Fallout 4, Far Harbor, DLC, what's new, everything you need to know

Fallout 4: Far Harbor Review

A fishing trip doesn't sound like too bad an idea.
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Fallout 4: Far Harbor on PS4

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After Fallout 4 released to much praise, it was followed by a stellar piece of downloadable content that raised the bar. Automatron introduced Ada, a companion that continued to drive home the humanity of Fallout 4, and some robot building. On top of its solid, well-paced story, it was an improvement in many ways over the base game. Far Harbor looks to follow suit and bring the game to an altogether new level.

This drive to be something more begins with an entirely new area that players must travel to. Far Harbor is a fishing town located on an irradiated island off of the coast of Maine. Changing locations in an RPG is not always something that’s easy to pull off. A balance must be struck between what players have come to know and appreciate, and something new and exciting. Too different and you run the risk of alienating your fans, too similar and it’s a potential rip-off. Far Harbor manages to find that balance thanks to it’s dark, otherwordly atmosphere, and grim mutated denizens.

far harbor

Radiation is nothing new to Fallout 4, or the series in general, but the way it’s utilized in this new expansion adds to the overlying danger of living in this newest Wasteland. In Far Harbor, radiation exists in this fog that settles over the land. It slowly creeps over water, and through buildings as it takes hold of everything it touches. It does more than just twist creatures and humans into horrible visages of evil, however. It warps the minds of those who breathe it in, making them visually hallucinate or turn into dark shades of their former selves. Where the Boston Wasteland displays a clear threat through enemies and random storms, Maine hides its malice beneath the fog.

Stepping into the fog is a deadly endeavor in itself, but what lies in the densest areas of this ever-creeping cloud is even more terrifying. Instead of just moving all of the monstrosities from the base game or the mechanical menaces of Automatron to this new area, Bethesda continued with the fishing town theme. Mirelurks are something to be embraced with open arms now thanks to the inclusion of Fog Crawlers, gigantic hermit crabs, and Anglers ripped straight from my worst sea nightmares.

There is a much larger dose of horror this time around. The world is darker, enemies are less funny Super Mutants, and more large, will-eat-your-face sea monsters. Those things that proved to be huge challenges beforehand are now light excursions as the newer beasts show what true despair really is. Safety is much less guaranteed and it helps to lift the whole of Far Harbor up higher than what has come before it.

This darkness is something that lends itself to the story pretty well. Automatron was an amazing piece of content, but the fact that it existed in the same world where players had already poured hours into the base campaign limited its scope. The fog, and the threats it contains, become a major part of the narrative in Far Harbor, as it is tied to choices you need to make moving forward, bending the story to your whim.

You initially head to the new land in search of a missing person, but what you find there is much deeper than the contract you’ve accepted. Factions are at war. Synths have found a refuge from the hatred of humankind, and have made friends in the process. But there are those who would rather see the world undone by the power of nature.

Far Harbor also pushes the question that Ada had been trying to figure out in Automatron. What is it to be human? What is it to be a part of this world, one that is struggling to rebuild life after such a catastrophic event. Coming across the “antagonists” in this expansion had me questioning my place on the island. I was there to help, that much was clear. But was I really helping, or was I just stunting progress by adhering to the opinions of those who acquired my assistance? It continued the deep tone introduced by the first expansion, but magnified it by placing me into a feud that had been going on for far longer than I could’ve imagined.

Nick Valentine’s involvement in the story also helped to bring the storytelling to the forefront. We won’t spoil his place in Far Harbor, but suffice it to say that he is a serious cause for thought. His existence in the world is not one of mere chance, and it ties all the themes carried throughout into one neat little bow. It was cool to see such an interesting character get the spotlight rather than someone brand new enter the fray. 

On the gameplay side of things, Far Harbor gets a lot of things right. New weapons are among the best new elements. As a person who normally plays the ranged game when dealing with threats, I was excited to discover how melee became a very viable option for me. The developers didn’t just add new versions of the same weapons. They created entirely new ones with brand new Legendary Perks. Swinging a huge, radioactive hammer and watching my enemies crumble into bones and meat chunks is an experience that I will never stop liking.

There are also a lot more “checks” to be found. Your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats did little during the base game other than determine what skills and perks you could unlock. But now decisions both inside and outside of missions add much more weight to each option. You may find yourself too stupid to trick a mechanic, or too weak to achieve a certain goal. This doesn’t necessarily bar you from anything, but it does mean you will have to be more active in figuring out how to go about completing quests.

Exploration is much more engaging as well. You still basically walk around, but the fog and abundance of water will cause you to be more aware than you probably would’ve been. Fog is lighter the higher you go, causing players to seek paths that allow them to look out and survey. There are also very useful treasures hidden beneath the surface. Each area has its own story as well, leading to plenty of excursions spent listening to Holotapes and reading notes.

far harbor

There is one little snafu to the experience, on console at least. The framerate suffers in areas with really intense fog. At times the game would even lock up completely for a few seconds. It never lasted so long to the point that I grew fed up and quit, but it was an issue during certain hectic scenarios. The last thing you want to happen while trying to take down a Legendary Fog Crawler is for your game to lock up and you to lose all control. I do have to say, though, that although it did happen it wasn’t very often. It is something to keep in mind, however.

Still, even with that slight technical issue, Far Harbor is an expansion by every stretch of the word. The new land does more than provide new ground. It adds depth and gravity to the adventure that awaits players. An adventure which puts one of the game’s most interesting companions in the spotlight while also providing more reasons to stop and think about the lives you interact with in Fallout 4.

It is a deep experience, entrenched in mystery, and doused in activities and hunts for fans to get into. Bethesda wasn’t lying when they said they had something big in store, and this visit to a faraway land shows that the team went above and beyond.

Score: 5/5 – Exemplary


  • New Area is unique and engaging.
  • Skill Checks add new level of challenge and choice.
  • Story is deep and well thought out.
  • Monsters fit the new area as well as the Fallout universe.


  • Some framerate issues on console.
  • Damn those Fog Crawlers.

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Ishmael Romero
Just a wandering character from Brooklyn, NY. A fan of horrible Spider-Man games, anime, and corny jokes.