The previous Automatron robotic expansion and less-well received Wasteland Workshop were just a clearing of the throat before the real content arrived in the Fallout 4 season pass.
If you've been craving new actual content, and not just brief side quests and the ability to craft additional companions or beef up your settlements, then Far Harbor is absolutely the DLC you have been waiting for.
An amalgam of some of the most interesting expansions from previous iterations of the series, Far Harbor offers a whole lot of content and pulls from a ton of different genres. You'll notices echoes of the Point Lookout DLC from Fallout 3, as well as some of the oddity of Old World Blues.
Remember the Dunwich House from the previous game with all its Lovecraftian references? A bit of that returns, as there are several references to The Shadow Over Innsmouth in the early stages of the main quest.
The ever-present fog radically changes the atmosphere
The central quest line starts with a woman abandoning her family to learn the truth about herself after experiencing strange dreams. She heads to an island village of fisherfolk who aren't quite right (sound familiar yet?) and it's your job to track her down. While there, you will battle horrible amphibious creatures and try to avoid horrific deadly fog.
All that being said, the horror elements are mostly trappings and presented just for atmosphere, as the actual story line itself goes a different direction, dealing with some interesting moral and philosophical questions.
Much like how Chris Haversam from New Vegas believed he was a ghoul, the woman you are hunting down believes she is a secretly a synth... and who's to say she's not? Even if she isn't, her belief that she is leads to essentially the same result.
That's just the tip of the iceberg though, as you will grapple with tough choices while striving to maintain peace between three rival factions on the island: the mariners of Far Harbor, the synths of Acadia, and a Children Of Atom cult inhabiting a submarine base.
You've always wanted to be a radiation-worshiping fanatic, right?
As with the base game, you can of course join any of these factions (and finally getting to join the Children Of Atom is an interesting twist), but there's more room here to decide whether to help them, thwart them, violently wipe them all out, etc.
Changes from the base game are probably the biggest draw here, especially if you are tired of exploring the Commonwealth. Most notably: there's no settlements to manage here and no Preston Garvey to bother you incessantly about them! Can I get an “amen?”
The setting is welcome change of pace as well, with a modified color scheme and different terrain, complete with new flora to harvest, new enemies to fight, and of course fresh equipment and even another companion to pick up (a grizzled old sea veteran).
There's some surprising revelations about old characters as well, including a look into the history of synth detective Nic Valentine.
This bizarre synth has some interesting things to say about Valentine...
In a lot of ways, the dialog options are still unfortunately the less-than-inspiring options you are used to in Fallout 4: “yes, sarcastic and obnoxious yes for no reason, super enthusiastic and altruistic yes, and no... but I'll come back and say yes again in a minute.”
That being said, there are much more options available now, and some actual choices that will legitimately change things, which was all pretty sorely lacking from the base game.
There are loads more quests in Far Harbor than in the tiny Automatron, and a huge new island to freely explore. Frankly, this is the first real, honest-to-Atom DLC for Fallout 4 that actually deserves to be called an expansion and doesn't feel like it should have been part of the base game.
While all the locations are varied and interesting, there's one in particular you should make a beeline for: a brand new vault to plunder. It's probably the most fascinating and fun vault to explore in the entire game, tasking you with investigating a robotic murder scene in an old timey hotel setting.
The whole area has a very different feel than the other vaults, and you also get to have sex with a robobrain in a sunflower hat... and how often do you get to do that?
Bethesda says you'll get 30 hours out of Far Harbor, but that's a stretch. It's more like 10, maybe 12 if you are exploring every nook and cranny, but that's still a very decent addition to the base game. If you want more Fallout but are tired of the same old same old, definitely pick this one up, as its well worth the price of admissoin and offers some needed changes to the formula.
Ready to get started? Be sure to see our guide to jumping into the Far Harbor DLC here, and stay tuned for full quest guide coverage coming soon.