Fallout 76 – Review
Follow Genre: online action role-playing game
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Game Studios Austin
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

Fallout 76 – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Co-op is a lot of fun if you can play with friends
Bad: limited stash capacity and the high quantity of bugs even after the Day One Patch
User Score
5.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Fallout is one of the most popular franchises of Bethesda Softworks. Naturally, when Bethesda announced Fallout 76 to release in 2018 at the E3 this year, fans of the franchise went wild, but they were also a bit surprised. They’ve decided to do things differently with Fallout 76. This was going to be an online game that could be played solo and with friends. This was something new for this franchise as all the other games in this franchise have always been focused on single-player gameplay. Bethesda made it clear that even after the  B.E.T.A. the game could be full of bugs because it’s all very much new to them too. But a Fallout game without bugs wouldn’t be a true member of the franchise so this point could be negligible.

Story

Fallout 76 is set in Appalachia, a region in the eastern part of the United States, 25 years after the nuclear bombs fell on the lands of the United States. Vault 76 was built to reopen in 2076, the Tricentennial or the 300th birthday of the United States. Vault 76 is one of the “control” vaults. The most vaults built by Vault-Tec were built to run experiments on the inhabitants. These control vaults were built without the intention of performing experiments on the inhabitants so Vault-Tec could compare results with the experimental vaults. With the nuclear bombings, the inhabitants get the mission to retake and repopulate the United States after this worldwide disaster. You’re led to different locations on the map to trace what the Overseer was doing after she got out. you’ll find new main story quests along the way and side missions will pop-up when you’re in the neighborhood of the starting point. Unlike in the previous games, you can’t choose dialogue options and you’re always just listening to holotapes and only a few NPCs that tell you what you need to do.

Graphics

The graphics of Fallout 76 resemble a lot to those of Fallout 4. Aside of the new enemies introduced in this game, everything looks pretty much the same in design. These graphics still look great enough to be a joy to look at while walking through the lands of Appalachia. New enemies like Schorched, Wendigos, Scorchbeasts and many more all have great design features. They definitely look new and frightening. The lands of Appalachia still look good with green grass, trees with leaves and a beautiful clear blue sky. Outside of the lush green areas, there are also areas that look a lot more grim, and dangerous.

Sound

The Fallout franchise is loved for its usage of songs from the 30’s to 60’s on the local radio channels. Just as in the previous Fallout games, you have a few radio stations that you can tune into with your Pip-Boy to listen to classics from the previous games and new songs that match the setting of the area. The game was introduced with John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads, making it clear the game was going to be set in at least a part of the state of West Virginia. The music in Fallout 76 is guaranteed to satisfy your ears while you traverse the lands of Appalachia. Shooting and blowing up mutated enemies just doesn’t feel right without the characteristic music that has always been a part of the Fallout series.

Gameplay

Fallout 76 is an online action role-playing game. Unlike the previous games, this game in the Fallout franchise is not a single-player game but is more focused on online co-op. but just like in the previous games, you can use ballistic, energy and explosive weapons to get rid of the dangerous diseased creatures that have been created after the bombs fell. Many typical enemies from the previous Fallout games roam the lands of Appalachia but there are also some new additions to the enemies found in Appalachia.

The usual skills that have always been used in Fallout games  are formed by the letters in the word “special” or S.P.E.C.I.A.L. These skills are Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. Each time you level up, you can store a point in one of these seven skills. How many points you spend in each skill is up to you. With each level up, you will earn a perk card for a chosen skill. Mostly you can choose between a minimum of 5 perk cards per skill. These cards all need 1 point invested in the skill it belongs to o it can be equipped. Each 5 levels, you’ll earn a perk card pack that will give you random perk cards with an additional chance to get higher level ones that you would normally get on higher levels so you can use these on a lower level.

