The wastelands of Fallout are not for the kind-hearted, this dry outdated post-apocalyptic world has you question your very own survival as your surrounded by a barren land filled with scraps. Only with your own intuition can you make the most out it. Face death in the face as you make your own armour and weapons to fend off beasts, build your territory of defence to fight for survival, make your own alliance of survivors.
With Bethesda dominating the video game scene with titles such as Oblivion and Dishonoured, they are no strangers to making successful revivals of old legendary franchises (DOOM, Wolfenstein etc). So as a novice to the Fallout universe, it made sense for me to try their latest instalment in the form of Fallout 76. The latest game that relies heavily on multiplayer compared to their previous titles.
Fallout 76 is the first Fallout game that doesn’t rely on a prewritten story, as this game truly wants the players to feel like a survivor straight out of vault 76. Allowing players to make their own camp, make their own alliances/enemies, and shape their own destiny…
If one word can describe my very first encounter with Fallout 76, it would be Isolation, total isolation. It makes sense in developing the world for Fallout 76, being the last vault survivor to leave, you’re made vulnerable to the quiet wastelands where danger lurks behind every corner. But I found myself exploring and fighting alone, as I rarely encountered another player, not knowing whether they’re out to hunt other players, or they have already come partied up, it can be a tricky and hard experience. Most of the time I can view nearby players on the world map, but it felt like most of the time, players were miles away from me, or they were still at the beginning of the game. If you don’t mind, you can go back and help join new starters, but be aware it could hinder your own progression. You get a strong sense of lonely ambience amongst the wasteland, it truly does feel like human extinction, making you relish the time you spend in any interaction with other players. Honestly, the best way to experience your first time with Fallout 76 is with a buddy or two, if you don’t have that luxury, then no worries as it only adds to you’re solo immersion into learning the world.
Fallout 76 doesn’t shy away from newcomers or veteran Fallout fans, you’re dropped right into the thick of it where you learn quickly that everything is out to get you, regardless how big or small your enemies are, their dangerous and to not be taken lightly. 76 has an interesting way of introducing players to the world, without feeling like its dragging on or feeling like a tutorial, plain and simple, your player is met with new objectives, which teaches you new mechanics and helps you to have an excuse to travel and explore new areas. Not once does it feel forced upon, as players have the freedom to roam by themselves and not be imprisoned in one area until “x” amount of tasks were completed, it felt natural and made sense.
Apart from the early glitches and lag, some objectives feel like a chore with a sort of rinse and repeat process. Not many missions felt as rewarding after completion. Many tasks are assigned to you through a pc terminal which felt rather dull. As far as story progression goes, as a vault survivor, you’re just picking up the pieces of those who were alive in the wasteland. You begin following breadcrumbs left from the Overseer, who leads you and makes you learn about the wastelands with her trail of journals and voice tapes. You follow the overseer’s findings and her encounters with other people in the wastelands such as a researcher who left an unfinished experiment for you to optionally complete, in order to learn more about the lore of the infected creatures that lurk in the lands. To learn about a local mayor and his last tapes that transcribe tasks to complete to help boost tourism in the town. The lore and story feel very loose as you explore what your purpose in the world is, and what your main goals are.
Like I mentioned earlier, this game is truly made for previous vault survivors, without an in-depth tutorial based on learning controls. I learned the hard way, by experimenting with what buttons did what as I hid behind an old rusty bin while being shot down by a gang of super mutants.
In it’s current form, the early release suffers from lag and glitches that have an effect on the flow of the game, no worries as patience is a virtue, these are just several minor glitches that can easily be resolved by some patches and updates for the game.
In the early game, main/side mission objectives clutter the screen with text, until I began meddling with the pause menu, I found a way to toggle on and off specific missions to help declutter the screen.
However, the game comes with its own rare gems such as event missions, a public timed mission open to all players to join together to complete. The Event missions take on various forms, from fighting ridiculously huge bosses, boasting fat health bars, to fighting off waves of enemies, to escort missions where you protect the target. these moments are where the game shines, with new creative missions that feel like a most needed break from the main missions that offer some pretty cool rewards.
As I course through the wastelands, I started to learn, that apart from strong creatures and enemy players being the cause of my ill fate and losing my loot, diseases, hunger, thirst, and overloading on loot like I was packing up for holiday, all played a massive factor leading to an early death in the game.
Bethesda teaches the players that it is crucial to look after your character and loot. 76 feels more like a modern-day survival game, as it steps further away from its action shooter ways.
The visuals are a beautiful representation of a post-apocalyptic world of West Virginia in fall. Every monument feels iconic and memorable, from the eroded caravans surrounded by a nuclear swamp, to an old wooden fort held down by a colony of robots, it felt hard to notice these awe-inspiring landscapes.
The verdict is, Fallout 76 has got a lot of world building and nurturing for its online community to do. Which I believe Bethesda can pull off, just like how Destiny had a rocky start, it paved its way through patches and dlc content to make it the world renown game it is now. And the same can go for Fallout 76 as it shows soo much potential to improve and grow, I dont beleive this game shows much limitations. So we salute you Fallout 76.
A review code was provided by the publisher for review
Developer: Bethesda Softworks / Publisher: Bethesda
Release date: 14/11/2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Fallout 76 is a blast to play with your friends and has the potential to grow.