The year is 2102. Twenty-five years have passed since the great war. We are the select few that survived the disaster and it is our job to reform this cruel wasteland into the world we once knew. It will not be an easy task, though. There are ghouls, mutated beasts, raiders, and other post-apocalyptic threats that aim to destroy what we create. Gather your comrades and arm yourselves. It is time to take the wasteland back by any means.
Fallout 76, developed and published by Bethesda, has run a series of beta stress tests and this is what we have to look forward to. Some good, some bad, but all Fallout.
Keeping in mind that the game is still in beta, there were bugs and glitches ranging from minor to game-breaking. Some of the minor issue were texture clipping, sound effect oddities (foot steps sometimes seemed to be inaccurate), and objects having random reactions to each other. For example, I picked a broom up that was behind a trash can. Nothing strange about that but as soon as I picked up the broom the can flew forty feet into the air, duplicated, and then flopped around on the ground for a few minutes upon landing. Some of the more game breaking issues I noticed were server issues like lag, frame drops, and disconnections. Additionally, some missions could not be completed due to an item or mob glitching out.
Technical issues aside, Bethesda did manage to capture the essence of the franchise in Fallout 76. Visuals and music harkens back to previous iterations of the game. The music was composed by Inon Zur and had some surprises like a cover of “Take Me Home, Country Road”, originally by John Denver. The in-game radio played music that seemed to fit perfectly with every action you were taking, as if the music was being orchestrated for you solely. Traditionally, there is so much emotion in the music of Fallout and they went even bigger this time with scores by The Budapest Film Orchestra and The Lyris String Quartet.
As for the visuals, there is nothing bad I can say. The environment was beautiful, for a post apocalyptic landscape that is. The dynamic lighting effects really made you feel like you were in the forest of the Appalachia mountains, with rays of light cutting through the dense foliage. When you explore a dark, busted up building, the shadows are so intense your anxiety will raise in anticipation of that jump scare that you just know is right around the corner. The graphics in Fallout 76 have taken leaps forward while still feeling like a Fallout game.
There have been some complaints about the game play of Fallout 76 being too different than the Fallouts of the past. To be fair, this was necessary due to Fallout 76‘s multiplayer focus. You have to share the wasteland with other players now. This experience can vary depending on who is sharing your server. I played the game for several hours, however, without grouping once. The only interactions I had with the other players were a simple wave in town, a failed attempt at a jam session and when we all decided, at the end of the time slot, to have a free-for-all battle.
The vast wasteland is still there for you to explore. There are endless secrets to find and things to kill. One major difference, however, is the limited number of NPC’s. In Fallout 76 you get your missions, hints, and lore through notes and holo tapes, which makes the hills of Appalachia seem very devoid of human life.
“War. War never changes. In 1776 this great nation accepted that armed conflict was the only way to preserve our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. After the reclamation day this is more true than ever. The world is sick, it has been taken over by scum and the beasts of nightmare. It will be dark times, but war never changes and we vault dwellers created war, so let’s show these fools who the real threat is. Let’s take the wastes back.