Since it's release, Fallout 4 has steadily added features, and available stories and areas, via it's downloadable content (DLC). Publisher Bethesda courted controversy by raising the price of the season pass halfway through the game's cycle, claiming we would be getting "more DLC than planned" to make up for it. Yet 'Nuka World,' the 6th release, is seemingly the last.
Unlike previous games, the new features often felt like what we should have had all along in the core game, rather than something new and exciting. Some of the DLC, like 'Wasteland Workshop,' was little more than window dressing or a tool to add functionality that should really have been in the game from release.
Compared to Fallout New Vegas' excellent schedule, which included 'Lonesome Road,' and even Fallout 3's variety pack of DLC, the options for Fallout 4 have been disappointing.
Most importantly, it could be argued that the DLC hasn't always made the best use of the Northeastern seaboard setting of Fallout 4. What's been added does work, and brings new experiences to the game, but here are four ideas that could have made even more of an impact.
- The Pitch: All you've learned is now your enemy. Can you convince the world you are not working for the devil in your very own Witch Trial? Or will you join the hunt as you visit the bloodiest town in New England.
- New Factions: The Inquisition, The Puritans, The Damned, The Darkness
One of America's most famous and horrific chapters happened in a location already in Fallout 4 but which seems criminally underused with a quest about a Deathclaw Egg?
Salem played home to the infamous witch trials of 1692-1693, which resulted in the deaths of some 20 people including 12 women. It is the scene for one of the most famous plays of all time, The Crucible, and could have made for a truly chilling DLC.
The Lone Wanderer makes his way into Salem and finds the town has reverted to a puritanical society. Technology is distrusted and the townsfolk are fearful of witches.
Imagine if some of your hard earned but most useful perks were now seen as witchcraft and caused the towns folk to dislike or even put you on trial? What if the Vampires so often seen in Fallout were around as well to further muddy the waters as a nod to Stephen King's Salem's Lot? Even some humor from a Knight who weighs ducks... that's a Monty Python joke, but the overall concept is serious.
You could have a modern day Witchfinder as the main antagonist, perhaps a take on The Crucible with an Abigail-type accuser leading the Puritans, using the hysteria to her own ends, a John Proctor type leading The Damned, and the trial where that Charisma SPECIAL score comes into play. Depending on choices you could end up in the dock defending yourself, defending an alleged witch like "Goody" Proctor in The Crucible, or joining the Witch Hunt yourself as part of the Inquisition, gaining you a special perk that devastates your Karma, but makes all future interrogations or persuasions immediately successful.
Why didn't it happen? Most of what goes on in Fallout is covered under the guise of enemies being Raiders, Ghouls, or Super Mutants. Having a choice-based DLC that would actively question religion and the outgrowth of paranoia, injustice and murder of those who don't "believe," could upset Christian groups. Perhaps Bethseda didn't need that kind of flak for a game that was already pushing the envelope.
Escape From Nuka York
- The Pitch: Indulge your late 70's/early 80's fantasies in Nuka-York, the prison city where anything goes...and time really does run out.
- New Factions: The Family, The HomeRuns, The Snakes, The Wanderers
New York is a great untapped resource in Fallout and arguably deserves it's own game. However with Fallout 4 being set so close to Manhattan, there's definitely a missed chance to make a flying visit, at least to parts of the city.
Inherently there are going to be issues in showing a Fallout-ravaged New York since 9/11; those probably put Bethseda off ever using it as a setting. But there was some great opportunity to pay homage to a classic movie concept.
Much as 'The Pitt' was set in a prison, turning New York into a Vault-Tec-owned internment camp for the worst of the Fallout 4 world would have been interesting. After all, those experiments must have involved psychos, too. Let's face it, John Carpenter's seminal movie is one of the biggest influences on the Fallout universe, so why not do a "love letter" DLC to it?
While going full-on Snake Plisken in terms of story probably wouldn't work, the idea of some high-stakes reason to enter that world isn't too far-fetched. Gameplay wise, it could have been a chance, like New Vegas DLC 'Dead Money,' to throw in new gameplay elements like the Arena.
Add into this some new factions based on other hits of that era...The HomeRuns are a homage to The Baseball Furies of course, the Wanderer's grease-balls like their movies namesakes. Maybe even throw in a boss monster known only as "The Shape."
The mission could be timed. You have a fixed period to complete your tasks there. This would seem generous, but there would be temptations built in to spend that time doing other things, like leveling up in combat in the arena or making caps on relatively lucrative side quests. Of course they couldn't make failing the time limit a game ender, so no explosive in the neck but it could be that you never get to go back there... and get the REALLY good stuff if you fail.
Where Everyone Knows Your Name
- The Pitch: Build your bar business into the hottest franchise in the Wasteland...do you stay legit or stray into the darkness to keep on top?
- New Factions: The Macks (Pimps), The Omertas (The Mob), The Union, The Gladiators
OK, this would be a smaller DLC, but one that could have been fun. Allowing players to open better food outlets and bars, hire staff, set prices and even build a "franchise" of Cheers Bars across The Wasteland, rather than the basic store option.
Of course the caps benefits could be great, but there could also have been specific sub quests based on some classic themes like Prohibition and Gangsters. Specific decisions could come into play. Do you allow Ghouls into your place, rent rooms for hookers, maybe even build a casino?
It wouldn't have been a full-blown story DLC, but a $3.99 offering would have been fun. Could they have even ponied up for some familiar voice actors for it? Probably not a Kelsey Grammer but easily a John Ratzenberger or George Wendt type could have been in it as a patron?
This would also have helped make good use of the other DLC we did get, like neon signs and the ability to hold animal fights. Does your place have a singer, or ladies of the night or Deathclaw beatdowns? Do you tend bar yourself and get the "Holding Court" Perk that raises your Charisma in a crowd or go for the cheaper, but less popular robot option? It could have worked with Automatron to give you more ways to customize your robot bartender.
The Scenic Route
- The Pitch: Visit the wonderful natural sight of Niagra Falls, and the murky underworld just beneath the surface.
- New Factions: The RCMP, The Brotherhood Of Steel (Villains), Liberte
If New York City was too distasteful a setting for DLC, why not go with some of the more beautiful aspects of the North East? The White Mountains could offer an interesting backdrop as could a more upstate New York area, especially the Catskill Mountains -- or go north to Niagra Falls!
Using the Falls as a backdrop to a series of missions, perhaps where you actually get to cross the border into Fallout's version of Canada, would have been fun. Perhaps a couple of new factions, including a riff on the famous Mounties would have been possible. Perhaps the doors don't have locks... but kick ass booby traps await inside?
Perhaps the Brotherhood Of Steel are making a play for Canada and using Niagra as a staging ground, while the more Quebec centered Liberte are trying to resist? It could be interesting if you'd already signed up to The Brotherhood, if you'd agree with them if phrased as the villains of this DLC, especially if your wife's family were from there...
They could even have had a sequence involving the famed Maid Of The Mist boat, that could have led to a perk with the same name - allowing you better vision or powers in water. Or maybe a Grizzly Adams style perk that made you a master of the wilderness?
Of course there are many more possibilities, vote for your fave below or tell us your ideas in the comments!