Fallout 76 — Some early thoughts

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The newest version of the franchise launched on Tuesday and I have some musings.


But first, the very excellent trailer, which should go into the Video Game Trailer Hall of Fame:


Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: November 14th, 2018 (Well, sort of)
Game Type: Online, Role-Playing Survival

The Setup: Twenty-five years after a Nuclear War, the survivors are released from their underground shelter (Vault 76) into the remains of West Virginia to start rebuilding the world.

The latest version of the Fallout series is NOT an MMO. There are only 24 players per shard and the map is huge — four times the size of the Fallout 4 map. I’ve gone a couple of days without seeing anyone, and then usually only in the starting town or during an event.

But I do have some concerns:

There is no text chat. In order to communicate, you need have a headset so you can talk to the other players. I have one, but it is so uncomfortable, I usually don’t wear it. And if you are hearing-challenged, you’re out of luck.

It’s really, usually, kind of too easy. I started a new character at the launch, and didn’t die until level 10 and only then because I got kind of arrogant and didn’t watch my health. With a melee weapon, you can usually plow through a mischief of mole rats or a swarm of Scorched (the ghouls here have guns!) There are a lot of ranged weapons that can one-shot most mobs.

The camps are not that much fun. You have a budget for what you can build that you will use up very quickly. I’m hoping there are perks that will improve this.

The Perk system kind of sucks. Instead of the nice layout in the Previous games, someone decided to deal cards for your improvements. I think this probably came up during a game of Crazy Eights or Go Fish and someone thought, “Oh, wouldn’t this be new and exciting?”

The food and drink requirements are way too harsh. Every few minutes, you get so thirsty or hungry that you start losing Action Points. I see there are perks for this, but it’s gonna put some people off of playing for long.

You don’t use your Character name, but your Account Name when you go out. This is one I feel strongly about. Part of the character setup is choosing a name, but once you’re out of the vault, everyone sees your Account Name, instead. What was the point of naming yourself? And there are some security concerns, because your Account Name is half of your login to your Bethesda account

Flytrap rating: 8/10