Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop DLC Review
After discovering a radio signal on your Pip-Boy, you’re led to Vault 88 and its 200-year-old Ghoul Overseer and her hilariously broken moral compass. You can kill her or make her leave if you’re not into virtual sadism, or you can go along with her master plan to lure in new residents and continue Vault-Tec’s devious experiments. I recommend playing along just to watch her justify her cruel beliefs. Among the things she believes are wasteful are exercise, socializing, and health care. No amount of rational, empathetic arguments can change her mind.
Watching dwellers stumble around zapped out of their minds is entertaining.
Aside from a few laughs, the payoff to playing her game is that you’ll unlock custom versions of new craftable items. Do you want to make some exercise bikes for your Vault dwellers? What about a bike that shocks people when they’re peddling too slow? Would your residents enjoy spending some time at a slot machine? How about one that’s rigged to tempt and addict its users, slowly draining them of money? (Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how that one is different from real life…)
These items are fun to build and use, and watching your dwellers stumble around high as a kite or zapped out of their minds is entertaining for a while. If you don’t do the quest you’ll still get normal versions of the new contraptions, so you’re not missing much by opting out. The real reward, which you’ll get one way or the other, is the vault itself.Pedal smarter, not harder!
Vault 88 is absolutely gigantic. Sure, it’s in ruins when you arrive, but that’s actually a benefit because there’s a huge amount of scrap to salvage. After clearing out just the main cavern you’ll have enough materials to build a substantial Vault of your own. This is a smart move, since a lot of people don’t have a stockpile of materials on hand or, if playing on PC, don’t want to use the console commands to cheat. You won’t need to scrounge steel and concrete for hours before starting.
You’ll have to do a bit of enjoyable spelunking to unlock the area’s full potential.
If you’re a builder who thinks big, Vault 88 can accommodate. When in Workshop mode, certain entire walls of rubble can be removed to allow access into deep tunnels. There you can find even more scrap, radioactive materials, and some powerful creatures that are challenging, but not prohibitive—you can enter Vault 88 whenever you want, but Bethesda recommends being at least level 20. You can’t build in the tunnels until you find the control boards for each zone, so you’ll have to do a bit of enjoyable spelunking to unlock the area’s full potential.Vault 88 is my new home sweet home.
Part of that potential is that Vault-Tec adds a ton of new craftable items, from practical to decorative. Dozens of Vault parts, from floors to walls to windows and everything in between, are available in different aesthetic versions: cafeteria, clinic, nursery, Overseer’s office, and more. These parts are accessible in any settlement, so if the Vault-Tec slogan of “Better Living, Underground” doesn’t do it for you, you can take your fancy Vault parts to the surface and probably confuse a lot of people.
The visual variety is great, but for hardcore builders, the real reward comes in the form of practical new items. The DLC includes the two largest power generators available (the largest provides 500 power). Aside from looking awesome, it allows you to be far cleaner and more efficient with your power management. It includes a massive water pump as well (no pun intended), meaning you can get straight to the fun parts and never worry about providing for your dwellers again.
Vault-Tec Workshop’s wealth of new structures and tools make it essential for hardcore crafters and Overseer wannabes alike. Its handful of hilarious characters and quests don’t stand up on their own, but they’re not the reason you’d attend the show in the first place. This is settlement builder’s dream, through and through. With tons of craftable items and a literal mine full of resources, Vault-Tec Workshop is a Fallout 4 builder’s dream.