Fallout 4: Wasteland Workshop DLC Review

By Megan Walton, 8 months ago
Have you ever been wandering around the wastes and been jumped by a Deathclaw? Whilst being ripped to shreds, did you think "I'd love to have one of these in my settlement"? Well, your prayers have been answered. Following on from their first DLC, "Automatron", Fallout 4 now has its next DLC in the form of "Wasteland Workshop". We were warned from the off that this would only be a short addition to the game, so will capturing creatures and decorating settlements tide us over for now?

Home Sweet HomeHome Sweet Home

The main focus of the DLC is the ability to capture creatures in your settlements. Unfortunately, the DLC simply allows you to build various traps for each of the creatures, and then wait it out until you eventually come back to a trap with a closed door, so don't get over-excited about going out, hunting down your prey and dragging their weakened bodies back to a new home. It feels like there is a missed opportunity here and that being able to go out and search for the creatures might have been a little more interesting than simply building and waiting. Tempting a creature into the trap can take anything from a few hours to a few days (in-game), so you'll definitely be playing the waiting game.

The traps themselves will require a few components in order to build them. With three different size traps - small, medium and large - depending on the size of the creature, you'll need more items for a bigger cage, obviously. Whilst steel, copper and gears are simple enough to buy or find, the extra component serves as the bait to lure the creature in. Gunners can be enticed in with something as simple as bottlecaps, but the bigger creatures will need a little more persuasion. Mirelurks are on the look out for their eggs and Deathclaws trawl for Yao Guai meat. Some of these may pose a challenge to find, but they also encourage you to spend a little more time with the DLC by searching for these components. It's always amusing to see "Free chems!" on the Raider cage, knowing that they are soon be trapped inside.

I can't believe someone just left these chems lying around! Wait a minute..."I can't believe someone just left these chems lying around! Wait a minute..."

There are a few items that are linked to the cages that you'll need to be building too. As well as needing generators in order to power the cages themselves, the Beta Emitter is a must if you don't want a massacre at your settlement, although you'll need the Animal Friend and Wasteland Whisperer perks to be able build it, so there's potential for a bit of level grinding needed here. This Emitter means that if you let your captured creatures out of their cages, they will be friendly towards your fellow settlers. This isn't to say that they won't attack each other, though, so prepare for amusing carnage as your Deathclaw rips pieces out of your Mutant Hound. There's plenty of scope for amusing showdowns in this DLC and the addition of arena platforms to build in your settlements means you can even make these fights official. Some of the fight outcomes might be a little more obvious than others, but that's probably a lot of the fun you'll be having with this DLC.

If you decide to tempt a few creatures into your settlement, there are advantages to be had. They can act as another defence for your base and there's little scarier for an oncoming enemy than seeing a herd of Deathclaw running straight at them. There are disadvantages, though, and capturing Gunners or Raiders will see your settlement get attacked more as they try and free their friend. The game's reaction to who or what you've captured is done well, and you can choose to set yourself up for a fight or have that little bit more protection at a vulnerable settlement. The cages force you to balance between the urge to build them all and making sure you don't end up wrecking your settlement happiness because of the never ending attacks.

Harvesting fruit is much more reassuring when you know there's a hoarde of monster creatures watching your backHarvesting fruit is much more reassuring when you know there's a hoarde of monster creatures watching your back

In addition to the cages and creatures, the DLC also adds a few extras for the settlements as well. Neon lights and letters mean that you can spell out and light up any messages you want around your settlement. Whether you want to welcome friends to your house, or (less than) politely tell them to go away, you have complete freedom to say whatever you want. Then there are animal trophies where you can take the carcass of your killed creatures and hang them in pride of place in your homes. Whether its a Mireluck claw from a particularly pesky foe, or the hand of a Deathclaw that was causing you trouble, you can forever remember the fight by looking up at the trophy whenever you feel like it. These, and a few other extras, mean that you can style your settlements more personally than ever.

This DLC only adds three extra achievements to the game, so you shouldn't have too many problems with the completion. The Beta Emitter will come in handy when you need to have 5 tamed animals in your settlement, but the real challenge will be trying to stop them killing each other long enough to get it. If fighting is more your style, you'll want to organise a spectated fight where you will have to pit settler against enemy, or even settler against settler if you're feeling particularly cruel. Finally, you'll want to build one of every cage so get ready to shell out a few components or two, and put some time into searching for certain baits.

Summary

Staging fights and being able to spruce up your settlement more is always appreciated, but even for a small DLC, there's even less than you might be expecting here and it does lose its charm fairly quickly. Once all of the cages are built and you've used up more components than you would have liked, the chances are that you'll be fed up of the sight of them. That's not to say that there isn't fun to be had here, though, and seeing Dogmeat come face to face with a giant Deathclaw will bring a tear to your eye. If you need to level up for perks or scout for items, then you might be able to spend more time than most with this content, However, for most this DLC will feel like filler to tide us over until the next larger expansion is due out.
3 / 5
Positives
  • Ability to cage creatures and have them defend your settlement or fight
  • New items for settlement including neon lights and letters
Negatives
  • Creatures can't be hunted and captured
  • Cages need a fair amount of components and some obscure bait items
  • Very short amount of extras added to game, even in such a small DLC
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent approximately two hours, mainly levelling up twice for the required Beta Emitter perks, but also taming Deathclaws and other various creatures while unlocking the DLC's three achievements. A DLC code was provided for the purpose of this review.
Megan Walton
Written by Megan Walton
Megan is a TA newshound and reviewer who has been writing for the site since early 2014. Currently working in catering, she enjoys cooking extravagant dishes, baking birthdays cakes for friends and family in peculiar shapes, writing depressing poetry about life and death, and unlocking every achievement possible.