It’s funny, out of all the Fallout 4 companions the only one I had never spent any time with was Codsworth. Basically I forgot about him. After I found him in the opening minutes he proceeded to enter inside a house in Sanctuary and never leave, keeping him out of sight and out of mind. But upon the release of Fallout 4’s Automatron DLC, I am almost certain he will be the only companion I use from this point on.
Automatron is Fallout 4’s first piece of DLC. It centers around robots as a new villain, the mechanist, unleashes killer robots into the Commonwealth. You are set on a chain of missions to stop the mechanist and his robots. The plot begins with your character stumbling upon some robots attacking a caravan. The caravan itself contains some high tech robots of its own. Sadly, only one survived, ADA, and with her help you set off to track down the mechanist. In doing so you fight a ton of new and wacky robots many of which blow up. I have to admit it’s fun seeing mushroom cloud after mushroom cloud, just be careful to not get too close. The missions themselves are what you’d expect from your average Fallout 4 mission but obviously with more robots.
Fallout 4 always did an excellent job with environmental storytelling and less so with actual narrative. That trend continues here. The plot is rather uninteresting and it feels like much more could’ve been done with the characters introduced than what actually turns out to happen. On the other hand, the DLC introduces a new area that in itself tells an incredibly eerie and unsettling tale. As is the case with most locations in this game the more you investigate the more the game rewards you with something interesting to learn.
Along the way you are required to give ADA an upgrade, which is wear the robot workbench comes in. The robot workbench is similar to the weapons and armor workbenches except for, you guessed it, robots. Here you upgrade existing allied robots, including our good buddy Codsworth, but you can also create your own from scratch. Calling the customization options for the robot workbench vast many actually be an understatement. Basically there are five basic robot builds: The Mr. Handy/Gutsy, Protectron, Assaultron, Robobrain and Sentry. The coolest part is that you can mix and match torsos, heads, legs and so on to create something totally unique. Once that’s done each part can be customized in over a dozen ways each with different armor and weapon types to really make your robot feel unique. I turned Codsworth into a Sentry Bot with a Robobrain and laser rifle. It’s incredibly fun and on top of that you can finally have a companion that feels powerful and pulls its own weight. They way you build your robot affect what they are good at. For example, Assaultron pieces are make your robot faster with less armor and Robobrain pieces are the opposite. That, along with the weapons you give your robot, allow you to build one to your play-style. Like all customization in Fallout 4 building robots requires a lot of parts so you may have to save up to build the ultimate destruction machine.
Fallout 4 always did an excellent job with environmental storytelling and less so with actual narrative
Since robots are so expensive to build it’s only natural that this is late game DLC. While it can be accessed any time starting at level 15, you may find the missions, particularly the last one, quite difficult if you aren’t significantly further. I found certain portions hard even at level 55 but I’m sure anywhere around level 30 with some good weapons should suffice. Speaking of weapons, the DLC introduces a few new ones including the tesla rifle. The tesla rifle launches electricity that chains between enemies and you’ll find some new enemy types that use this affect against you. While they are interesting they feel more gimmicky than powerful, even when upgraded. So have fun but down expect to mow down enemies.
That is pretty much what Automatron covers. The main quest chain will take about four hours and on top of that you will encounter robot groups around the wasteland with some bounty missions to wipe them out. Additionally, they tend to now drop mods for tinkering with robots. It may sound a little thin because of the short quest line, but the tinkering really is the highlight of the expansion and where the value lies.
Speaking of value is Automatron worth your time and money? Both yes and no. If you enjoyed Fallout 4 and are still playing or planned on coming back than yes absolutely. With the upcoming Far Harbor expansion being the largest land mass expansion Bethesda has ever made, having access to all Automatron’s robotic goodness seems well worth it. If, however, you didn’t plan on revisiting Fallout 4, whether you liked it or not, Automatron probably isn’t for you. Essentially Automatron is more Fallout 4, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually quite fun, but it isn’t groundbreaking either.