Last week we received a bounty of new information for next month’s Fallout 76, thanks to a press preview event. With beta and launch coming in rapid succession here, it’s definitely high time that Bethesda sells the gaming public on this online-only multiplayer concept.
I’ve seen this sort of reaction before, but there’s definitely a lot of unwarranted fear from people that multiplayer is going to ruin everything. Single-player modes are like a sacred cow to the non-MMO populace, and I have to restrain myself from rolling my eyes too much when I see articles written about how it won’t be THAT bad and that it still feels solo-ish and whatnot. Even in 2018, there are people who think that soloing isn’t an option when you’re gaming online, and that is just plain ignorance.
In any case, I’m generally upbeat about this entire game. Generally. Let’s get some general worries and gripes out of the way, which include:
- Bethesda always developing games and interfaces for consoles first and PCs after
- Off-putting player character design
- A reported lack of an overt story
- Unwanted PvP and a lack of a PvE-only server
- VATS unable to slow down time and reportedly not working that great in the preview test
However, none of these are dealbreakers to me. The core attraction of the Fallout series to me is one of exploration. I simply want to roam the countryside, check out new places, scavenge what I can, and gear up so I can survive another day. That seems to be the gameplay loop of Fallout 76 — including a need for eating and drinking — and I’m perfectly fine with that.
I’m especially ecstatic over the sheer size of the map and the beautiful rural setting, both of which call out to me to roam for hours and explore every last little thing. I like to do completionist exploration in Fallout games, which is probably why I never actually finish them. I hate to think I’ve overlooked something in these fascinating worlds.
The character building system looks like a definite improvement over the mess that was Fallout 4’s setup, and I love the idea of collecting and slotting perk cards as needed. The portable CAMP is a neat idea too, and one I’ve been advocating for years in MMOs (in short, I’d rather have a portable tent/player housing that I could set up for a short duration).
Fallout 76 is going to have to work hard to win a lot of people over, and you see a lot of outlets damning it with faint praise as “not a real Fallout game but nice anyway.” Me? I think it is high time this franchise went online, and I applaud the studio for trying a different tact instead of getting stuck making the same game over and over again.