Fallout 4: Far Harbor Review

Far Harbor marks Fallout 4’s third DLC and is the largest and lengthiest to date, with enough quests to add an additional 20 hours of gameplay. After being disappointed by the lackluster storyline of the first DLC, Automatron, and the short-lived novelty of the second DLC, Wasteland Workshop, I had almost given up on the idea of an appealing piece of Fallout 4 DLC ever being released. Turns out, playing Far Harbor was one of the best decisions I could have made.Banner_0000_STORYFar Harbor begins with the Sole Survivor taking a quest to bring home a missing daughter that has run off to a spooky coastal setting covered in fog. I know what you’re thinking – this sounds awfully familiar. I thought the same thing. Has Bethesda really just given us Fallout 3’s Point Lookout version 2.0? Thankfully, the similarities ended here. Upon arriving at Far Harbor, it didn’t take long to see that a lot of work has been put into this DLC. With an intriguing storyline and rich character development through both regular NPCs and your new companion Old Longfellow, Far Harbor lives up to the high DLC expectations I have of Bethesda.

The unnerving and gloomy atmosphere that of Far Harbor is set as soon as you step off your boat and come face to face with the dense, irradiated fog that is spreading across the island – and the creatures that dwell within it. Both in and out of the fog, the new enemies are tough to deal with and many have a similar armored shell to that of Mirelurks, making it difficult to take them down. This DLC has some really challenging fights, and at one stage even had me contemplating whether I should turn the difficulty down to Normal.
Screenshots_0002_Layer 2One of the things I loved so much about Fallout 4 was its political aspect, and Far Harbor builds on this perfectly by introducing another three factions that are on the brink of war. Without giving away any details, their fates rest in your hands, and there are a number of ways that you can resolve their problems – from a questionable “peace” to total annihilation.

Much like the dilemma between the Brotherhood of Steel, The Institute and The Railroad, you are able to sympathise and build rapport with each of the Far Harbor factions, making the consequences of your decisions a heavy burden to bear. On top of this, the faction leaders that you encounter will make you feel uneasy and cause you to question your loyalty. Right when you think you can trust someone, Bethesda throws a spanner in the works and made you doubt them all over again. It’s these twists and turns that will leave you second-guessing your beliefs right up to the very end, and it’s what makes Far Harbor so successful.Banner_0002_GAMEPLAYThe side quests in Far Harbor are also surprisingly entertaining. From a murder mystery to an unmarked treasure hunt (which is definitely worth the time it takes to solve), these quests were neither boring nor repetitive.

There is a few things that I wish I knew before I started Far Harbor, so if you’re yet to play it, let me clear a few things up for you.
Screenshots_0001_Layer 3By far the most important thing to note is that your radio stations work in Far Harbor, so you can crank up Diamond City Radio to your heart’s content. Or Classical Radio if that’s your thing, I guess…

Feel free to bring your power armor. There are multiple settlements in Far Harbor, so you don’t need to worry about having nowhere to repair your suit. You might want to stock up on fusion cores though, they’re pretty scarce on the island.
Screenshots_0000_Layer 4Although Far Harbor is on an island separate to The Commonwealth, life in your settlements will go on. This means that your settlements can be attacked while you’re away. I’d advise checking your miscellaneous quests regularly, as although you’ll receive a warning when being attacked, it’s easy to forget about it when you’re engrossed in Far Harbor’s story. Along with this, it’s also a good idea to check up on your workshops in your Pip-boy menu every now and then to make sure that they aren’t in need of any resources.

My main issue with this DLC is that having to hop between Far Harbor and The Commonwealth to help out my settlements made it difficult to stay truly immersed in the story. One of my favorite things about the Fallout 3 and New Vegas add-ons was that you could leave the main campaign behind without a worry, and just have fun with the DLC storyline. This decision lowers your engagement with the story and at times is downright frustrating, but that being said, it fit with the Fallout 4 style of the world still turning without you.

Banner_0003_CONCLUSIONAltogether, Far Harbor took me just over 16 hours to complete, however there’s a couple of locations I plan on returning to explore. This, plus the upgrades I want to make to my settlements on the island, will easily bump the gameplay time up to the 20 hours we were promised.

All in all, the problem that I have with this piece of DLC are minor . This is easily one of the Fallout series’ best pieces of DLC yet, so if you enjoyed the main campaign I would definitely recommend playing Far Harbor.

The Xbox One version of Fallout: Far Harbour was primarily tested for the purpose of this review.

Intriguing Story
Spooky and Unnerving Atmosphere
Travel between Far Harbor and The Commonwealth is an annoyance

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