You begin the DLC by tak­ing on a case at the Valen­tine Detec­tive Agency. The Nakano’s daugh­ter has gone miss­ing and you must trav­el to Far Har­bor to find her. Once at Far Har­bor the Sole Sur­vivor begins to unrav­el the mys­ter­ies of the island and becomes involved with a three way con­flict between a secret synth colony, the natives of the island and the Chil­dren of Atom.

For the most part the sto­ry is a con­tin­u­a­tion of themes estab­lished in Fall­out 4’s sto­ry. There are more ques­tions about synths and a person’s iden­ti­ty. Each fac­tion has also has their own gen­er­al answer and a vari­ety of char­ac­ters with­in each fac­tion offer unique per­spec­tives on the sit­u­a­tion at large.

Main Quest

Far Har­bor feels much clos­er to Fall­out New Vegas than Fall­out 4 when play­ing through its main quest. A vari­ety of out­comes depend on your rep­u­ta­tion with each of the sep­a­rate fac­tions. Still there is also the option to ignore the fac­tion sys­tem and mur­der an entire fac­tion with noth­ing, but a rolling pin or oth­er weapon of your choice.

The writ­ing and over­all sto­ry is well done and gen­uine­ly inter­est­ing. While things like the sar­cas­tic dia­logue is well done and can even be done dur­ing par­tic­u­lar­i­ty dark moments, the main quest  has the notable dif­fer­ence to pre­vi­ous con­tent. The main sto­ry is aware of the per­spec­tive of the play­er rather than the char­ac­ter.  For exam­ple, when you are faced with the synth leader he asks if you are a synth and what is your ear­li­est mem­o­ry. The two direct answers reflect the ear­li­est mem­o­ry of the play­er, the day the bombs fell, rather than the Sole Survivor’s ear­li­est mem­o­ry.  It is an inter­est­ing angle that has not been explored in Fall­out.

The largest fail­ing with­in the main quest is how Bethes­da intro­duces the Chil­dren of Atom. Right off the bat, the Chil­dren of Atom are only men­tioned in a neg­a­tive light with some­one accus­ing them of a prob­lem plagu­ing the island. In sub­se­quent meet­ings, their atti­tude range from hos­tile to mild­ly annoyed by your pres­ence. Giv­en that the Chil­dren of Atom were more often than not just anoth­er ene­my in the Com­mon­wealth, these first impres­sion do not give a rea­son to like them or even care about them beyond sim­ple curios­i­ty.

 

The Side Quests

Rarely does Far Har­bor ever present the play­er with a clear good or bad. Even when some­thing is start­ed with good inten­tion it can turn out for the worse if you choose the wrong option. Oth­er times when the play­er is self­ish or evil, it can make NPCS more recep­tive to you and give you small bonus­es. There is also much more evil or dis­hon­est options than the base game con­tent. In one quest you can demand mon­ey to keep the iden­ti­ty of a mur­der secret and in anoth­er you can lie about fight­ing a giant sea crea­ture.  Still in some quests you can just deny the task giv­en to you and fail the quest if that is what you choose.

The quest them­selves are var­ied and inter­est­ing. A decent num­ber of quests aren’t just a “go here and kill every­thing and come back” although there are quite a few of those.  One quest in par­tic­u­lar has no need to even attack any­thing and instead is a series of puz­zles that must be solved.  Still oth­ers quest have a heavy focus on dia­logue with very lit­tle com­bat. Although not fre­quent these quest hap­pen often enough to keep things fresh and pre­vent the game from feel­ing monot­o­nous.

There is very lit­tle neg­a­tive aspects to the quest how­ev­er there are a few. The same quest I pre­vi­ous­ly praised can be the exact oppo­site of what many want from Fall­out. Solv­ing a puz­zle is gen­er­al­ly not why some­one plays Fall­out 4 and although I did enjoy it, oth­ers may find it slow, bor­ing and the last few puz­zles too dif­fi­cult. Oth­er unique quest can be blast to play through, but have a dis­ap­point­ing con­clu­sion depend­ing on your expec­ta­tions.

The Weapons and Armor

Just about every play style gets some­thing unique and inter­est­ing to use. There a few dif­fer­ent rifles that can be found. The two most com­mon and unique being a lever action rifle the oth­er is the Radi­um Rifle which is a rifle that also does radi­a­tion dam­age. Those with who use heavy weapons get a Har­poon Rifle and bowl­ing ball launch­er. Even unarmed play­ers get unique weapon with the Butcher’s Hook.

Armor has the same vari­ety that the weapons do. Most of the cloth­ing and armor fit the theme of Far Har­bor and exude the cul­ture of a sea­side town. There are a few piece of armor that moves away from the cob­bled togeth­er sailor gear in par­tic­u­lar some Pow­er Armor and Marine Armor.

The Bugs

Of course this would not be a Bethes­da Stu­dios DLC with­out a “few” bugs or tech­ni­cal issues.  While cer­tain­ly not Bethesda’s buggest piece of con­tent, Far Har­bor does con­tain a num­ber of tech­ni­cal issues that play­ers will run across. Per­haps the most glar­ing and egre­gious of these issues is the frame rate. With­in the first few moments of leav­ing the start­ing town the game will almost imme­di­ate­ly drop frame rate. In some instances the frame rate can be so bad that it becomes dif­fi­cult or impos­si­ble to play. While the issue did rem­e­dy itself for me after a few quests, it is still an issue that should have been addressed.

The oth­er bugs are not quite as bad usu­al­ly rang­ing from the harm­less vibrat­ing bush to tex­tures becom­ing stretched out or not load­ing in prop­er­ly. In my expe­ri­ence these bugs did not ham­per my abil­i­ty to play and would be solved by leav­ing and com­ing back or reload­ing. Unlike the frame rate issue, the oth­er bugs did not hap­pen often with only four or so instances that stick out.

 

The Bottom Line

Far har­bor is a mas­sive improve­ment in almost every way from the orig­i­nal Fall­out 4 con­tent. The major griev­ance against this DLC is the poor frame rate and oth­er bugs that Bethes­da is known for.