With the fourth DLC for the popular Fallout 4, Bethesda has given players a smaller add-on pack to the building and settlements in the wasteland. Instead of a full expansion, Contraptions Workshop focuses on giving players more options in building up settlements. Settlements were shown as a big deal at first but soon showed the clumsiness of the system which caused players to focus their efforts elsewhere. With this add on pack, is there a new shine on an unloved system or more rust?
Adding little and Meaning less
The pack can seem extremely underwhelming at first glance. Going to any settlement under the player control, opening up the menu shows all the new items with a little “plus” symbol at the top left of the selection. This additional content only adds items. No new quests, equipment or characters. If the controls of the building menu was a barrier before, nothing has been changed with regards to this so players expecting a system reform will be very disappointed.
On the actual content itself, there is only one addition that is worth it. On the practical side, there is not a lot for the players to deal with. Defences only receive two new traps that come off as more gimmicky than useful. Under Power, there are now Conduits players can use if they want to clean up those pesky wires. Logic Switches also come into play where more prowess in terms of puzzles can be placed in the settlements. It can take some getting used to the commands but it doesn’t go far enough to alienate those who might be ‘would be programmers’. No new furniture either so players will be stuck with the same chairs and beds.
The only thing of note in the Structures are the inclusions of elevators. These serve the basic function of setting the player up and down levels. There are only three options, making the inclusion a little underwhelming. If you are a fan of the dumb physic riddled moments in Bethesda games, players cannot build ball rails. These surprisingly have many components to build your dream contraption, yet the payoff might only be worth it if you really enjoy creating some slow madness. Decorations do have a nice new feature with Racks. Essentially players can keep their more crucial equipment on a nice display shelf for safe keeping. Armour (including Power), Weapons and Other niceties can be put on display. This is a great improvement over storing items in containers.
Industrialisation of the Wasteland
Every object mentioned so far really does little to the practical aspects of the game. Most are for show or those who love to spend their time building up settlements. The Manufacturing portion however, is where players might actually find some worth to the package. Players can create Manufacturing machinery that will produce items once fed the right components. Guns, Ammo, Food and Armour each have separate items dedicated to the production cycle. Build the Production machine, add a terminal, power supply and the ingredients and you are ready to go.
The actual production equipment does not end there however. Conveyor Belts are also added which quickly connect to each other to push the products down the line. Storage units are put at the end of the line so players have a means to quickly transfer the rewards. Storage Units allow for conveyor belts to join without the hassle of items getting shoved into the same place. It is extremely simple and allows for the Junk that weighs down the player to be useful. Going to the terminal will not only allow selection of production item but also show what components are needed.
The worth of make shift factories comes down to dedication. Wise production can reap huge rewards in caps as all items can be sold or used if you so wish. Having Ammo constantly being created saves some cash even when weighed against component costs. Everything looks wonderfully Fallout yet this also means they don’t stand out.
Manufacturing is the only real reason to own Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop and even bother messing around with it. Workshop and Shelter building was always a weak part of the main game. This DLC at least creates some worth if the player goes the route of Industrialist. Even with this in mind, it is still safe to avoid this DLC unless you really enjoy the building mechanics in Fallout 4. This DLC will do nothing to change the mind of those who had no interest in the base game. Although there is now some actual useful elements to play with. Still, this is not enough to justify a purchase.