In terms of fictional brands that have real world appeal, Nuka-Cola is probably up there for sodas people would most want to actually try. Hell, Nuka-Cola Quantum was even made available in some retail stores for Fallout 4‘s release. It makes sense that the Fallout series would eventually lean so heavily into its popular sugary drink that a world would be created from it. With Fallout 4‘s newest DLC, Nuka-World, the series introduces some new mechanics that serve as an allegory to the spreading of corporate America. All while building out a world dependent on the carbonated beverage.
After being duped into believing a family was in danger, Nuka-World quickly throws players into a Gauntlet that will test their mettle. After taking out the current Overboss of Nuka-World with some help from Porter Gage, the right-hand man to the Overboss, you become the Overboss of the vast amusement park. That should sound exciting, but unfortunately, it’s a very mundane operation. You see, there are three raider gangs all with their own goals and ambitions. As Overboss, your objective is to please them by doling out property throughout the park in an even manner – if you want to. Or you can tempt fate and play favourites like I did, pushing one group above the rest to see how the gangs would react.
That’s essentially it for the story of Nuka-World though, as it focuses on establishing a foothold for the raider gangs in the park before branching out into the Commonwealth and placing your mark on the wasteland. You can take over settlements and force settlements into providing resources to your already-established raider bases. For me, this boiled down to just telling them they had no choice. You can also use brute force if you’d like. Taking over a settlement for your raiders also means keeping them happy with entertainment and resources, while also defending it from other raiders.
When I say being an Overboss is a mundane operation, I really mean it. You’re constantly travelling between the Commonwealth and Nuka-World – which is treated like Far Harbor and its DLC in that it requires travelling outside of the map to get to – while doing very little in the Commonwealth, and for a while, even less in the amusement park. Even missions you can do for the raider gangs quickly devolve into “Go here and kill these people,” with little variation. The DLC even opens with the Nuka-World tour guide, N.I.R.A, handing you a fetch quest to collect medallions throughout the park.
With a large park to explore, there is a saving grace in some of the sub-quests on your way to establishing your foothold in the park. There are five different areas to visit outside of the main hub world, each with a very distinct theme. The Galactic Zone will have you facing off against a bevy of dangerous robots as you hunt down star cores (another fetch quest), and Dry Rock Gulch also has a similar issue of a mundane experience. But then you get areas like Kiddie Kingdom, which is a bit similar to the Gauntlet players are introduced to earlier on, but introduces a neat character and some interesting environments. Even Safari Adventure has a slightly interesting questline.
The one area, though, where Nuka-World feels like a living, breathing world is The World of Refreshment: a bottling plant for Nuka-Cola. There are new creatures to discover that have been mutated due to the quantum in Nuka-Cola Quantum. There is even an interesting side quest buried in environmental clues and audio logs. But it provides players with some new weapons and mods to toy with. All of which are fun to use, even if some are more as jokes than actual weapons (the first gun you get is a water gun).
Nuka-World does what an amusement park is supposed to do though – offer plenty of distractions. With medallions to collect, an arcade to play in, plenty of areas to explore, and the ability to turn the Commonwealth into your own theme park of violence and bloodshed, this DLC provides plenty. There’s even a Nuka-Cola Mixer for players to mix the many different flavors provided in the DLC to create new ones. Unfortunately, while there is a lot to do, it is mostly repetitive and boring. Which is the last thing an amusement park should end up being.
A PS4 Review Code for Nuka-World was provided by Bethesda for the purpose of this review
- Nuka-World is massive with plenty to do
- Interesting characters
- The raider mechanics are a compelling addition
- Some cool trinkets to mess with
- Very repetitive and boring missions
- Worlds are large, but only occasionally interesting
- Far too much loading between Commonwealth and Nuka-World