Fallout 76: A Nuclear Disappointment
Back in November of 2018, Bethesda Game Studios released one of their most hyped games in years: Fallout 76. T his addition to the long-running Fallout franchise was supposed to change the way Fallout was viewed by the gaming community. Fallout 76 was the first online, multiplayer title of the franchise. As a fan of Fallout and Bethesda, I was optimistic, yet apprehensive about the online aspect when it was first mentioned at E3 in early 2018. Personally, I enjoy the story behind open-world shooters, and tend to focus on the plot objectives more than the actual gameplay. When more details surfaced on this new Fallout game, I became less and less hopeful with every press release.
To briefly sum up Bethesda’s Fallout for those who are unfamiliar with this underrated franchise, the premise is simple. Skyrim with guns. You play as a customizable protagonist that has to survive in the post-apocalyptic United States after a nuclear war with China. It’s pretty much the same as any other run-of-the mill open-world RPG with a first-person-shooter added bonus. As you level up, you gain skill points that allow you to build your character to fit your desired play style. Also, the choices you make during certain quests affect your overall experience, so choices actually matter in this game. Fallout 76 makes several big changes to this simple concept by adding the online multiplayer aspect to make it more social.
What makes this game appealing to a Fallout f an is the graphics. This franchise is notorious for sacrificing top-notch graphics for challenging missions and well-written stories. Because there isn’t much in the way of questing in 76, the developers were able to put the time leftover by the writers into the environment and appearance. I had no concept of what West Virginia looked like and what beauty lies within that Appalachian state. Unfortunately, you may not be able to appreciate the environment for long before you start a fire-fight with an angry pack of ghouls or running from an angry deathclaw.
Behind the good graphics, I figured the developers would have put enough lore and multiplayer quests to compensate for the lack of straightforward quests in the game. This is the first major let down of this new installment. There are hidden bits of lore on signs and posters, but the majority of the story is looking at a corpse and attempting to piece together a narrative that may or may not be the developers’ true intention. The next reason I think Fallout 76 is a heaping pile of bull manure, is that real humans can and will try to kill you. Personally, I have enough to worry about as I’m sneaking my way across the nuclear wasteland. I don’t need DingDong13 running up on me all Fortnite style jumping and spraying me with bullets. I’m not saying FPS games are bad, I’m just saying the wonderful world of Fallout is not the best place for pre-teen boys to scream obscenities about each other’s moms.
My opinion aside, Fallout 76 was a flop. Bethesda tried their best making Fallout Online, but it was a huge backfire. Not enough Fallout fans gave it a fair chance at the start, but Bethesda didn’t even get the chance to prove us wrong. Bethesda even tried using YouTubers to increase hype right before the release back in November, but even that wasn’t enough. Fans just weren’t
hyped enough or wanted to play Fallout with friends. The whole point of Fallout i s solitude and loneliness. Every protagonist in every game from the Vault Dweller to the Sole Survivor, is alone and tasked with an impossible mission. In order for anyone to survive in that kind of world, they have to be strong, smart, and selfish. It’s hard being friends with a survivor especially in a nuclear wasteland.
But who am I to try to analyze a game so many talented people put endless time and effort in making. I’m just a consumer, after all. And so are you, so give Fallout 76 a go and let me know what you think.
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