Fallout 76: Death and life in the wasteland

I honestly don’t know how to take Fallout 76 these days. As I laid out in my extensive first impressions piece over at Massively OP, it’s this half-and-half effort that tries to do a lot of things but doesn’t do any of them especially well. It’s awkward as a soloing game, it’s awkward as a multiplayer game, and it’s sometimes frustrating as a survival or PvP game.

But where does that leave me? Should I just abandon it?

I’m not really willing to do that. Concerns and frustrations aside, there is the enjoyment of exploration, advancement, and looting to be had. Making my way in the wild is oddly satisfying, especially as I can craft my own food and fix my own gear. And when I’m not being overwhelmed by bouncy robots and dealing with broken guns, I can even make my peace with the janky, non-slowmo combat system.

Initially, I decided to put off the main storyline of the game after getting to the Overseer’s camp in favor of exploring in a radius around Vault 76 and crafting some useful stations in my CAMP. I’m not up to making any actual structures just yet, but that may come when Bethesda gets its act together and fixes the bugs and makes building less of a chore. I keep grinding my teeth at how none of this game is angled for PC players, especially when it comes to the interface. Oh, that interface could be so, so much more better, including the inventory.

I did have a good time clearing out a pharmacy and figuring out how to climb to the roof of a farmhouse that some dead people were using as a fort of some sort. Again, I think that there’s something very salvageable here, but I’m not going to race to put a lot of time in this game until it’s fixed up. Until then, I’ll probably be popping in and out for the occasional half-hour burst, but nothing more regular than that.

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