Tears filled their eyes, as the survivors wandered the wasteland. 3 months ago, Bethesda’s first multiplayer open world game debuted in the form of Fallout 76.
The game is set in post-nuclear America, specifically Appalachia, West Virginia. The game features recreations of real-life locations from the region. It was undoubtedly an ambitious game filled with high potential and creative opportunity, however fans quickly became wary once the game was released with no non playable characters (NPCs).
The game’s character creation was honestly not that bad. Although it could be better, there were plenty of customisation options for creating the playable character. Perhaps compared to some other online games, this was fairly substantial. In comparison to Fallout 4, Bethesda’s previous addition to the post-nuked world, Fallout 76 is fairly similar in customisability. However, the facial options are perhaps not as detailed as they were in Fallout 4.
The game’s graphics are also quite similar to Fallout 4, but you can take that as you will. However since Fallout 4 was released in 2015, it could be argued that you’d expect slightly better graphics in the newer game. On the other hand, you can argue that you’d expect lower quality graphics in an online game. But in my opinion, even the Red Dead Redemption 2 online BETA version’s graphics are superior to those of Fallout 76.
Something to praise the game for is that it hones in on creatively incorporating the setting into development for the game. One example of this is the inclusion of creatures from West Virginian folklore.
Since the game’s release, Bethesda has been frequently criticised by fans for failing to resolve bugs and issues within the game, and sometimes reinstating previously fixed ones. Glitches have occurred frequently throughout my playthrough of the game, such as killing the Grafton monster which then respawned seconds later and essentially become unbeatable.
The quests would usually be given by NPCs in the Fallout universe, however the absence of these mean that the player receives missions through other means. It can be argued here that they lack any real depth. I feel that not having any NPCs in Fallout 76 really made me lose interest in the missions and quests as I found that they didn’t have the drive and character interest behind them that is present in other Fallout games. Instead, the quests are largely found through notes, terminals and holotapes where the player can then explore the land and join factions. I do think the idea of having factions in the game lifts it to some degree as this can preoccupy where the game would otherwise be lacking. This could stop the quests from seeming quite so repetitive.
The overall online gameplay isn’t bad if you are playing it with friends, however as a solo game it is relatively underwhelming. When playing the game solo, interest quickly dies down as there isn’t much to do due to the weak storyline and quests. Then being faced with overpowered players, progress in holding and building a camp is almost impossible. Another issue with the camp feature is that if you leave the online server, it is very unlikely that you will still hold your camp once you go back online. This essentially wastes all the time spent building defences and collecting materials to build facilities. This ultimately calls into question what the purpose of this feature is.