Perks can be leveled up by combining two of the same perk card to increase its effectiveness. Leveling up a perk card will increase its skill point cost by 1. You can equip and unequip perks at will for certain conditions or play styles. For example, if you have five points invested in Strength, you can attach five level 1 perks. If you have one perk card that’s upgraded to level 2, it will cost two points and you will still have three more to equip perks with. If you’ve gotten a better perk card that suits your needs better, you can just unequip one of the perks equipped and replace it by the new one. At the moment of writing, you can increase your skill points up to becoming level 50, meaning you can increase a skill’s point capacity up to 49 times. So you need to think before you act on this one because you can’t rearrange the allocated skill points once set. After getting to level 50, you will still level up, but you’ll only get new perk cards to change your play style.

In Fallout 76, the health system has changed a bit. You’ll need to drink and eat to keep healthy and you can get diseases from eating irradiated drinks, food and diseased enemies. These diseases have a direct impact on your health or skills and will go away after an hour or when you take a cure. Surviving in Appalachia is harder than expected. You’ll find a lot less stimpaks than in previous games and you’ll need them more than ever.

The combat in Fallout 76 hasn’t changed much if you compare it with the older games. One difference is the V.A.T.S. system. Normally if you enter VATS, time stops to choose your targets. But now, in an online game environment, this is not possible. Now time won’t stop but it will still act as an automated targeting system, helping you hit those small pesky enemies that come very close and get very hard to hit. Degradation of weapon durability has also been added to the game. When your weapon’s durability has dropped to zero, it will break an needs to be repaired at a weapons workbench. Unfortunately you can’t fix these weapons on the go with the same kind of weapons you find on enemies, like in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

We did notice that playing together in a team makes the job a lot easier. Enemies can take a lot of hits and certainly the higher level ones. Playing together makes killing enemies easier, but also makes the game a lot more fun to play which is something we didn’t really expect to be the case in a game from the Fallout franchise. But this has a counter side, because when you don’t have anyone to play with and you need to get past high level enemies, you’ll have a tough time doing this.

Like in the last Fallout game, building is big part of the game. With almost no NPCs to talk to, you need to fill the world with other players around you. With the new C.A.M.P. or  Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform you can build your camp almost anywhere you want. To build your camp, you need to gather a lot of components and these can be found everywhere by collecting junk items spread around the whole map.

Inside this camp, you will have your own stash where you can stash your own junk, weapons, armor, chems and all the other things you might want to stash. The only problem here is that the stash’s capacity is incredibly low while in the previous game, each container is a bottomless pit to store whatever you want. With a maximum capacity of 400, you’ll get it filled in a few hours because everything weighs something. In previous games, a lot of items like stimpaks and ammo wouldn’t add up to your carrying capacity, but now they do and they weigh a lot. Most Fallout players have been created to be professional hoarders that wanted to collect all the special armor and weapons that were available in the game, not even speaking of the components that need to be gathered to build a camp. But these hoarders won’t be pleased at all because you simply can’t do this with a stash capacity this low or even with a capacity at all. Never has there been a maximum capacity that you could stash in your own hideout, but now there is. This is a very important issue that needs to be fixed for the game to be a success.

You can craft your own weapons and modify them a lot. You can change the stock, barrel, scope and a lot more to tweak your weapon the way you want it to be. The knowledge to make these attachments will be gained when you salvage the same weapons for parts. When salvaging a hunting rifle, there’s a chance that you’ll learn to craft new attachments for this kind of weapon without these even being on the salvaged weapon. This makes it easy to loot a lot of the same weapons and salvage them to get new attachments to upgrade your weapons.

Conclusion

Fallout 76 is something totally new in this particular franchise. The concept of the game isn’t that bad but there are some things that need improvement. Teaming up with friends to kill all the mutated beings in Appalachia is a lot of fun and they did a good job creating a co-op experience in a Fallout world. But the absence of NPCs and choice in conversations and the limited stash capacity are things that can annoy any fan of the Fallout franchise. With some updates and changes to the shortcomings of this game, the game can be very promising in the future, but now it just fails at certain points.

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Rating: 5.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Fallout 76 - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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