Wasteland Workshop basically brings us some settlement additions and tweaks to tide us over until the Far Harbor story DLC hits in May. This, like the previously released Automatron, gives a drip feed of content, and although it does expand on the core game, it likely won’t give a ton of replay value initially. Instead, Wasteland Workshop serves to keep those who are invested currently going, and to get release players with the season pass back in. Neither thrilling nor revolutionary, it still does what Fallout does best coming from Bethesda; have the player wasting real-world days in a far-off game world that is still fun to visit. Be warned that this DLC pack is really for those that enjoy the settlement building, or have the season pass and it just comes with the territory. It’s not meant to truly expand the game in incredible new directions, and it surely doesn’t do that. It does manage to make one aspect of the game that can be the definition of a time sink worth revisiting for yourself, and browsing what other players might come up with.
It’s honestly a little tough to put a score, much less dive into detail about what Wasteland Workshop brings to the mix in Fallout 4. It’s not even just “mostly” construction and settlement refinements – that’s in fact all it is. That’s not to say it’s a poor chunk of DLC. Priced at only $4.99, its right in the sweet spot for expanding the content found in the vanilla Fallout 4 settlement building package, and actually adds quite a bit to the equation. If you’re a fan of the settlement building found in the release build, you’ll love what’s included here, and will likely convert at least one of your settlements to an awesome arena full of carnage.
There’s a decent amount of new buildable structures, lettering, lights, signage, and more put forth in Wasteland Workshop, which will ensure that settlement builders of the Commonwealth will find plenty of fresh possibilities. There’s a certain Zen-like mode that I personally go into when building a settlement. A mode that includes planning, clearing, and building the best layout possible. This also includes revisiting it multiple times within a few hours to be sure it’s exactly what I saw in my mind. This feeling was furthered when jumping into the new DLC update, as I knew that it was likely a straight shot of settlement creation tools.
Wasteland Workshop adds buildable items in bulk, but more than that it also introduces some new mechanics in the way of arena building and capture abilities. Players can construct cages ranging from small cat-sized boxes, to Yao Gui and Deathclaw contraptions. Each cage requires power, and while hooked to power they’ll trap the unsuspecting beasts over time. The mere presence of cages is enough to increase raids on your settlements, and you’d be wise to wire them up appropriately, as when the power goes out – the beasts get released too. This means you might have an unpredictable mutated bear ravaging your precious Starlight Drive-in – or if you’ve got the skill and foresight to build a Beta Wave Emitter, you can watch it rip your raider visitors to shreds. This also presents a fun option to have friendly beasts patrolling your settlement in some sort of weird return to natural balance post-apocalypse.
- Quite a few items added to the building and home customization
- New cages and capture methods are fun to mess with
- Not worth it if you don’t like settlement building
- Arena matches are rarely worth the work building the stage and catching the creatures
The Bottom Line
A budget level DLC coming in at $4.99 adds enough to keep the settlement builder extremely engaged and experimenting. There are a few quirks to the DLC itself, and really should only be considered for those that want more of the things that made Hearthfire so attractive for Skyrim. If you’ve got the Season Pass it’s worth firing up to see what’s new and maybe spruce up Sanctuary Hills, but is also completely skippable for those looking for anything more than a few new items and a somewhat neat new arena mechanic.