Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop DLC Review - dfo4gold.com

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If you build it, they will watch.

Like its close cousin, the Wasteland Workshop DLC, Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop is centered entirely around the Settlement-building portion of Fallout 4. But unlike Wasteland, the new creation toolbox is stuffed with instruments that are thoughtfully designed to interact with one another in ever more complex and intriguing ways, enticing our inquisitive and puzzle-minded sides with the challenge of creating ever-more-devious constructs.

You can (and probably will) cheat to get the large quantities of raw materials necessary to build your massive machines, because gathering them takes a serious time investment, but the Rube Goldberg-style mechanics they enable are the real fun of Contraptions Workshop. The experience is a lot like fooling around in Minecraft’s creative mode, albeit a bit cruder. The powerful new logic circuits and switch arrays allow for some mad-genius antics, and though my brain took a while to grasp their potential, I gradually began my own small experiments. In one modest achievement, I created a swinging control that I could trigger with a gunshot; shooting the target flipped a switch which dropped a ball down a track wooden track and through a basketball hoop switch to activate nearby fireworks.

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That small experiment opened up my eyes to just how creativity much is possible if you’re willing to spend the time and effort to master the complex interacting systems. Given enough patience, a composer could likely create some pretty impressive melodies from the sonic generators, but like much of Contraptions Workshop, the process is deliberately baroque, a sort of self-defined puzzle game with goals set by the creator.

It's a sort of self-defined puzzle game with goals set by the creator.

Amid that experimentation and learning, I encountered a couple of strange glitches in Contraptions Workshop. The moving surface on my conveyor belts, for instance, sometimes ceased to animate even though objects kept moving along the track. Also, I sometimes ran into strange environmental behaviors while working at high altitudes above Sanctuary. It's understandable considering all the moving parts involved in a game like Fallout 4, but also noticeable and distracting.

While I appreciated the inclusion of weapon, armor, and ammunition forges, their practical utility is limited for an advanced player character with the significant resources on hand necessary to utilize these machines. I preferred the more flashy and frivolous contraptions and had a great time sequencing my own synchronized fireworks extravaganzas using the powerful terminal controls.

Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop DLC Review - dfo4gold.com

Terminal display controls

Computer terminals really come into their own in Contraptions Workshop, helpfully enabling you to allocate and centrally control launchers, switches, pyrotechnics, machinery, music, and manufacturing processes from a single convenient point. The terminal menus and circuit logic are thankfully very easy to navigate and well-organized. The crowded new Workshop mode menus, on the other hand, are less intuitive, and it can take a while to find the tool you’re looking for until you memorize the sometimes-haphazard layout.

The Verdict

Contraptions Workshop seems tailor-made for YouTube or Twitch, a delightfully conceived tool for showing off the creative genius of dedicated and inventive craftspeople to online audiences. It certainly succeeds in that ambition. Building any effective automation requires experimentation and rewards practice, creating a real sense of progression that's surprising for a game with no new mission or story content.

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Fallout 4: Contraptions Releases TBA 2016
PS4 PC Xbox One
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Fallout 4: Contraptions Workshop DLC Review - dfo4gold.com

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