As a massive Bethesda fan, I was really excited when Fallout 76 first got announced at E3 this year. The idea of grouping up, meeting new NPCs, going on interesting quests and exploring a bigger map all sounded like a great time. Fallout 76 is now out and available across PC, Xbox One and PS4- does it serve as a worthy entry to the Fallout franchise?
I had high hopes for Fallout 76, it could have been a fantastic game. Unfortunately, as has already been reported a number of times, the game hasn't had the best launch. Many players find the quests to be dull and boring, meanwhile plenty of others have faced technical issues. At this point, Fallout 76 has only scored a 59% rating on Metacritic, whereas other titles in the franchise have all scored 84% and above.
I loaded up Fallout 76 for today's gameplay video with an open mind. From the multiplayer side of things, co-op seems like a nice addition to the Fallout series. However, I would have preferred a single-player experience first, with the option to invite a friend along.
The first thing I came across in Fallout 76 was the character customisation screen, which contains all of the same options as Fallout 4. You get the same faces, hairstyles, etc, meaning there is very little additional variety for those who played Fallout 4 three years ago, which feels a bit lazy to me.
In Vault 76 itself, there are plenty of items you can interact with but there isn't much you can actually loot, aside from the starter gear. The game wants to push you out into the open world fairly quickly. Strolling through the vault, you will find robots that will teach you a few things about surviving out in the main world, while also giving you your starting gear, which includes your C.A.M.P, stimpacks, etc.
Upon leaving the vault, you are free to explore however you see fit. The map size is actually quite impressive and is a lot larger than past Fallout games. Unfortunately, the world isn't all that interesting. You've got the usual Fallout enemies dropping in certain areas, old, half-destroyed buildings to loot and quests given to you by holotapes, letters, and robots. There are no actual NPCs to interact with outside of robots and the main story is told entirely through scrawled notes, holotapes and computer log entries.
For combat, you will mainly be relying on manual shooting, as V.A.T.S isn't available until later in the game. Even when it does become available, it is more frustrating than useful as time no longer slows down or freezes when V.A.T.S is activated, meaning shot percentages rise and fall at a fast pace.
Graphically, the game looks a tad better than Fallout 4 thanks to the added depth of field. Lighting has also received a slight upgrade, with god rays piercing through the trees from time to time. Aside from that though, much of the game looks exactly the same as Fallout 4 did.
One of the new features introduced in Fallout 76 is the C.A.M.P, which allows players to build their own bases. The building mechanics all carry over from Fallout 4, so if you played that, you should be familiar with how this works. As long as your base goes untouched, you will respawn back there whenever you die. The C.A.M.P also comes with a stash and crafting areas, so you can store useful items for later on and build new gear. You are able to pick up your camp whenever you see fit and move to another part of the map. When you do this, all of the items in your stash are saved, so you shouldn't lose anything.
Ultimately, Fallout 76 is an odd mix of different genres. I've had some fun during my time playing it but I also feel like this game could have been a lot better. There are areas that just feel like they are lacking effort. I don't think I'll be returning to Fallout 76 any time soon and unfortunately, this game has made me a little nervous for The Elder Scrolls VI.
KitGuru Says: Have many of you been playing Fallout 76 this month? What do you think of the game?