Maryland-based game development studio Bethesda softworks has found a reputation as the master of the “open-world experience,” which was only further proven by the massive success of their recent shooter/RPG hybrid, Fallout 4. The game has seen significant updates and downloadable content, and now, we’re here to give you the skinny on the release date of “Far Harbor,” Fallout 4’s upcoming DLC package. Whether you’re a veteran of the Fallout series or a newbie that’s just picking up the ropes, read on to see why you should be excited about this upcoming content release.
Fallout 4 was received by the public and games media to resounding applause. Though not without a few minor flaws, it’s been largely regarded as a fantastic game, representative of what we can do in the current home console era while simultaneously providing PC gamers with a rich landscape in which to explore. (If you don’t know anything about the PC game modding community, check it out!)
Many of the series’ trademark features returned for this fourth entry in the popular franchise, which is most notably an evolution from Fallout 3, the game that brought Fallout back to the forefront of gamers’ consideration and revolutionized the mechanics, storytelling, and graphical prowess beyond what we’ve seen in previous games. Gone were the days of top-down perspectives and low poly-count models. Instead, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 dropped players into the middle of the world, finally able to view the apocalyptic landscape of post-nuclear US from the ground up. The interchangeable first and third-person perspectives of both titles gave the storytelling and gameplay a sense of urgency that hadn’t been present in previous Fallout games, and also allowed Bethesda to capitalize on something that they’d already become practically famous for:
Open-world exploration. Linearity was tossed out the window, and players were given free reign to explore miles of open space in either game, making their way through abandoned, bombed-out cities and across open fields of the irradiated landscape. This is a type of video game worldbuilding that Bethesda made popular through their high-fantasy series, The Elder Scrolls, the most recent of which, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, heralded almost as many accolades as Fallout 4 did.
There’s nothing quite like the Fallout series on the market, and with post-apocalyptic narratives being relatively popular in our culture, it’s no wonder that the entire concept remains so utterly fascinating. The scraps of civilization that players find in the destroyed city of Boston will be eerily familiar. Even though brand names and more are all fictionally renderings, the pieces of junk that players will need to collect to assemble new armor, gear, and weapons in order to survive all have a sense of “place” that echoes to our own modern lifestyle.
It’s little wonder that gamers take such joy in Fallout’s open world.
The title only had a brief preview window between its official announcement, June 3rd, 2015, and its actual release date on November 10th of the same year. Though it had been long rumored to be in development, such a swift release after the initial announcement generated immense amounts of hype and very likely led to the huge commercial success that Bethesda enjoyed as a result of the title. With millions of copies shipped on the first day of release and over $700 million in sales revenue, it’s hard to see Fallout 4’s public reception as anything other than astounding.
It improved upon the established formulae of its predecessors, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, in several significant ways, most of which seemed a direct response to the slim amounts of criticism that existed against the previous titles.
- Voice Acting: While the voice acting in Bethesda games is usually stellar, this is the first entry in the Fallout series that offered full lines for the player’s customizable protagonist. This is a trend made popular in other single-player, Western RPGs such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Inquisition and players have been overall very pleased to see it make its way into the Fallout series.
- Better Crafting System: Cobbling together pieces of the fallen, fictional U.S. has always been a fun part of the Fallout games, but the crafting system designed for Fallout 4 blew people away, at first. Practically anything can be made, and assembled pieces can result in hundreds of different types of makeshift firearms, weapons, and other devices.
- Settlements: Early on in Fallout 4, players are introduced to a settlement that they’ll have to build. Rather than simply selecting structures that can be built, however, Fallout 4’s settlement system allows you to choose the exact placement of all buildings and all furnishings, effectively bringing in a surprising range of design elements. It’s an unexpected move for a series as gritty and dark as Fallout, but it’s ridiculously fun, nonetheless.
Numerous other tweaks and adjustments have been made to those things that so made Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas successful. The wrist-mounted Pip-Boy is back, and savvy early adopters that ordered a collector’s edition of the game even received their very own device, capable of mounting a smartphone and acting just like the device featured in the game. Also returning is the V.A.T.S. combat system that allows players to slow down firefights and pick their targets in a grid-like system, rather than having to constantly strafe and aim and move through the flurry of fast-paced action.
Of course, the graphics are far better. This is a modern console game, and it takes full advantage of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One graphics prowess. PC gamers will be entreated to an especially vibrant feast, and as usual, it’s on this platform that the game will look its best.
Bethesda currently has three downloadable content releases planned for Fallout 4, two of which are already available for you to purchase! Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before venturing forth:
- You don’t need the downloadable content to enjoy the Fallout 4 core game. They don’t all need to be purchased at once.
- The downloadable content will have to be purchased, however; even if you’ve bought Fallout 4, the DLC isn’t free.
- Be sure to have plenty of free space to install the new content, especially if you’re a PS4 or Xbox One gamer!
The first DLC package for Fallout 4 was released on March 22nd, 2016, and offered expandable customization options to an already feature-rich game. The admittedly pulpy story features a settlement being attacked by a horde or robots, which the player is called upon to defend against.
Rather than simply offering more battles, however, the Automatron DLC gives the player parts and potential to build their own robot companions. Modifiable appearances, weapons, functionality, and even voices made this a surprisingly hefty add-on to the core game. It’s available for $7.99 on the PS4, and $9.99 on the PC and Xbox One.
The second of the three planned DLC released on April 12th, 2016, less than a month after Automatron. Rather than adding more story content, the Wasteland Workshop add-on expanded upon the settlement customization feature of the game, allowing the player to “trap” people and monsters which could then be tamed, trained, or forced into a sort of pseudo-gladiatorial combat. A savage concept, perhaps, but one suitable for the world that Fallout 4 exists in.
As this was a smaller DLC package, it’s currently priced at $4.99 across the board.
And now, with the final of the three, planned DLC releases for Fallout 4, we’ve caught up to the present day. This highly-anticipated content hasn’t yet been released, but as of the publication of this article, it’s extremely close! As in, May 19th kinds of close.
Whereas the previous two DLC packages have taken advantage of systems and territory already available to Fallout 4 players, the Far Harbor release is going to open up a whole new swath of explorable territory, in the form of an island off the coast of Maine. (It’s rumored that this will the largest explorable area of land Bethesda has ever released through DLC, which is saying something!)
It will be heavily story-focused, revolving around the player’s character exploring an irradiated colony of nuclear fallout survivors, many of whom are hostile to one another. Expect branching narrative paths through these new factions, and, also, unexpected new threats that weren’t present in the core Fallout 4 game.
Far Harbor will be available on all platforms on the same day, so no if you’re playing on a console or a PC, you’ll be able to pick up and play the DLC right away. It will be the priciest DLC package yet, at $24.99, but considering the premium content that Bethesda is known for developing for its add-ons, you can expect it to be worth every penny. As an added tip from a hard-drive conscious fellow PS4 player, make sure that you have plenty of free space for Far Harbor! With all of the new, explorable territory that’s going to be made available, you can bet that it’s going to take up several GB of available drive space.
The Far Harbor DLC for Fallout 4 has a release date of May 19th, 2016, which leaves scant precious time to get caught up in your other games in preparation! If you have any other Fallout 4 or gaming-related questions, leave them in the comments below!