Fallout’s ‘Automatron’ falls flat

Fallout’s “Automatron” provides a few hours of entertainment, but a disappointing storyline.

“Fallout 4” graced us with its presence in November of last year and has been an exciting, emotional and a straight-up awesome roller coaster. From its compelling story, interesting and diverse characters and tons of customizable armor and weapons, the Sole Survivor’s trek through the Commonwealth is exciting at every turn. “Fallout 4” has won quite a few awards and was one of the most anticipated games of the year in 2015; which is why the new “Automatron” DLC is a bit of a letdown.

Before diving into its problems, let’s talk about everything “Automatron” does right.

It’s a normal day in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Commonwealth for the Sole Survivor, fast traveling from destination to destination, collecting weapons, armor and items from the 21st century, before the United States and China unloaded their entire nuclear weapon banks on each other. In the midst of being attacked by Raiders, bombed by Super Mutants, cannibalized by Feral Ghouls (and the Wasteland’s many other horrors), you are typically on the hunt for your kidnapped son and your spouse’s killer (unless you have beaten the main story line).

During all of this, a new quest notification pops up. You open your Vault-tec Pip-Boy and listen to a caravan’s distress signal. After listening to the whole thing, you follow the quest marker and find a swarm of robots attacking a small trading caravan. After finishing off all of the robots, you meet ADA, a customized robot that traveled with the now dead caravan. ADA is eager to avenge her fallen friends, as she feels responsible for their deaths. ADA is your first official new companion.

After a little bit of traveling and talking with ADA, plot points are established and the enemy is revealed, the creator of all these volatile robots is “The Mechanist” (clearly an homage to the The Mechanist from Fallout 3). Then begins the journey to defeat the dastardly villain The Mechanist.

A new addition to the crafting system is the Robot Workbench, which allows you to customize all of your robot companions and NPCs (such as Codsworth, pre-synth Curie, ADA and Jezebel), in addition to constructing armies of new robots to take with you on your journey, or to protect your settlements. There are so many new features and parts to create and customize the robots, such as giving them blades instead of robotic arms, or changing their paint job to a bright and colorful pink to brighten up the desolate wasteland.

In addition to robot customization,  is a new raider group called the Rust Devils who scrap robots and use them to create their own armor and robot servants, which does provide a new challenge over the atypical raider groups. On top of that, The Mechanists robots are extremely powerful, as they are loaded with a bunch of new upgrades that make them more dangerous compared to their vanilla counterparts.

While the new crafting aspect offers tons of different options for designing robots, “Automatron’s” story doesn’t live up to Fallout 4’s universe. The Mechanist is a cool character before the player meets them. The Mechanist is a mysterious bad guy, whose robots attack the innocent people of the Commonwealth. But once you actually meet The Mechanist, you’ll find that they are actually a very bland character, whose robots misinterpreted their orders.

The fight leading up to confronting The Mechanist is fun, as it offers a bunch of new challenges, but The Mechanist himself is a very flat character. Upon defeating the villain, the player does receive a nice set of legendary armor and a new settlement.

Overall, the entire “Automatron” DLC story takes maybe 4 to 5 hours to finish, which in comparison to the rest of the game and future DLC plans, is very short and kind of disappointing. If you are planning on buying the DLC, the robot customization, new companion and new raider group is worth the $9.99 and make up for the overall lame story. If you don’t want to play the storyline, you don’t have to. Instead build an army of Fisto Sex-bots (a funny quest robot from Fallout: New Vegas), or give Codsworth and Curie Assaultron legs and a pink paint job, so they can run across and lay waste to your enemies in the Commonwealth with you, as that seems to be what most Fallout 4 players are doing.