Not every flaming mess of a game gets a do-over, but occasionally, it does happen. Final Fantasy XIV and No Man’s Sky are prime examples of pulling a complete turnaround, going from extreme disappointments to passionately loved titles. Is that even possible for Fallout 76? Let’s not get carried away with ourselves right now, because this is still Bethesda here, and that studio doesn’t know how to go two days without tripping over its feet and landing with at least one of them in its mouth.
But here’s the wild thing — Fallout 76 appears to be a whole lot better. It’s not a completely new game, but Wastelanders is an amazing step forward. It *feels* fresh and exciting — and whole, in a way that F76 never has.
I started a new character to get the full Wastelanders story experience, going from a Vault nobody to hero of Appalachia in 8,000 easy steps. It took me an evening to reacquaint myself with the strange controls and design of the game, getting back into the habit of salvaging everything and taking the most roundabout ways to get anywhere. At the same time, I was reminded about how beautiful this game can be. Not all the time, but there are some gorgeous vistas.
I’m going to save fuller impressions of all of the new content, including the story, dialog, and NPCs, for a bigger piece I’m writing up for Massively OP, but I’ll say that it’s stunning how much this makes a difference. It’s no longer a shell of a good game; it might well be an actual good game in its own right.
Also, there’s a giant robot here that thinks it’s a cow. “Comforting Moo” indeed. I really want more of a backstory on this thing.
I do have a very long road ahead, but that’s OK. Wastelanders comes at a very good time in my play schedule, when I’m slowing down in LOTRO until the next update comes, so I have more space for it. And I needed something new and exciting to enjoy this spring (can’t imagine why I might need the distraction!).
I absolutely hated the look of my character that I initially came up with. Fortunately, Fallout 76 allows you to completely change your appearance *on the fly*, which is something I’ve never seen in any MMO or online game. So I did a whole lot of tweaking and slidering and fiddling about and came up with a look that is, in my opinion, pretty respectable. I can’t believe how atrocious most of the looks and hairstyles are for the Fallout games.
Anyway, back to the wasteland I go!