When I finished Far Harbor I accidentally deleted Fallout 4 from my system storage because I thought that was the last DLC. Of course when I found out that Nuka World was really the last DLC and I still had more adventures in the Commonwealth, I was excited. I redownloaded the main game days in advance just waiting for more post-apocalyptic adventures. I ended up beating the final piece of Fallout 4 DLC in two days and there was disappointment scattered throughout but Nuka World was an overall fitting end to a re-imagined Boston’s story.
The add-on is started like so many other missions in the game by way of listening to a certain radio station on your Pip-Boy. You’re broadcasted an advertisement for the amusement park, Nuka World. You head off to its entrance in the far west of the map. You’re met by some bandits also investigating the same signal. Once you’re easily done with them you enter the park and its grounds. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to just jump in and go exploring like the inner child in you wants. There’s at least an hour and change of finding your way through a death maze, fighting the current leader of the Nuka World, talking, and eventually meeting the different gangs of the place (if you follow the first few story missions that is.)
From here the experience really picks up. Nuka World was so much fun to explore as it offered the Fallout experience but within a fun park that so many of us dreamed of simply visiting when we were younger. There were old western, futuristic, safari, bottling plant, and a kiddie ride areas that made up the bulk of the amusement park. Each section had their own mini-story attached to them, removed from the main quest line, and they were quite enjoyable. Vastly different scenarios for each area attraction really spiced up the gameplay, plot, and exploration. If and when you find out how to power up the place, you can even go on some of the rides. Inner child satisfied is a go.
Outside Nuka World itself were a handful of locations to travel to. The wasteland to the west of the park was fully explorable but basically empty space. There is a small diner that acts as an HQ for the Huboligists (yes a dig at Scientology,) a simple junkyard that acts as a mission location for the Huboligists, an even smaller junkyard that just has a vendor, a “haunted house” that was particularly enjoyable, and a factory that you can enter and discover its connection to the park. Be warned though as tough radscorpions and deathclaws will spawn here. Overall, there’s a reason this DLC is called Nuka World. The perimeter of the park feels like the Glowing Sea but without the radiation or intrigue.
The side missions are here like always and more than half of them bring something to the table. However, the different gangs who cooperate in Nuka World just hand out repeatable and very boring quests. They basically send you all the way back to the main game’s area just to kill someone or bring back a slave. Think of Preston Garvey’s annoying objectives. What’s the most sinful regarding quests though is the one that lets you finish the DLC as a “good guy.” I won’t spoil anything but unless you talked to a person who looked like the many other NPCs in a random spot within the park, you wouldn’t be able to complete Nuka World with a clear conscience. It felt almost like a betrayal that this direction the story could take was hidden like it was.
There are new creatures to kill along with some old one’s in and around the park grounds. Some of them will be easy to defeat like the burrowing bloodworms while others, not so much. Take the gatorclaw for instance. Basically take a deathclaw but make it in alligator form. Yea, not fun and there’s quite a lot of them in one sub-story within an area of Nuka World. The diversity and new creations are good though and I definitely appreciated the differences. Except for the walking vending machine that could kill you in less than five hits. Screw that thing. The new weapons were also enjoyable to wield but I found myself sticking to old weapons all the same.
As I’ve already mentioned some of the cons deal with the time it takes actually reaching the attractions and the complete mishap of one of the DLC’s endings. This also ties into the gangs or factions of Nuka World. There are three raider groups who have a truce among them to get along. They even have their own decent sized home base. Still they don’t contribute anything to the story. You can do boring, repeatable quests for them and claim a portion of the park for them. That’s it. They don’t interact with the content in any meaningful way.
Nuka World is a fun 10-15 hour adventure. It's just a shame the beginning and end felt incredibly lackluster. The new areas to explore are superb, the new weapons and enemies bring good change to the game, and my inner child couldn't be happier with the setting. If only the plot in this DLC wasn't just tacked on to an already great idea of having an amusement park in Fallout. Still when I finished Nuka World I was satisfied with my twenty dollar purchase. After all some say Fallout's fun is in the exploration and discovery and that's exactly what you have to look forward too here.
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