Fallout 76 is an online action role-playing game that was released 14th November 2018. The game was both developed and published by Bethesda. It is available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Fallout 76 is the first in the Fallout franchise to be online, with the previous games being famous solo games. The game is completely open-world and can be played in either first or third-person. Bethesda have brought us some huge games over the years, including the massive multiplayer-online role-playing game The Elder Scrolls Online.
Vault 76 and Its People
Fallout 76 offers players an opportunity to play together as the first online game of the huge franchise. The game is set before the previous Fallout games and acts as a prequel. In the beginning of the game, you wake up in Vault 76 where it is Reclamation Day. You create your character completely from scratch so that each player is entirely individual. From there you pick up a few bits of gear throughout the Vault, including your Pip-Boy and set off out of the Vault on your adventure.
The game starts you off with a few tutorial missions, and then it is entirely up to you what missions you pick up and what order you complete them. There isn’t really a story to the game. The missions just have you piecing the world back together after the nuclear fallout, and the idea is to rebuild. There are no human NPCs in the game, so you gather missions from terminals, robots and holotapes. The holotapes are voice recordings from people that lived before the nukes fell.
This Seems Familiar
The movement and controls are exactly the same as the previous games. You can even zoom in on enemies using V.A.T.S., but the world and other players carry on as normal. With the aim of the game being to rebuild, players will be able to create a camp wherever they wish and use materials to create stuff for their camp, i.e., a cooking station, a bed, an armor station, etc. Players also have the opportunity to create their own home from scratch like in Fallout 4. The ability system is quite similar to the last Fallout game as well. The main difference is that, instead of a tree of abilities, you have ability cards that you can add, remove and stack.
The fact that Fallout 76 is an online game is both an advantage and a hindrance. It is great to be able to play such an iconic game with my husband, my friends and my family. At the same time, it changes the game completely. I love having help when it comes to defeating a great, big monster, but the online feature seems to be causing no end of glitches and lagging issues. It also kind of takes away from the “end of the world” experience. Without me being the sole hero of what little humans are left, I find myself wondering, does my presence really matter? Although the same could be said about many online games.
Fallout 76 presents players with elements of the original Fallout games. With the inclusion of V.A.T.S., the mechanics of the game and the ability system, it still feels like a Fallout game, which is great. The servers are also limited to 24 people for each one. This means it doesn’t feel too overcrowded for an online game. Fallout games are also extremely famous for the music featured, and Fallout 76 definitely delivers this in spades. There are multiple radio stations that players can tune into, and they are filled to the brim with old-timey classics, which we love. There is also one specific song that is featured that I think fans of The Big Bang Theory will enjoy.
With Fallout 76 being online, players have the choice of playing the game with others or going for it solo. Playing with others is great, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a snoop around by yourself. The game has so much going on that even when you play alone, it is never boring. There are also public events that happen all over the map pretty regularly. These events bring people together, even if it’s just for a short time. The events are absolutely manic, and you can get a lot of loot and experience for completing them.
Error 76: Frustration Found
Fallout 76 has got to be the most frustrating game I have played in a very long time. The biggest issues with the game involve glitching, loading issues and an extremely large amount of lag. At one point, I was playing the game with my husband, and he was being attacked by a glitching lamp post. To be fair, it definitely made me laugh, but after I stopped laughing, I had to shoot the lamp post to get it away from him. There are so many little bugs like this that can cause a very large amount of frustration, especially if it happens during a fight. There were times when I was alone and surrounded by enemies, and my gun just wouldn’t shoot, or I couldn’t move due to the loading and lagging issues.
Another issue with Fallout 76 is the weapon condition for when you are at a low level. I fully understand that weapons need to be repaired, and the condition of a weapon is going to drop if you are using it all the time. But when you are a very low level, you don’t have many resources, and the weapon condition still decreases at a very fast pace. With that being said, Fallout 76 is also easily corruptible. There are so many easy ways of boosting up your level by 20, gaining 100 grenades within the space of 2 minutes or even giving yourself unlimited inventory space. I choose to play all games as they were intended, but I know that many people, my husband included, will take full advantage of this.
Has Anyone Seen Gavin?
One thing that has completely changed with Fallout 76 is the lack of non-playable characters (also known as NPCs). With NPCs not being included in this game, it completely takes away from the experience. If you aren’t doing it all to help an NPC, why are you even bothering?
I understand that NPCs have been taken away because the online players are all the last surviving humans, so it completely makes sense. But that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any at all. Without NPCs, it feels like the game doesn’t really tell a story, and it makes the missions feel like busywork instead of actual missions. It doesn’t really feel the same buying stuff from a robot instead of buying stuff from a real merchant. The robots are also very samey, whereas humans contribute weird and wonderful personalities and individuality.
Fallout 76 in a Nutshell
Fallout 76 definitely has its ups and downs. It is a great game to play with friends and family, but it can be really frustrating. It still feels like a Fallout game because of its game mechanics, but so much has been taken away from it that other parts don’t feel like Fallout. The biggest issue is the removal of NPCs, but I have learned how to live without them. There doesn’t really feel like there is a story, which is another one of the game’s biggest downfalls, but I absolutely love just snooping around and being free to do whatever I want.
The game has a lot of issues that really stand out. There isn’t much about the game that makes me excited to play it or leaves me in awe like a lot of other online games do. Saying that, the game is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I would say to give it a try and see if you enjoy it for yourself because the game seems to be a bit like Marmite. Some people will love it, and some people are going to hate it.
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: 14th November 2018