The gaming world was abuzz Tuesday over the announcement of new downloadable content to be released for the smash hit video game “Fallout 4.”
Simply put, today’s video game consoles are typically connected to the Internet, and as such, the cinematic games popular among modern players can be updated — for a fee — months after their initial releases with new features and even playable levels.
These are what gamers and reviewers call “DLC,” shorthand for downloadable content. As “Fallout 4” was among the most celebrated games of 2015 when it came out in November, selling 12 million copies and making upwards of $750 million over its first 24 hours on the market, game maker Bethesda’s announcement of new DLC in 2016 was met with much social media excitement.
The “Fallout” series of video games takes place in a post-apocalyptic world between 200 and 300 years from now. Characters fight through grotesque mutant creatures and bands of ideologues on their way to solving mysteries and trying to piece their lives back together.
The biggest of the three DLC installments unveiled Tuesday was titled “Far Harbor,” with a $24.99 purchase price that’s more than double that of either of the other two upgrade packs. Bethesda Softworks touts the “Far Harbor” content as the “largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created.”
The extra stage, “Far Harbor,” thrusts players into the complicated politics of a remote Maine island, where gamers reportedly get to play as an android private investigator named Nick Valentine, a popular supporting character in the primary “Fallout 4” levels.
The “Far Harbor” DLC is due to be released in May. The other downloadable packs announce, titled “Automatron” and “Wasteland Workshop,” will allow players to build custom robot companions and catch monsters, among other things.
Here’s how Bethesda Softworks describes the “Far Harbor” DLC on its website:
“A new case from Valentine’s Detective Agency leads you on a search for a young woman and a secret colony of synths. Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world. Navigate through the growing conflict between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Will you work towards bringing peace to Far Harbor, and at what cost? Far Harbor features the largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created, filled with new faction quests, settlements, lethal creatures and dungeons. Become more powerful with new, higher-level armor and weapons. The choices are all yours.”
“Synths” are androids like Valentine and “Children of the Atom” are members of a fanatical religious cult, more or less.
The fictitious — and creepy — Far Harbor setting won’t the be the first time parts of Maine have been used in video games. In fact, the way Bethesda describes it brings to mind the fictitious Solomon Island found in “The Secret World” or even the mysterious Silent Hill seen in the video game series of the same name.
Fair warning: The “Fallout 4” trailer below is violent, in case you don’t care for that sort of thing.