Fallout 76 – War, war never changes… It has been three years since Fallout 4, and here Bethesda’s newest installment in this much-loved Fallout series. When announced that this would be a multiplayer game, concerns arose as to how this would translate into its story and gameplay. As previous fallouts had huge immersive stories that could draw us in for days on end. So when I got the chance into jumping into my vault suit once more I took it by the horns and booted up my Xbox. Want to know how it went, fellow vault dwellers? Strap yourselves in, because ho boy, it’s a doozey…
What is Good?
- Microtransactions: Wait, Alexis are you daft?Microtransactions a good thing? THIS MEANS WAR! You might think. But hang on, let me explain. Fallout 76 brings us a unique form of microtransactions. First off, these are cosmetic only. So, no pay to win in any way, shape or form. Not only that, you can actually earn these same cosmetics through playing the game by doing quests, exploring…. If you do decide to contribute and purchase these with your hard-earned cash. Don’t fret, as this won’t be going to waste. Bethesda is actually going to use this revenue to give us free DLC. Yes, FREE dlc! You are allowed to lose your mind now, by the way.
- Content: One of the first things that you’ll notice is how enormous and vast the world map actually is. Every town, every mine, every train station that you’ll encounter, will have loads and loads of goodies for you to explore. Though towns might not have every building explorable, there still will be enough for you to discover. You might stumble across a note that tells you how to find a hidden cache of items. Heck, there might even be a new plan for you to build in your camp. Not only that, every now and again a random event may start for everyone in your server, which could consist of defending a certain spot from waves of enemies, to killing a certain monster, which in the end rewards you with a nice chunk of XP and some much-needed items like stimpacks, ammo, …
- Co-op: It’s just an amazing feeling when you can play this in a group. Everything is already here to play this in a group. There are certain perks that improve how much XP you earn when playing together. You can have your dedicated healer, which can heal himself and the rest of the group, your designated hacker or lockpicker, … Also tackling high level zones becomes much easier with a partner or more! While solo might be your preferred playstyle, please, give playing with friends or hell, even random players, a try! You won’t regret it, that’s for sure!
- Bottlecaps: Bottlecaps are just that, bottlecaps. There truly is no reason for you to have bottlecaps other than fast travel. The reason why, is that it’s just stingy about dishing them out. You barely get any, and if you finally did amass a small hoard of bottlecaps, you’ll quickly notice that if you’d visit one of the robot vendors, that prices are so high, your bottlecaps will melt away,much like snow does before the sun. You might lower the price a bit by using perks, but that would just be a waste. As most of the items that these vendors sell can be found throughout the world.
- Graphics: Though still looking gorgeous, the outdated graphics engine Bethesda uses is quickly catching up to them. Though it runs much smoother than fallout 4, it still looks exactly the same in my opinion. Though this does mean they did get to optimize it for Fallout 76, it still feels lackluster if you look at the other AAA games that released this year. Bethesda babe, update your engine, even if only a bit. We know its possible on current hardware! So please, give Fallout the graphical lovin’ we all know it deserves.
- Is anyone out there?: Ah yes,.. One thing to keep in mind when you enter the game, is that every god damn NPC is DEAD. No hidden character living in a cave, no dug in raider camp, no tiny settlement somewhere in the middle of nowhere living off of radroaches and mutated brahmins, they’re all D-E-A-D. Though you might come across bodies that look like they were just killed by a random player or in a questline, with names and backstories sometimes documented in the form of holotapes, or scribbled notes that lay right next to them. The fact still stands, there is no one! Which makes me think that they were planning on them to be alive, but time constraints got in the way. Previous fallouts relied heavily on their living characters to bring the world to life and propel the story forward. Now its all done with tapes,notes or robots giving you quests. There is no interaction at all. But its not like there is no life out there as during some events you receive radio transmissions thanking you. So, there IS life out there… I just hope that NPC’s will be introduced again in Fallout 76’s future in a DLC expansion because in its current state? It’s just a huge, content filled world, with no populace other then you and your fellow vault dwellers.
- Variety: There is a wide range of enemies you will encounter during your play through. Which is a good thing, right? So, what am I complaining about? Its not the fact that there is a wide range, it’s the fact that, even though there is such a range, most of the enemies you will encounter are in fact scorched! These are so numerous that you might actually think there is just one enemy type! Why?!
- Hive mind: Another one of my gripes is the hive mind AI in this game. Shoot one and the entire place knows your exact position, and believe me, they WILL bring hell and fury down from the heavens and smote you down. Which can be fun at first, but if this happens constantly this becomes an annoyance and aggravating. It just makes no sense that you take down a scorched on one end of a compound, and all the way at the other side, 2 stories higher, another scorched knows your position and comes charging in an instant.
- Grinding: If higher levels is what you seek,at quests thou should not peek. Really. Quests give little to almost no XP. So,for those people who want to achieve high levels and do the more lucrative biomes? Go grind out super mutants if you ever find them, and do events. This is also the same for getting gear, because as already said previously, the robot vendors are expensive as f…
- Pricing: In its current state, the game is 40 or 45 euro worth. Reason this being what you actually get out of the box. An open world sandbox with little to no compelling story. Now, if Bethesda would ever bring in a story and living NPC’s. You can be sure as hell that this a 60-euro game. But until then? I’m sorry but its not really worth the 60 euro selling price. Bethesda please, give us back our quirky NPC’s!
What is Bad?
- Glitches galore: After an extensive and highly debated B.E.T.A, you’d think that, with a patch that was bigger than the initial game on day one, a lot of stuff would have been fixed. And it did, yet still I encountered my fair share of glitches. From mole rats that suddenly dugout of a dirt hole… 10 meters in the air… through a thin sheet of metal that I could see through, to being spawned under my C.A.M.P, over and over, when I used fast travel. Ghouls having regular moving speed, until shot, and then come charging at me with lightning fast speed, making them impossible to kill and resulting in my death. Only to shoot the same bastards shortly after, and have them come at me with regular speed. Exploring and losing bullets for no goddamn reason, or joining back after a few hours, only to find stimpacks mysteriously just vanished out of my inventory.
- Story: The story is… Boring, sadly to say. I don’t mind reading in a game, if it’s in its moderation. But this installment puts all of its eggs in one basket, and that’s god damn reading. You might pick up a snippet or two in holotape number #1035, but the fact still stands that the biggest part of its story is told through computers and notes. Which makes this experience not thrilling at all! In previous installments the story got told through the NPC’s, how they reacted in certain events, their emotions being translated through their spoken dialog! You cannot convey emotion through just simple words and text. No! You need to visually be able to see if what you did was good, or bad. Did it have repercussions in a community, or will it comeback to haunt me later? So please… Bethesda… Don’t make me repeat myself…NPC’s?
Fallout 76 [Score: 77/100]
With one of the best microtransactions systems that I have seen in a long while and a beautiful open world, Fallout 76 surely is amazing to play. Focusing heavily on playing with random people or friends they surely went out of their comfort zone to bring us this next installment. Though I might have sounded a bit harsh during my review please, don’t forget, most of what I am griping about is patchable and will most likely be fixed in the future. So, if you have ever nursed the idea of playing fallout with friends?Give this a try, you might be surprised! Just, Bethesda… Npc’s… hm? Okay, now where is my poking stick? There just HAS to be some life left in at least ONE of these npc’s right… right? This is me, Alexis, Vault dweller of vault 76, biding you adieu, and who knows? We might be seeing each other in West Virginia’s vast lands.