Name: Fallout 76
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
“War. War never changes.” Except now you’re able to live out your days in the fallout with your friends. Bethesda has given its Fallout series an online entry, with Fallout 76. Although claiming the game is perfectly playable alone, with interactions with other players, both friendly and ferocious, being a rare occurrence. How well does the online part suit America anno 2076 though?
Fallout 76 is not the best looking game ever, truth be told. By all means, it’s not bad looking, but I’d place it a bit over how Skyrim looked when it first launched. So in a time where Red Dead Redemption 2 and Battlefield V shows close to lifelike perfection, Bethesda has gone for a more safe approach.
Your character still looks good though, with the sculpting from Fallout 4 still being the way to make your face in the game (at least that’s what I tried). And one great addition this year is un-natural hair colors! Generally speaking, all things you can use, for example, guns and armor look good. The problem comes with the world. Rocks and trees feel a bit last gen, and so does the mobs you encounter in the wild.
As usual, the background music in Fallout 76 is amazing. A very fitting soundtrack makes walking around in West Virginia a joy. When several of my favorite songs feature, it’s easy to get lost just listening to the music, trying to find materials for your camp.
Regrettably, my biggest issue with Fallout 76 is the gameplay. The world feels incredibly empty, with no NPC’s to be found. Other than yourself and the other players, everyone is dead, and that takes away the magical feeling Bethesda has made in earlier Fallout-games. The little there is left of human interaction is some holotapes to listen to, and structures to be found, other than that you’d be forgiven for thinking humans never existed. And then there are the quests, all being incredibly repetitive and not offering anything other than encouraging you to go to a new part of the map.
Otherwise, the gameplay is very similar to Fallout 4. With a V.A.T.S system that slows down time, with a gunplay that is far from perfect, but that does the job okay. Once again the melee fighting is rather boring, with hacking, slashing and blocking feeling monotonous and ready for a revamp. One thing that Fallout 76 does differently is the perk system, which now features cards with different traits. For example, you can use a card that makes you take less damage when wandering alone.
The base building gameplay is still around, now focusing on making your C.A.M.P. Unfortunately, the building gameplay suffers greatly from a lack of storage space. After only a few hours with wandering the wastelands, my storage was completely full.
Then, there are the enormous amounts of bugs, glitches, and hiccups. We’ve all come to learn that Bethesda’s game engine is prone to bugs, but this is just silly. The game simply isn’t finished, and feel like it’s still in alpha testing, and even then I’d be a bit disappointed with the number of bugs and crashes I’ve encountered during my time with Fallout 76.
The controls in Fallout 76 works pretty well, considering I played it on a console. Personally, I do prefer playing the Fallout games on the PC, as a keyboard has more buttons than a controller, which is often needed in Bethesda’s RPG games. All in all, though I can’t say I’m disappointed with the controlling, as a better system would require the Dualshock 4 to feature more buttons.
The control schematics should be pretty much known if you’ve enjoyed Fallout on a console before. With controlling your Pip-Boy, character and gun feeling accurate and being easy to learn. Sure, jumping with “triangle” feels strange, but it isn’t an annoyance, it’s just different. As expected joystick sensitivity can be adjusted to your liking, which I found helpful since the joysticks was a bit too slow on the standard setting for my taste.
This is where Fallout 76 suffers the most, with a less than mediocre gameplay, and a world that feels empty and dead, the replay value could never be the strong point. There’s not that it’s a small world or nothing to explore, but it very rarely felt like it was any good reason to go explore. I didn’t have any space to pick up items I found along the way, nor did the game reward me for exploring new, and potentially dangerous, areas. I’ve yet to explore West-Virginia with a friend (our schedules haven’t worked out yet), but I must say I don’t really long for staying in the wasteland any longer, at least not at the current state of things. If I do give it a go, and it turns out to revolutionize my experience I will make sure to give you all an update.
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Replay Value 3
Bethesda does deserve some acknowledging for trying out something new with Fallout 76. Unfortunately, it all falls short. It feels like the developers are uncertain what they want to do with this game, partly it’s a survival game, partly it’s an RPG, both of which has an online feature slapped on top. Most disappointing though is the sheer boring gameplay and dead world, it offers next to nothing.
…At least the other players seemed friendly the few times I ran into them…
User Review( votes)
- The controls work well
- Can become a good game if they actually fill it with something
- Bugfest deluxe
- Not sure what kind of game it wants to be
- Boring, empty world