After the Fallout series, maybe try Fallout 76

By admin Apr15,2024

A complete disaster at launch, Fallout 76 had to earn players’ trust back over the years. Has it succeeded? I’d say it’s been in pretty good shape for around three years or so now. In fact, I already rambled about how you should’ve played it ahead of Starfield last year. Now, with the shockingly great Fallout series out in the wild, perhaps it’s the perfect time to either jump into it for the first time or return and see what’s changed.

It turns out that things in Appalachia have been so good in recent times the game’s fifth birthday even had Sheogorath himself, Wes Johnson, in attendance. The massive game continues to receive new content, seasons, and sizable updates that keep tinkering with an online RPG which launched as Rust but Fallout (and bad). By now, some Fallout diehards would even claim that it’s better than a few of the single-player installments.

So, what happened exactly? I’d say the biggest leap forward was made in spring 2020, right in the middle of the Covid pandemic. That’s when the Wastelanders update arrived, reworking the already functional game into the ‘Fallout but online’ RPG that wasn’t delivered at launch. You know, something with a traditional main questline, human NPCs, factions, a dialogue system, etc. The game changed overnight, and new players started coming in.

In spite of a handful of season-related bumps and an increased demand for endgame content (as usual), Fallout 76 has been smoothly sailing ever since, but under most people’s radars. In today’s overcrowded market, especially when it comes to online games that demand quite a bit of attention, it’s hard to give a major fumble another chance, but I’d say Fallout 76 deserves it. Maybe it’ll never be your thing due to its core traits, but if you’ve been on the fence, chances are you’ll enjoy your stay.

Fallout 76 - player home
Image credit: Bethesda Softworks

While most players jump into online games full of loot and crafting options to make numbers go up and maximize their characters’ potential, the Fallout 76 team has done a good job of balancing things out so more casual wastelanders don’t feel left out. This is the kind of philosophy that ZeniMax Online has applied to The Elder Scrolls Online over the years, and one that’s been paying off big time. Much like in the online rendition of Tamriel, Appalachia is a good place to ‘settle down’ and create your dream home… but post-apocalyptic.

The good faith harvested by Bethesda (icky optional subscription model aside) has also nurtured a healthier community, one in which most veteran players are happy to help newcomers out and show them the ropes. Whenever an online game isn’t obsessed with appeasing the ‘try-hard’ side of the community and instead encourages camaraderie and genuine cooperation, you get fine results, such as the absolute phenomenon that Helldivers 2 has become.

Fallout 76 - ruined city
Image credit: Bethesda Softworks

The (free, like all new content) Atlantic City expansion released recently doesn’t signal the end of Fallout 76’s development either. In fact, we’re getting a huge new area south of Appalachia later this year, and it sounds like it could be the game’s biggest content update since the aforementioned Wastelanders one. In spite of the admittedly rusty engine’s limitations, the game just won’t stop growing and giving players more things to do. In late 2018, it was hard to imagine Fallout 76 surviving a full year. Look at us! Who would’ve thought?

On a not-so-positive note, it’s odd that the console versions of the game never received a proper current-gen upgrade beyond the raised FPS cap on Xbox. Same goes for the idea of cross-play, something that would definitely boost the player numbers outside of PC, where the bigger chunk of the community thrives. With a sturdy skeleton holding it all together and the game’s player-versus-players ambitions beamed away, Fallout 76 eventually became the game it was meant to be, and I’d say it’s a blast.

If this article has piqued your interest, Fallout 76 happens to be available right now to grab for free on Prime Gaming for both Xbox and PC.

By admin

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