I’ve tried to find something significant to praise with Fallout 4, but the only things I could really appreciate were a few improvements on certain mechanics like the quick loot or the armour system. The roleplaying aspect of Fallout 4 remains woefully underwhelming and by that I mean that it lacks choice or complexity. That is even more apparent in Nuka World.
The Nuka World DLC recently came out and at first I thought I’d just check it out and see if there was anything good about it. Initially, I thought it had promise as the start reminded me of The Pitt DLC for Fallout 3. I mean, a town of raiders? How did this happen? I wanted to know more, not to mention you gain access to new raider gear that doesn’t look like rusted pipes was the primary focus and a cool new follower. Porter Gage is a bastard, to be sure, but he has his fair share of wisdom to impart.
This is piece is mostly a rant on how incomplete this DLC feels – not in a conceptual way – but in how hugely unbalanced it is in the experience it offers.
So, I take a transit go to the theme park but before I can gain access to it, I have to entertain the raiders of Nuka-Town by passing through a set of deadly trials collectively known as the Gauntlet. At the end of the Gauntlet, you face the raider Overboss himself, a dude named Colter. The match is rigged, but you get help and manage to take him down, and in a twist worthy of a Riddick movie, my guy becomes the new raider Overboss. The one responsible for this bait and switch is the aforementioned Porter Gage, your new best friend in a raider-infested Disneyland.
Colter was the Overboss of a coalition of three raider gangs: the Operators, the Disciples and the Pack. They came together to take over Nuka World and turned it into their own little haven of malevolence. However, after part of the theme park was conquered, Colter got complacent, much to the displeasure of the leaders of the raider group. These hatched a plan with Gage (who is some sort of XO to the CEO) to have Colter removed and replaced with somebody else… which turned out to be the Sole Survivor. It’s somewhat of a silly premise, but whatever, that’s not really the problem I have with the DLC.
If you’re the kind to go around the Commonwealth, shooting Minutemen and stealing sweetrolls from kids (after you’ve murdered their entire family), then Nuka World would be right up your alley. I, however, tend to be a goody-two-shoes, so to become a raider was a rather appalling idea. Once my guy became the Overboss, in my head I was thinking, “alright, time to turn this town around and get rid of all the raider scum!” and you can, in fact, do this. There’s even a quest called Open Season that tasks you to do just that. This is where the fun ends, unfortunately.
Nuka World really only caters to the evil player character. If you want to purge the theme park and free the traders that were enslaved, you are going to have to eliminate every single raider, including your best bud, Porter Gage, who simply turns on you. He doesn’t question your sudden betrayal, even if after he’s given you the, “I trust you, boss,” speech. There is no sweet talking him into betraying the other raider clans and take over Nuka World just for yourselves, or to convince him to be a little less of a villain.
So your charisma is irrelevant… and so is your stealth. There are no shadowy assassinations that can take place, since the second you kill any raider boss, witness or no witness, the entire raider population of the theme park will want you dead. Never mind the constant mention of, “Nisha has only one rule: don’t get caught,” as you pass by Disciple members. You’d think that was the game trying to clue you into a secret path to a raider-free Nuka World, but alas. Raiders have some sort of communal psychic link that broadcasts your actions to the entire world, apparently.
The raiders’ hyper-awareness isn’t even the biggest offender. Once you clear Nuka World of its evil occupants… well, nothing. That’s it. The main plotline of the DLC is over. Most of the content is skewed towards embracing villainy and you will receive no rewards for putting an end to slavery. Killing the raiders and freeing the traders amounts to nothing. The latter still have their explosive collars around their necks and there is no follow-up to renovate Nuka World to a functioning township, or better yet, raising it to an actual city with all the parks connected and repurposed as settlements. The only thing you can do is restore power to the theme park and buy stuff at the market.
Aside from sparing yourself the guilt of unleashing gangs of terrible murderers and sadists on the Commonwealth, doing the Open Season quest provides no in-game rewards. If you go through with the raider quest-line, however, you can get up to two new Perks, and rather powerful ones at that. I guess the one consolation to being an evil scumbag (as one who plays good guys) is that Preston Garvey will hate you once you bring the raiders to the Commonwealth. A bit of an awkward development if you happen to be the general of the Minutemen… but who likes Preston, anyway?
With this DLC, good guys finish last, it seems. A shame.