Far Harbour (FH) is the latest DLC for Fallout 4 (F4). A new case comes into Nick Valentine’s Detective Agency. An old acquaintance of Nick’s has a problem – his daughter has gone missing. It seems she’s gone off to a place called Far Harbour where there’s a colony of Synths, which she believes she is. So it’s your job to find her.
FH introduces a whole new island to play on1. Once you get there it turns out Far Harbor is really only one town, with the rest of the island mostly being referred to as The Island. Here you can find the main mission, several side missions and several new beasties to admire and wipe out. Oh, and a new potential companion.
The Island is a pretty miserable place. Almost all of the settlers are stuck in ‘Far Harbour’ because the rest of the island is covered in a fog that is radioactive. Creatures survive in that fog and are dangerous to people’s health2.
There are a couple of new beasts that rival the Mirelurk Queen for size and difficulty to kill: The Fog Crawler and the Giant Hermit Crab. I personally think the Giant Hermit Crab is the best idea I’ve seen in ages – but I won’t spoil it here.
There are really three factions vying for either control of the Island, or just survival. You have the Harbor folk, who have come from all over the island, driven to Far Harbor because of the spreading fog.
You have the Children of the Atom who believe the fog is Atom’s work. They were once mostly content to ‘live with’ the Harbor folk, but they have a new leader who is much more militant.
Lastly you have the Synth colony, Arcadia. They have a somewhat complex relationship with both the previous factions and are at times trying to be neutral, and at times trying to broker peace with one or the other. You can guess how well that would work out.
There are also Raider analogues: Trappers. They fit more with the island aesthetic, but are pretty much the same otherwise.
You’re going to be continually taking rads on this island3 so be prepared for that. The fog is always around, but can be patchy so you can find spots that are rad free.
The fog makes everything gloomy, even on a sunny day and, of course, visibility can suffer.
With this new area, and some of the side quests, I kept getting flashbacks to some of the Fallout: New Vegas (FNV) DLCs. The fog initially reminded me very much of the red mist in Dead Money (DM), while Vault 118 had shades of Old World Blues (OWB). Whether it was deliberate as some kind of homage, or accidental, I don’t know. I also don’t care. I liked the atmosphere of both, and that continues here.
The Island really feels different to the Commonwealth and, initially at least, provides a bit more of that ‘desperate survival’ feel.
There are two things that really annoyed me about this DLC . The first is the way they’ve handled things going on back in the Commonwealth. You still get interruptions telling you about settlements under attack. It’s really a pain to give up what you were doing, get back to the Commonwealth, get to the settlement, help, then go back to what you were doing. I’ve just given up and I’ll just have to deal with the Fallout4 when I get back there.
The second is how much of a hit the PS4 takes with that fog. Sometimes the frame rate takes a massive hit, which I haven’t seen this bad before. I’m not sure what is actually causing it, but it happens mostly with the thicker fog around, so that’s presumably part of it.
Other than that, I’ve had a blast. I’ve finished the main quest, and most of the side-quests, and just generally explored the hell out of the place. I’m now thinking of building the settlements up more on the Island. Maybe.
Edit: Just before I hit ‘publish’ I need to add a weird bug that I’ve found. A Fog Crawler sometimes spawns near one of the settlements. It’s not killable. You can take its health down to zero, but then the health is magically restored. Just for the hell of it, I ‘killed’ it repeatedly until I was bored. I killed it 7 times, and it still just refreshed its health.
So, I’m ignoring that settlement for now.