Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop DLC

Game Reviews


Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop DLC review

Vaults, a combination of massive nuclear bunker and subterranean communities, have been a key feature of all the games in the Fallout series. Built by Vault-Tec under the guise of helping humanity survive nuclear war, each one was unique and, due to Vault Tec's dubious ethics, had it's own grim story. Fallout 4's latest DLC, Vault-Tec Workshop, puts you in control of building and managing your own vault as well as running a number of experiments on its inhabitants.

FO4 Experiment 730x412

Unlike the previous "workshop" DLC packs, Vault-Tec Workshop does have a story and the player is introduced to it by a distress call from Vault 88. Once inside the vault, you have the opportunity to assist the Overseer with developing the vault and then run tests on the inhabitants. The story is short and pretty thin, but it does, just about, make the DLC more than just another collection of building parts and decorations.

The main body of the DLC is the chance to develop your own vault and there is a vast number of vault parts to help you do that. Atriums, domestic areas, reactors, lighting and furniture allow you to make a vault of almost any configuration you choose, and the vault building area is huge, with plenty of available building materials. And this is where the problems start; although you are given a vast amount of options, there is no guide of tutorial to explain the basics of vault building. Although some aspects of the building process are similar to settlement building, others are very different, such as transferring power, and not all settlement parts are compatible with the vault parts which can make the process rather frustrating. Another frustration is that not all the parts seem to fit together correctly, meaning that sometimes you have to remove sections of your vault to add a single piece in first, something that, along with the tricky controls on the consoles, can be very time consuming. Glitches are nothing new in Fallout games, but these are particularly frustrating.

Once you have your vault working, you can attract dwellers in the same way that you can for a settlement and assign them tasks to ensure their happiness. However, again there are problems as the dwellers seem to have difficulty finding their way around the vault and get stuck behind walls, meaning that complex vaults are less likely to function correctly.

Vault-Tec Workshop continues the recent tradition of allowing players to customise their Commonwealth settlements by using the building blocks of the game, but there are a lot of rough edges and although the addition of a very small amount of story is welcome, it's not quite enough to cover the fact that this is another construction pack. If construction appeals to you, Vault Tec Workshop provides a lot of additional content for a very low price, but if you are looking for more quests or story then you may be disappointed.

Nick Bown is Screenjabber's Technical Director and occasionally finds the time to write as part of the Games team. Hailing from a time when computer games came on tape and consoles had wood effect cases, Nick has been gaming for a while and regularly enjoys PC and console titles. As a hardware nerd, he can often be found tinkering with the innards of gaming rigs and servers or explaining the difference between L2 cache and system RAM to those keen to take their gaming hardware to the next level!

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