I finally got my hands on Bethesda’s monster, Fallout 76. With this game they’ve made a series of bad decisions which along with some of their previous game have started to destroy their reputation. But the Wastelanders update has recently released so, how bad is it?
Combat is a major thing in the Fallout series and this game is no different, for those that liked Fallout 4 this is a good thing as 76 shares a lot of the most recognisable weapons and the flow and feel of fighting are similar too, it feels less clunky and a bit nicer to control. VATS, the assisted targeting system from previous games has changed because a multiplayer game can’t freeze or slow time whenever a player wants an easy shot, it works surprisingly well, especially given how fast some enemies move, now all it does is target the enemy. I have found the combat to only be challenging when fighting a massively higher leveled enemy or a large group but in older fallouts I’d be cautious of this sort of thing anyway. Although it is annoying to use five mags of ammo on one rat.
The stunning fields of Appalachia are a nice sight, varied up with rocky, scorched and irradiated areas which make exploring interesting.
Base building ties in well with exploration as you need to find a spot that is advantageous to you both in fast travel distance (your base is free fast travel, the rest costs caps) and terrain layouts (a water source helps, enemies, trees and rocks don’t). It’s quite easy to build workbenches in your base and most items are unlocked through plans which are noted that you collect and it gives you something to aim for.
So far I’ve only encountered a few NPCs and the Fallout 4 vague, spoken dialogue system is gone. Instead we have something similar to Fallout 3 and New Vegas but instead of skill checks we have SPECIAL checks which add to conversion based on how you’ve built your character.
The perk system has also changed for 76. There still aren’t individual skills like there were in old games but now you don’t build your character as the game starts, it happens as you level up. Upon levelling up you gain a point to spend on a perk card from a SPECIAL section. If you get an added melee damage perk then you also get more strength. It makes sense in its own way. You also get perk packs which don’t give you a SPECIAL point but help out and give a joke.
The missions that I’ve done so far haven’t been very exciting but some have been funny while others are giving a bit of information about survival so it’s alright on that front. There are daily challenges to be completed as well as weekly and general ones too so there’s enough content to keep a player busy. Then of course there’re the events where players can work together to accomplish a goal which adds to the social aspect of the game.
One of the things that upsets many players is the Atomic Shop which is selling things for in game Atoms which can be acquired through completing challenges, which is nice. They do however offer the option to buy atoms with real world money which is also fine as most items are cosmetic and only one seems to be actually useful but not essential, there is argument to say these things should be already available but for free Wastelanders style updates they need to get money from somewhere. It is a bit pricey though.
I haven’t played it yet but there’s a battle royale mode for those that want it. And the Fallout 1st which adds things like private servers to the game which no matter what the price is a complete rip off.
Honestly, I can recommend this game to Fallout fans, especially those who have friends to play with. I’m not really one for online play so I’m not getting the full experience but I’m enjoying it enough. I do think Wastelanders is a step in the right direction and that this has potential to be one of the better games in this series. Oh, and before I forget, the soundtrack on Appalachia radio in the game is great.
If you want an interesting group of characters and factions buy Fallout 3 or New Vegas. If you want a less RPG style fallout with improved shooting buy Fallout 4. And if you want to play with friends and have some of the elements of all the older games then 76 could be right for you, it’s good but it doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be a traditional Fallout or something new.