The reign of Fallout 4 is coming to an end, with its final DLC instalment, Nuka World, being released today. The biggest of all the DLC maps (and a file size of 5.3GB on the Xbox One), Nuka World offers a new story for the Sole Survivor that’s similar in length to the Far Harbor DLC, which served up an additional 20 hours of gameplay.
Nuka World takes place in a giant theme park built by the Nuka-Cola Corporation, and consists of six themed zones – Nuka-Town USA, Galactic Zone, Dry Rock Gulch, Kiddie Kingdom, World of Refreshment and Safari Adventure. Of these, Nuka-Town USA is the only region inhabited by humans and acts as the hub for your quests.
As with most Fallout DLC, Nuka World begins as a radio broadcast. After travelling to the source of the transmission, you soon find yourself battling it out with a raider boss, and upon his defeat, are hailed as the new “Overboss” of Nuka World’s raider population. As Overboss, it is your job to unify the three raider factions that you are now in charge of. Known as The Disciples, The Operators and The Pack, these factions all govern themselves differently, however, they share one common trait – their love of violence and murder.This means that helping out the raiders will see you commit some pretty questionable acts, so if your Sole Survivor is the goody two-shoes saviour of the Commonwealth and you want to progress with this DLC, you’ll be forced to get your hands dirty.
Although Nuka World is located outside of the Commonwealth, requests from raider faction leaders will often see you travelling back home in order to assassinate or enslave some poor sap. This makes it a lot easier to manage and defend your settlements, and – unlike in Far Harbor – you don’t feel like you are breaking away from the story just to build some beds back in Sanctuary Hills.
The zaniness of Nuka World itself is refreshing, as players are able to forget their post-apocalyptic woes and enjoy some of the pre-War rides at the park, hunt for hidden Cappy images in some stylish Cappy glasses, or just tune in to Nuka World Radio as you are serenaded about raider life by Red Eye (who most likely named after the Fallout: Equestria antagonist). As expected, Nuka World also offers a new companion – Porter Gage. Gage is romanceable and, as a raider, he likes when you pick locks, choose threatening dialogue options or just outright murder some people.Your first real responsibility as Overboss is to clear out the remaining five zones in the park so that your new raider friends can move in. I had first assumed that doing essentially the same task five times over would be repetitive, however, the themed zones meant that this was not the case. In each area, you are greeted with vastly different enemies and quests that need completing before the area can be safely inhabited. From a Nuka-Cola Quantum river full of Nukalurks to an irradiated area controlled by a “magic” ghoul, the majority of Nuka World kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat.
Progressing through the DLC’s main storyline will see your raider empire expand into the Commonwealth. This is where my main issue with Nuka World lies, and it’s a big one. As someone who usually plays a morally virtuous character, I can get over siding with raiders who reside in Nuka World, as ultimately, my decisions there don’t really affect life back in the Commonwealth. However, now the raiders of Nuka World want to overtake settlements in the Commonwealth – my settlements. In order to do this, you’re forced to persuade, bribe or murder your current settlers in order to get them to leave their settlement so that the raiders can take over.
Once this is done, you remain in control of the settlement and can fit it out with some fancy new raider decorations such as chem machines and faction specific decorations. Doesn’t seem too bad, right? But this isn’t all – your raiders didn’t travel all the way to the Commonwealth just to farm food and live a lawful life. You’ll need to intimidate surrounding settlements and force them to give your raiders regular provisions. Any settlements that are delivering offerings to your raiders are not alligned with you and so are no longer under your control. All that work you put into turning your settlements into super-fortresses is essentially wasted – unless you load an old save or have plans to turn on all od f the Nuka World raiders (and Gage) in order to retake each settlement.
By allowing you to become a raider, Nuka World takes Fallout 4 down a, interesting path it’s never been before. Whilst this road may not suit all play styles, overall the DLC still offers an enjoyable and unique Fallout experience. With the addition of new craftable items, enemies, factions, weapons and more, Nuka World delivers a strong finish to the Fallout 4 franchise. If one thing is clear from Nuka World – it’s that you will live long enough to see yourself become the villain. And if you’re already one, this is the DLC you’ve been hoping for.
The Xbox One version was primarly tested for the purpose of this review.