When I play Fallout 4, I want my character to see everything without getting pulled into a lot of senseless fighting. This isn’t due to pacifistic tendencies, but more because I’m terrible at shooting, VATS was often too slow for me before perks, and I wanted lots of fast travel points. While Fallout 4 Automatron, the first add-on, does have something for everyone, my experience with it is that people better be crafty.
Automatron’s four quests do get you out and about a bit in the world. People who’ve been playing a while probably already have locations close to many of its major spots. The Wattz Consumer Electronics is a stone’s throw away from the Cambridge Police Station and the General Atomics Factory is close to the Four Leaf Fishpacking Plant, for example, while the final showdown takes place very close to the East Boston Preparatory School. If you haven’t been exploring around Cambridge and Goodneighbor, it’ll certainly give you a chance, which makes it nice for explorers.
It’s also fantastic for collectors who want to grab everything. There are many electrical and technical items. You’ll find tons of copper and steel sources, circuit boards, some nuclear materials, adhesive, and fusion cores. There’s a Tesla Science Magazine in the General Atomics Factory, which is appreciated. Since I’m big on decorating my settlements by putting items like lunchboxes and such out, the Restoring Order mission at RobCo’s sales and service center was a dream, due to all the robot models. The only problem with those are, I can’t seem to display them. I tried to put the Mr. Handy model on a table I picked up there on a table at my settlement, but it fell through to the ground. Still, it is nice to know you have unusual things.
Ada is a lot of fun too. She’s the new companion that will join after completing the first Fallout 4 Automatron quest, Mechanical Menace. Since she’s a robot and the point of this add-on is customizing them, it means you can turn her into any sort of ally you want. That, combined with the ability to turn off her personality and having no opinion on anything you do, makes her one of the best followers for folks who want to head out into the wilderness without knowing what you’ll get up to. The hacking and lockpicking mods mean she can help you get items if your skills aren’t high enough. She’s willing to steal from other people, even if the items do have an owner, and she’s not going to judge your actions. Combine that with being able to adjust how much she can carry at the robot workbench, and she’s pretty great.
Though, that robot workbench may cause some a little bit of heartache. You get the item as a reward for completing the first quest in The Mechanist storyline. Once repaired and placed, you can start customizing Ada or Codsworth. You can also build your own using an Assaultron, Mister Handy, Protectron, Robobrain, or Sentrybot as a base. Even better, completing Automatron is incentivized, as you’ll collect new parts and such you can use to customize your robots after battling and scavenging off of these fallen foes. But, many of the best head, torso, arm, and leg modifications require someone to have varying levels of the Armorer, Blacksmith, Robotics Expert, and Science perks.
For example, after beating the A New Threat quest and defeating the Robobrain there, I knew I wanted that head on Ada or Codsworth. That desire became even greater once I got back to Sanctuary and saw the Robobrain head added a Mesmetron attack that would boost her ranged damage. However, I couldn’t do it. While my heroine has a rank one Science perk, that part required a rank two Science perk and rank one Robotics Expert. It’s why the robots in my screenshots above are, sadly, rather boring. I had a sneaky, charismatic, animal-friendly sort of character in mind when playing Fallout 4, and the Automatron DLC isn’t going to let me do all of the cool things unless I start leveling up like crazy and doing in a different direction.
It makes me feel bad for all of the Fallout 4 players who decided to go with characters with low intelligence. While the Armorer and Blacksmith perks are forgiving when it comes to strength requirements, Science and Robotics Expert require intelligence 6 and 8, respectively. Yes, the requirements make sense in terms of lore and give people an excuse to think more critically during character creation. You can even make good robots without these perks. It’s just a little troublesome to be at a higher level with a defined character and suddenly realize you have to deviate from your plan to get the most out of Automatron.
Still, Fallout 4’s Automatron is rather great on the whole. There’s lots of scavenging material. The storyline is interesting, especially if you go into the final battle wearing the Silver Shroud outfit. And honestly, I’m okay with my Ada and Codsworth being unholy and incredible abominations. I was able to give them better weapons, make Ada more mobile, and give both skills that would help me out when I didn’t want to deal with the hacking segments. I was a little upset that so much of the customization relied upon perks I didn’t have, but my Ada and Codsworth are getting along well. Especially since I have more than enough adhesive and copper to make them the best robots possible.
Fallout 4’s Automatron is immediately available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. It took me about three and a half hours to get through this add-on, and I recommend having Power Armor for the final boss fight.