Both Automatron and Wasteland Workshop are now available to Fallout 4 players and the downloadable content (DLC) has us drooling for more information on the game’s next expansion pack: Far Harbor.
We know we’re headed to a new location, since Far Harbor’s real-world location, Bar Harbor, is located over 200 miles away. We also know why we’re headed there: to solve a case from Valentine’s Detective Agency. What we don’t know is how big the actual location will be, but we’re given some clues in the size of the DLC.
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Steamdb.info list’s Far Harbor‘s size as 2.68 GB. By comparison, the largest DLC from New Vegas is 783 MB (Lonesome Road), and the largest from Fallout 3 is 650 MB (The Pitt). Another Bethesda DLC, Oblivion‘s Shivering Isles, clocked in at just under 1 gb. In fact, Fallout 3’s base game tipped the scales at 5.89 gb – just over double the size of the upcoming Far Harbor. But these numbers belie the potential size of the landmass in Far Harbor. The file size for Fallout 3 includes a large amount graphical assets – it’s likely Fallout 4‘s Far Harbor will reuse significant amounts of assets already in the base game, in addition to adding some new environments. – This leaves more room for landmass and deployment of those assets.
If we take a look at Bar Harbor, Maine on a map, it’s actually quite large. If you check out Far Harbor‘s description, Bethesda clearly describes it as an island: “Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world.” This would indicate Bethesda is planning to recreate the entire island in-game, instead of just a harbor (like in the Fallout 3 Point Lookout expansion). Adding to this belief is the fact the developers also bragged “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.”
I don’t want to produce any full-body-record-scratch reactions, but check out the real-world size comparison between the island where Bar Harbor is located, and the parts of Boston included in Fallout 4.
Assuming Bethesda sticks to their scaling system for real-world locations, Far Harbor could be roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the entire Fallout 4 map. This would also make it almost the size of Fallout 3‘s Capital Wasteland (based on calculations from other players).
All of this speculation is dependent on Bethesda maintaining the game’s scale, and of course, map size doesn’t tell the whole story. Much of the map in Fallout 4 is sparsely populated with items. Locations like The Glowing Sea and the waters off of Boston don’t have much going on. By contrast, there wasn’t a lot of open spaces in Fallout 3 – most of it was suburban. The topography of Far Harbor‘s real-world location is largely wooded, and is home to Arcadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. This could result in a large landmass with quite a bit of wilderness. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course – we know we’ll see Ghoul Yao Guai, and this provides the perfect natural habitat. There’s also the water surrounding the island, which means we might finally see Lavonicus’ Ghoul Whale theory come true, and do some serious underwater exploration.
The only thing we really know we’ll be doing for sure is looking for a missing young woman, and addressing a growing conflict between a colony of synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Far Harbor‘s real life location is also home to the MDI Biological Laboratory (which specializes in regenerative medicine using animal genes), and the Jackson Laboratory (which specializes in treating diseases based on unique genetic makeup). There’s also a former military radio site nearby. Could there be strange genetic mutations? Engineered sea creatures?
Bethesda has a lot of real-world history to play with in the upcoming DLC – and judging by the expansion’s size, there will be a lot of space for it.
Far Harbor is scheduled for release in May, though a firm date has yet to be set. We’ll keep you posted on Fallout 4 developments and future DLC announcements.