The revered Fallout series took a divergent path in 2018, venturing into the realm of MMORPGs with “Fallout 76.” Retaining the iconic post-apocalyptic setting, it offers players an expansive, interconnected experience filled with familiar adversaries, locales, and lore, but with multiplayer nuances.
- Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Release Date: November 14, 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Official website: Fallout 76’s Official Site
- Genre: Action MMORPG, Post-Apocalyptic
Set in the irradiated wilds of West Virginia, players don the role of a Vault 76 dweller, emerging into the world 25 years after nuclear devastation. The storyline revolves around tracking the vault’s overseer through a trail of clues, revealing the tragic tales of a fallen world along the way.
Breaking from the traditional class system, Fallout 76 introduces a flexible card-based skill tree. Players can sculpt their character’s attributes by distributing points and equipping perk cards, allowing for evolving playstyles and tactics. From sniping from the shadows to wielding melee weapons upfront, the game’s combat dynamics echo the familiar real-time action of the core series.
A unique feature of Fallout 76 is its notable absence of human NPCs, a choice that led to mixed reviews. Instead, the story unfolds through environmental cues, scattered notes, computer logs, and voice recordings. Though some felt this made the world feel empty, others believed it added to the desolation of the post-apocalyptic setting. Iconic landmarks like the Mothman Museum provide additional layers of exploration and intrigue.
As an MMORPG, player interaction stands at the core of Fallout 76. Collaborating with strangers or friends seamlessly scales the game difficulty, providing fresh challenges and dynamics. The PvP system is consensual, activated by mutual combat. Bethesda has continued to iterate upon this feature, introducing a PvP-focused survival mode and hinting at future raid content. The “Nuclear Winter” expansion, launched in the summer of 2019, further enhanced the multiplayer aspect.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically, Fallout 76 harks back to the late 360/PS3 era, demanding moderate hardware specifications. The auditory experience is a blend of nostalgia and freshness; classic tunes from previous titles blend effortlessly with new orchestral scores, amplifying the desolation and grandeur of the wasteland.
“Fallout 76” is Bethesda’s brave experiment, morphing single-player storytelling into an MMORPG landscape. Though it had a rocky debut, continuous updates and player feedback have refined the experience. It’s a must-play for series veterans and those seeking a different flavor of MMORPG.