Should you buy Fallout 76?
“Pure Melancholy & Nuclear Despair”
Fallout 76 is the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person, with the ability to work together – or not – to survive. Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, players will experience the largest world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe. Reclamation Day, 2102. 25 years after the bombs fall, Vault Dwellers – chosen from the USA’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America. Multiplayer finally comes to the Fallout world. Creating characters with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system and forging your own path in a new and untamed wasteland with hundreds of locations. Use the all-new Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (C.A.M.P.) to build and craft anywhere in the world. The player’s C.A.M.P. will provide much-needed shelter, supplies and safety. As a fan of the Fallout series.
Now, as Fallout fans here at Monsoon Gaming, we all played Fallout 3 a couple of years ago and loved it. Sadly, in my opinion, I really thought Fallout 4 was going to be a good game, or at least AS GOOD as Fallout 3 – it wasn’t. I don’t really blame Fallout 4 or Bethesda for my experience, I had just finished Witcher 3 when I started Fallout 4, and obviously comparing almost any game to Witcher 3 back then was surely no competition. Nonetheless, I enjoyed playing Fallout 4 and gave it a solid 7/10 within my personal ratings. But with Fallout 76, Bethesda seemed like it wanted to follow the trend of games nowadays but sadly at the cost of losing the plot of what the game actually meant for its fans.
Traditionally, Fallout has always been a single-player, narrative-focused RPG sandbox, which puts a lot of emphasis on what the player does during his/her time playing the game by means of his/her choices and actions. Sadly, due to this multiplayer factor, this RPG system has been lost. The game has a story, don’t get me wrong, but due to this other human player element in the world, I feel as if it gets lost. Now I understand what Bethesda were thinking, new and more interesting single player RPGs are coming out that are taking its market share – so they wanted to do something different to gain that market share back/gain some new loyal fans of the Fallout series, sadly it seems this was at a cost.
A Lonely, Barren & Nuclear Wasteland
You would think, with more human players in the game this would make the player feel more comfortable and happy, but for some reason, this is not the case. This can be due to multiple factors, like the the size of the map – as POTUS 2018 would say, it’s HUGE. It’s not all bad, if you’re an explorer, there are some wicked and peculiar places set in Fallout 76’s West Virginia that you can travel to, now to do it alone or not that’s your choice.
Another reason why it might seem lonely is due to the limited number of human players in the game. Due to Bethesda putting a cap on the number of human players in the world you can sometimes spend hours not meeting a single human player – and if you do, they’ll probably start shooting at you or start trying to abuse of you in some weird, and trashy way.
Regarding graphics and game mechanics, Bethesda hasn’t really changed much from Fallout 4, crafting is the same – scrapping items and weapons at the crafting table can help create some awesome stuff. You’ll start out with some machetes and basic weapons, and later you’ll be able to craft some super cool lasers and the famous mini-nukes everyone loves that can cause some serious damage.
Missions at the start are fun, later becoming repetitive and slightly boring, similar to something you’d experience playing Destiny (yawn). After playing for a couple of hours you’ll start noticing the limitations of this game. For example, in a mission where I’d need to kill a Wendigo, I’d find myself in a situation where the Wendigo would already be dead at the end of the mission, or there would be a bug where the Wendigo just wouldn’t appear. In this scenario, I would just be jumping from server to server until I find one where the Wendigo is still alive to complete my quest – this can be very annoying.
These missions can be done by yourself, which can be a tough fight but it is best if you have a clan or some other human players with you that you meet along the way that can aid you in these missions – creating a challenge, and somewhat of a strategic alliance. From what I’ve experienced, the only fun part of this game is the carnage and power you experience when you fight as a team to finish some missions. Together, you would easily burn through the wasteland and venture into territories that when flying solo would be too difficult for you to explore.
Ride Together – Die Together, especially when fighting a Level 45 Albino Deathclaw two hours into the game.
Focusing on strategy to complete missions also made me finally take advantage of Fallout 76’s reworked SPECIAL levelling-up system. Before starting the game, it lets you add a point to one of your SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck) stats. Off the bat, these do the same thing as Fallout 4, putting points into strength increases how much you can carry, for example. What makes it interesting is the new and awesome card stacking system.
As I journeyed through West Virginia, I sometimes felt the responsibility of making the world a better place by rebuilding and wiping out the creatures that have plagued these lands. While traversing across towns to find items to scrap I found another player in need of some help as he was being attacked by Super Mutants. As the righteous player I am, I ran to him to help him wipe out the super mutants. As we both killed the last of the gargantuan super mutants I found that this player then decided to go hostile and try attack me. That’s when I realised – F**K THIS SH*T, strolled off, put down my controller and went back to playing RDR2.
Apart from this weird experience, the world of Fallout 76 has plenty of story and fiction intertwined within it and one has the ability to be part of that story. This is a world where you and a bunch of other dudes across the real world start at the same level – a vault dweller (yawn), individually given a certain level of responsibility and ‘power’ to save this world. This gave me a goal as a vault dweller, that was until you notice that everyone else in the game is given the same responsibility with the same ‘weapon of unimaginable power.’ Seems like some scam if you ask me. The story doesn’t hold.
Imagine a world with no human NPCs – as most of you know, NPCs are an important thing in any RPG (or any video game, for that matter) but Fallout 76 has robot NPCs giving you quests. Nonetheless, most storytelling is through holotapes and terminals across the world. Now I know those human NPCs in the game are basically code and pre-taped recordings, but at least when playing the game it gives you the illusion that you’re not alone, and not everything out there wants to kill you. I felt very lonely at points, especially since it’s not that easy to find other human players out there – especially if no-one wants to buy this game.
This game should have come out as a multiplayer DLC exactly after Fallout 4. The game is dated, and you feel that is so. I feel a sense of melancholy when playing this game. This game is also super buggy, sometimes limiting me from completing missions. Fallout 76 is described as having a PVE elements, also stating this as its Unique Selling Point (USP). You feel that game is trying to push for this but I feel that nowadays everyone wants to troll and take the mickey out of everything. Believe me, I love to have a laugh, but sometimes you just want to play the game. Apart from this, the low volume of human players is also an issue, which will probably get worse over time.
Exploring West Virginia with my team, and killing huge creatures and conquering territories together.
Things I Hated:
Almost everything else, apart from the SPECIAL levelling system.
Reviewed on PS4 Pro, you know it!
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