With just two DLCs left for Fallout 4, it should come as no surprise that the last two are intended to be the biggest DLCs for the game. In Fallout 4’s Vault-Tec Workshop DLC, it is advertised that you can build your own Vault however you like, letting you basically create your own underground settlement from scratch but with clean looking building materials that don’t look like they’re going to collapse instantly. Furthermore, as a Vault-Tec Vault Overseer, you get a chance to run experiments on your otherwise unsuspecting Vault dwellers, although you get to choose how ethical the experiments are.
Of course, given that the prior couple of workshop expansions for Fallout 4 consisted of little more than a few decorations and a couple of new settlement building categories, the Vault-Tec Workshop is Fallout 4’s biggest workshop DLC simply because there’s not much to compare it to. However, as a Workshop DLC, it is limited by the usual settlement building constraints (although mods may eventually adjust this).
How big is the DLC?
If you are unfamiliar with the Vaults of the Fallout universe, they tend to be fairly large bunkers that are capable of housing up to a thousand people if needed, although most Vaults depicted in the games are only shown to have some dozen occupants (for obvious reasons). Vault 88, your new personal Vault, is no different as it is located inside a giant cave system that has four separate areas. There is the main cave which allows for the construction of a four story tall Vault, and three other ancillary caves that can be unlocked once you clear out the rubble from the tunnels that lead to them. All in all, you can create a small town underground, assuming that you have the time and desire to do so with the only caveat being that there is an artificial limit to how many items can be in the caves at once.
Needless to say, the DLC also adds dozens of practical and aesthetic construction items to Fallout 4 that you can use for both your own Vault and for the normal settlements. Fortunately, you can use the wide assortment of new walls, rooms, doors, and electrical items on the surface (so you can build an above-ground Vault at the Castle if you wanted to), plus you can bring every Vault-Tec experiment to your above-ground settlements.
Quests, new items, and more!
Unlike the other Workshop DLCs, Vault-Tec Workshop actually has a small questline for you. Consisting of some three or so quests and four experiments and a couple of named NPCs, they effectively act as a tutorial of sorts, taking around an hour or two to complete (disregarding any building and traveling that you chose to do). Other than the Vault itself, there are no new locations, although the quests can bring you to locations that you may not have explored before. Fortunately, progressing the quest does add a fair amount of raw resources to your building inventory so that you don’t have to run around looking for thousands upon thousands of pounds of steel.
Should you buy it?
The Vault-Tec Workshop offers a questline that takes an hour or two to complete and a couple of new (minor) NPCs. As expected, this is a paltry amount of content compared to the potential number of hours that you can spend making your own Vault. As such, this DLC is highly dependent on whether or not you actually want to build your own Vault, as there is technically no real reason to build one other than for your own amusement since it doesn’t exactly provide any permanent stat boosts, weapons, or armor that can help you survive in the Commonwealth. In effect, this DLC is the Fallout 4 equivalent of buying an ant farm: you’re not going to get much practical use out of it, but at least it’s amusing to be able to watch your settlers live their new lives as Vault Dwellers