Fallout 76 received its first new dungeon yesterday: the Burrows. It takes players into a maze of underground sewers, but unlike Bethesda’s other recent additions to the game, it’s short-lived and underwhelming.
The dungeon is part of the ongoing Wild Appalachia expansion, whose updates began trickling out in March. While Bethesda has added new items, quests, and seasonal events, this is the first new player-vs.-environment space. Players thirsty for more endgame content that doesn’t revolve around shooting one another on the Survival servers have been looking forward to it. It’s not quite what some people expected, though. It can be completed in well under half an hour playing solo—even less if you’re playing with a high-powered group—and is light on interesting secrets or tense fights.
The new dungeon is located underneath the town of Harper’s Ferry on the eastern side of the map. It’s accessible via two separate manhole covers in the streets above, each leading to a different part of the underground waterway. Inside is a holotape to be looted off a dead man’s body that explains how a Brotherhood sortie was sent to investigate reports of military robotics in the sewers but never returned. As you make your way deeper into the tunnels, you eventually find your way into the pump station. It only takes a little bit of exploring to see what all the fuss is about, and while I won’t spoil it, I will say that it’s cool for the few moments it lasts. It just doesn’t do enough to elevate the rest of the ordeal.
That’s partly because the Burrows as a location doesn’t feel fully integrated as a natural part of the world it now exists in. Unlike the Nukashine Speakeasy that kicked the Wild Appalachia off expansion off, which was full of personality and helped build out the pre-bombing backstory of Morgantown, the Burrows is drab and doesn’t offer up many nuggets of new lore. “The reasoning’s pretty simple: The mean guys always win, Maude,” someone says on one of the discoverable holotapes. That’s basically the extent of it.
The Burrows isn’t much of a challenge, either. “The Burrows is balanced to be a challenge for 2+ level 50+ Vault Dwellers, but truly brave (and well geared) souls may be able to tackle it alone,” Bethesda wrote in a preview of the new content from last week. In reality, any party of two or more people in the level-40-to-50 range are likely to cruise through it. It’s more challenging solo, especially if you’re under level 50 or lacking in strong weapons and armour, but even then it’s short on thrills. Most of the enemies I encountered were some variation of ghoul—Feral Ghoul, Charred Feral Ghoul, Legendary Diseased Feral Ghoul—and were fairly easy to deal with.
Rather than feeling like a new endgame activity to tackle with friends, the Burrows feels like a low-key dungeon for newer players to grind for experience points and mid-tier loot. In that regard, it’s a perfectly fine addition to the game. It pales in comparison to some of the game’s other new events, though. March’s Fasnacht Parade, Fallout 76’s post-launch high point so far, offered interesting collectibles, a fun backstory built into the history of the real West Virginia, and a reason to team up with other players. Even the recent Lying Lowe quest, while disappointing in its conclusion, took players out into the wilderness and cast the locale in a somewhat different light. By comparison, the Burrows just feels like another checkpoint to blast through.
Fallout 76 is supposed to be getting longer group raids this summer in the Nuclear Winter expansion. That’s when Vaults 96 and 94 will be opening for players to explore in groups of up to four. For players who have been waiting since last November for a new, exciting dungeon, that still feels a ways off.