Fallout 4 had a problem, and that problem was that it left a sense of humor behind in Fallout: New Vegas. The bizarre sights and characters seemed to have been replaced by a grim sense of fatalism and boring military faction that never quite stood out from the crowd. Nuka World is the final DLC coming to Fallout 4, and it hints at bringing back some much, much needed personality.
Nuka World shoves you into the DLC without much grace or finesse, breathlessly directing you into a double cross you can see coming from a mile away. As soon as you get to the park after a long train journey, you instantly fight the big boss of the park. And then you are the boss. Yup, the same bare bones, unexciting storytelling Fallout 4 suffered from is back straight-away. No build up, no stakes and no real explanation of events to slowly entice you into the world. Just a senior position in a brutal enterprise with very little in the way of training. It’s a poor start to the campaign.
But a bad start cannot ultimately sour a good experience, and Nuka World’s greatest strength is the gonzo theme park it throws you into, now overrun by raider scumbags. Each of the five zones has a unique setting, be it the Galactic Zone’s space travel adventures or the western themed Dry Gulch just to name a few. There you will encounter some new foes, with a significantly beefed up punch to punish those who thought they could handle Nuka World at level 6.
With the new sights is a great deal of old ones as well, with most enemies simply acting as re-skins of pre-existing foes. But there is enough variety and surprises to be found to keep you enticed during a very lengthy stay. You will want to keep playing just to unlock a selection of unique weapons, tools and outfits, such as a brand new assault rifle. Many of these appear once you have cleared out the main areas, and each will keep you occupied for around 3 hours.
But the main attraction of Nuka World is to be a big, bad boss of a raider gang and here we find the biggest misstep of the whole DLC. Dealing with three treacherous gangs of no-good backstabbers, all vying for dominion, lacks any real gripping decision making. There are no hard choices, with the exception of wiping out the gangs to make Nuka World friendly territory again, and the experience ends up being a shallow one.
Eventually you can return to the Commonwealth, mostly to begin subjugating the population (should you choose that path). Extorting the population and stealing supplies to feed your army of villains has a bunch of charm the first few times you do it, but the luster quickly wears off. It devolves into the same base building you either love or hate, just with a little bit more murder to sweeten the deal.
Saying Nuka World is more of the same would be doing it a disservice, as there is a significant amount of fresh and fun content to enjoy here. But once the story is finished, there really isn’t too much to get excited about. For a fleshed out bad guy experience, you can do a whole lot better, but for more Fallout 4 content to sink your teeth into, Nuka World is triumph.