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Fallout’s Wasteland Workshop wears thin

May 16, 2016

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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FalloutIt would be insincere to claim that Fallout 4’s settlement customization mechanics were met with a booming cheer of universal approval back in 2015. While some reveled at the thought of playing post-apocalyptic home decorator some fans wrote the inclusion off as just the developers just embracing the crafting trend of recent years.

Whereas Automatron, Fallout 4’s inaugural piece of DLC, presented a new approach to gameplay via NPC construction, Wasteland Workshop goes all in on the settlement managing aspect of Fallout 4. This sees a bevy of new objects added to an already expansive list of workshop goodies. Cosmetic items such as neon signs, taxidermy, stylish lamps and much more are now made available to further spruce up your encampment.

FalloutIn addition to the new ornamental items, a number of more functional items, which have a tangible effect upon gameplay, have been introduced. Tiles that jut spikes when stepped on and iron arches that decontaminate your character once you walk under them are just some of these new inclusions. Though easily the most substantial addition in Wasteland Workshop is the ability to lure and capture NPCs.

From cats to raiders and even the petrifying Death Claw, most of Fallout 4’s expansive enemy roster can now be baited and subsequently detained. But for what purpose may you ask? Well, none other than top tier post apocalyptic entertainment of course. Imprisoned enemies can now be ordered to battle one another to the death, Thunderdome style. Though, it should be noted that you’d have to craft your battle area, unless you’re content with the possibility of one your settlers being hit by a stray bullet or even mauled to death by an escaped Death Claw.

FalloutWhile the aforementioned gladiator style mayhem may sound appealing to console players, the same A.I. vs. A.I. chaos can be orchestrated in half the amount of time on the PC via console commands. While I’m not of the mind that this completely nullifies playing wasteland workshop on PC, it does make it a harder sell, as these A.I. battles were so clearly touted as the DLC’s flagship addition. It should also be noted that the Wasteland Workshop doesn’t come with any new quests or narrative content either. Playing an additional mission or two would’ve been appreciated. Though, those eager to sink their teeth into more narrative driven content needn’t wait much longer, as the anticipated Far Harbor DLC, is set to release this month.

As tamed Death Claws wander in perpetuity across my junk-laden settlement, I began to think of the missed opportunities that Bethesda could have capitalized upon with Wasteland Workshop. Why not be able to saddle a Death Claw and ride it or enlist one as faithful companion to accompany you during your travels? Making NPCs battle certainly holds its unique charm but more varied options in regards to this mechanic would’ve been appreciated.

FalloutIf you’re one of the people who didn’t enjoy the settlement aspect of Fallout 4, then it should be clear that Wasteland Workshop fails to do anything that would alter that stance. Even for those who did find enjoyment in the feature, you’re likely to tire of Wasteland Workshop’s new additions rather quickly. Making NPCs battle offers some amusement but the battles lose their luster after the third or fourth time. Simply put, none of the new inclusions in Wasteland Workshop feel intrinsic to the Fallout 4 experience. A couple of new bells and whistles aren’t enough to warrant a must-play.


Hitman Fallout 4: Wasteland Workshop
Format: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site:

Rating: 5 / 10

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