Game Review: Fallout 76
by Joshua Blake
Fallout 76 dropped worldwide today, as a role-playing game and the first in the series to be playable online. Fallout 76 is the ninth game in the Fallout series and serves as a narrative prequel to the series.
Just like all Fallout games before it, Fallout 76 takes place in post-nuclear America in the year 2102, which is the earliest year that has been playable in the Fallout series. Fallout 76 takes the same RPG elements that it has been known for and moves it to an online setting.
Since Fallout 76 creates an online experience, the games developer – Bethesda – has announced that the only people you will encounter in a game will be other online players. Therefore, there are no friendly NPCS to speak of within the game and according to IGN this decision makes the game feel eerily quiet and dead, even for a world that has experienced nuclear devastation.
IGN also reports that they have experienced a lot of glitches and bugs that are game- breaking throughout their play testing. With the beta that was released, a lot of IGN’s criticisms were still present. Through my play-through of the beta the world felt truly utterly dead.
The decision to have no NPCS in the game makes the game feel extremely isolated. The graphics are also subpar, as there are constant frame rate drops and crashing. As the beta stands, right now Fallout 76 is a very mediocre game.
The reason I say it is mediocre is because there is fun to be had exploring the wasteland with your friends, but that feature is overshadowed by its many flaws. The lack of NPCS not only hinders the open world experience, but it also kills the game from a narrative standpoint, if you can even say there is one.
This beta is not like other betas, because the full game is available to play for a limited time. This means that someone, if dedicated, could complete the entire game if they wanted to. Since the full game can be played, I have spent some time playing through the main story and the narrative is very poorly told.
With no NPCS, the only way you can complete quests is to get the from different terminals you find across the world. This is because the quest is given by a terminal from a person who we don’t even know is instructing us to do some task, but the problem is that the character who wrote this is long gone and gives the player no reason to complete the quest.
To put it simply, there is no desire to complete quests because there is nobody to help. In previous Fallout games, the player had desire to complete quests because they centered around player choice and they are given the option to either help the person in need or to look out only for themselves. Fallout 76 doesn’t give the player that option because of the lack of NPCS.
Fallout 76 is a highly anticipated game that finally brings the franchise to an online setting. The game is extremely fun to play with friends and to explore the wasteland together, but there are elements missing from previous Fallout games that hinder the overall experience. The lack of NPCS and the subpar graphics ruin the game and completely change the Fallout 76 experience.
As the game stands right now, I would say that this game is not worth the $60 that the game is selling for. There are too many problems with the game that are apparent in the beta that make it hard to justify the $60 asking price. The game has many problems that are seen in the beta that ruin the overall experience, but hopefully the correct changes are made that can make Fallout 76 the Fallout game we want to experience with our friends.