow’s cabin, Dalton Farm and Echo Lake Lumber. Once cleared of enemies and the fog, they can become new homes. Traders from the Commonwealth will even arrive to sell items. They aren’t nearly as scenic as some of the other established homes, but they can be comfortable enough with time. Longfellow’s cabin is a great spot for large, experimental projects, because it’s huge. You have a whole island to build on and explore, after Walk in the Park is done. I’d recommend settling Dalton Farm and Echo Lake Lumber first though, mainly because they’re further away from other safe settlements like the actual town of Far Harbor and Acadia.

 

They’re also not too far away from many of the recreational locations. While we have Fenway Park in Diamond City, the Starlight Drive-in, and the Museum of Witchcraft in Fallout 4’s base game, but the majority of the buildings are utilitarian. They serve specific needs. Far Harbor has more recreational attractions. The Eden Meadows Cinemas is a functional drive-in theater. We can visit the Aldersea Day Spa or Beaver Creek Lanes bowling alley. Remains of an Oceanarium exist, complete with collapsed whale skeleton in the midst of the former museum. You have to appreciate that, given how dangerous creatures like Anglers, Fog Crawlers, and Gulpers.

 

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Maybe it’s my girly side, but I’m especially fond of the Aldersea Day Spa. There’s nothing exceptional or extraordinary to grab in terms of loot. It’s just a well constructed building that looks exactly like the thing it’s supposed to be. There’s a swimming pool, which probably would have been lovely in its hay day. Locker and massage rooms abound. Oh, right, and there are the super mutants. Like, they’re the Super Mutant Overlord varieties. Creeping around, trying not to be seen by these monstrous enemies while exploring every area gives you the opportunity to appreciate the ambiance and how something relaxing could become so horrifying.

 

Eden Meadows Cinemas is another fun spot, mainly because of Bethesda paying attention to details and having Fallout 4’s Far Harbor embrace a more recreational atmosphere. We’re no strangers to drive-ins, but this one is intact and works. When you first drop in, Ghouls will be watching Last Stand at Fort McGee, transfixed by the looping title sequence. You can head up to the projector booth and switch to the other movie, Night of the Fish Man’s Revenge, on the other screen. Do so, and the Ghouls move to watch it. The detail that went into the movie clips, combined with the joy of watching Ghouls react to the stimulus and opportunity to use a weapons workbench and grab a Vault-Tec lunchbox and Nuka-Cola Quantum, make it one of Far Harbors’ best incidental locations.

 

We get to step away from the Commonwealth’s conflicts in Fallout 4’s Far Harbor to deal with entirely new issues. While this new place is absolutely more dilapidated and dangerous, it’s also filled with locations that were originally meant to be joyful and fun. It provides quite a contrast, as well as an opportunity to use our imaginations and wonder what things might have been like in happier times. We aren’t able to reclaim some of the most exciting or interesting spots, but do have ample opportunities to resettle the wilderness in areas adjacent to exciting locals. It’s a wild, wilderness vacation.

 

Fallout 4 and Far Harbor are immediately available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.


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