Bethesda have just announced the first three expansions for Fallout 4 [official site]. They're not far enough, coming March, April and May, and they include new adventures, new settlement customisation options, new quests facilities to capture and train creatures, and "the largest landmass for an add-on that we've ever created". First out will be Automatron, which will allow you to build customised robot companions, then there's the Wasteland Workshop in April which concentrates on settlements and creature taming, and finally Far Harbor will include an entirely new island area. Beyond these, Bethesda have expanded their DLC plans enough to raise the season pass price.
First up, here are the details for Automatron:
"The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions. Choose from hundreds of mods; mixing limbs, armor, abilities, and weapons like the all-new lightning chain gun. Even customize their paint schemes and choose their voices!"
I didn't get along with the pre-built companions in Fallout 4 - I prefer my apocalyptic experiences to be solitary - but I do like the idea of building a mechanical minion/chum. I've also enjoyed harvesting bits and pieces of my enemies since I played Paradroid back in the day.
Actually, swift research confirms that Paradroid didn't allow me to mix and match robotic parts as I remember. It simply allowed me to control enemies. And that leads me neatly to Wasteland Workshop's creature-capturing.
"With the Wasteland Workshop, design and set cages to capture live creatures – from raiders to Deathclaws! Tame them or have them face off in battle, even against your fellow settlers. The Wasteland Workshop also includes a suite of new design options for your settlements like nixi tube lighting, letter kits, taxidermy and more!"
Perhaps the inclusion of the word Workshop is an intentional nod because, as our Alice points out, both of these expansions sound like the sort of thing that modders might muck around with themselves. With all the heft of Bethesda's art and design teams behind them, they could be lovely little boxes of playthings.
The latter is a more traditional expansion, adding new plotlines and quests.
"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."
And that's not all. There will be "more than $60 worth of new Fallout adventures and features throughout 2016." Due to what Bethesda are calling an "expanded DLC plan", the season pass price is going up: "the price of the season pass will increase from the current $29.99 to $49.99 USD (£24.99 to £39.99 GBP; $49.95 to $79.95 AUD) on March 1, 2016". If you already have the season pass or buy it before March 1st, you'll receive all the DLC for the original price.
Closed betas for the add-ons are coming soon and you can sign up now:
"Want a chance to play these add-ons early? We'll be running closed betas for each of the add-ons for consoles and PC. And you can sign up right now on Bethesda.net. In order to apply, you'll need to create a registered Bethesda.net account. We'll be selecting applicants in the upcoming weeks. Players accepted into the beta will receive a code to redeem the content. The beta is the full version (complete with achievements) and those participating will not have to purchase the add-on."
Bethesda also point out that they'll continue to update the base game, and are working on the new Survival mode (which introduces and/or modifies "food, sleep, diseases, danger and more") and the Creation Kit modding tools right now. Busy little bees. Busy big Beesthesda.