A rather sad bookend to the Fallout life cycle
After the initial passionate love affair between Fallout 4 and the general gaming community, when willful, blissful ignorance gave way to both the discontented murmurings and outright hostility of gamers the world over, Bethesda turned a deaf ear and happily pumped out minor DLC's in a steady stream of bite-sized post-apocalytpic fun. Can Bethesda's latest add-on to Fallout 4 - Nuka World - finally give the much-needed polish to this rough diamond?
Nuka World is a massive and crumbling amusement park to the east of the original map. Once you arrive you discover that it has been taken over by three different factions of raiders. While this situation certainly has a lot of potential for excitement and adventure - with some possible strategic diplomacy mixed in - it goes down the terribly familiar route of solving the problems of extremely heavily-armoured people in exchange for a pittance.
From the earliest moments, Nuka World thrusts violence upon you. The monorail station is deserted when you arrive, save for a voice over an intercom announcing that you're about to enter the 'gauntlet.' The gauntlet is a deadly maze, filled with turrets, poisonous traps, flamethrowers, and all manner of deadly obstacles. It took me three tries to make it through alive. Nuka World certainly starts on a high note, but can it maintain the thrills? No, the answer is no.
Nuka World is raider territory, but they've only claimed a small portion of it, so it is up to you to annex the rest of the park. Most of this both dull and extremely dangerous, as you must enter sections of the park and wipe out the scores of enemies living there. Your first 10 hours in Nuka-World will be spent endlessly shooting and little else, as each threat must be 100 percent neutralized before the surprisingly cautious raiders will move in.
After completing the gruelling side-campaign in Nuka World, you somewhat inexplicably find yourself in command of an "army" of raiders who will do your bidding - up to and including raiding any and every settlement you spent hours upon hours painstakingly building only to realise that Fallout 4 is the exact same game as any of the previous two instalments in the series, except with a really vaccuous and unfulfilling sandbox mode. I have to admit, going scorched earth on your unsuspecting settlements is a cathartic - even fun - experience but, ultimately, you are just replacing settlers with reskinned versions.
Fallout 4: Nuka World is by no means a terrible game, but it is a rather sad bookend to the life cycle of a title that should really have delivered far more than it did.
Fallout 4: Nuka World
PC / PS4 / Xbox One