Fallout 4: Far Harbor’ lures fans back to renowned video game
Expansion to 2015 game offers refreshing experience and a new landscape to explore
June 6, 2016
Far Harbor is the first major expansion to Fallout 4, the first two smaller expansions were Automatron and Wasteland Workshop. Though these downloadable expansions were entertaining, they only added some new content and only brought fans of the game back for a short time. Far Harbor has added a completely new area to explore, people to meet, and monsters to fight.
One of the biggest things Far Harbor succeeds in is its atmosphere. The base game of Fallout 4 took place in a post-apocalyptic Boston, whereas Far Harbor takes place further north, closer to New Hampshire’s coastline. The large environment is filled with more dense pine forests and fishing towns. Players get the sense that the community of Far Harbor, the name of the main village, effectively survive on this coast. They do, however, live under the constant threat of the looming “fog,” and the creatures that dwell within it.
As the player traverses the fog, they will come across unsightly mutated creatures including mutated angler fishes, bipedal toad monstrosities, and ferocious irradiated wolves. Though the expansion doesn’t add too much in terms of weaponry, the weapons players do receive are effective and fun to use. One being the lever action rifle that’s fast and accurate, and another being the harpoon cannon, that is self-explanatory.
What brings the player to Far Harbor, storywise, is a new investigation that has presented itself at the player character’s companion, Nick Valentine’s Detective Agency. Worried parents are looking for their daughter that left without a trace, and the player finds a tape that talks about how she believes that she is a Synth, and has ran away to a Synth paradise called Acadia. Synths are synthetic organisms created by the Institute: a secretive facility of scientists who are descendants of the researchers of the Cambridge Institute of Technology, who work deep underground to supposedly help the ruined world above. Some Synths escape the Institute once they being to gain a self aware mind, and feel that they are slaves to their institute creators.
The characters are all interesting: the citizens of Far Harbor are fiercely independent, and have a habit of seeming hostile to newcomers, even if they are desperate for help.
Far Harbor is at odds with an increasingly hostile group of cultists called the “Children of Atom.” These fanatics worship the power of the atomic bomb, and believe radiation is some kind of “transcendence” in the eyes of their god, Atom. Given the citizens of Far Harbor’s near constant war against the horrors that thrive in the fog, they disagree with the cultists to say the least.
The Synths of Acadia wish to bring peace between Far Harbor and the Children of Atom, but Acadia’s leader has a dark secret that the player must uncover that may prove detrimental in the inevitable conflict.
Far Harbor succeeds in its atmosphere, explorative motives, and its story. This expansion has set a high and hopeful bar for any further expansions for Fallout 4.