Like so many other fans of the franchise, I was eager to buy 76 when it was released. While I did enjoy it for a while, it ultimately got boring fast, for the very simple face that it wasn’t a true Fallout game. A vast open world … with no NPCs? No quirky characters or bizarre storylines, just endless fetch quests given to you by robots, or triggered by holotapes.
Sadly, this was never going to be a hugely popular design choice, and my interest soon disappeared. But not all was lost – a few months ago I heard that a free update would be headed our way, the Wastelanders update. NPCs would return to Appalachia, bringing factions for you to interact with, new storylines to take part in, all of which has been carefully intertwined with the existing story to allow both new and old players to take part.
Without a doubt I am grateful for the attempt to rescue this game, as I really did feel like it could have been so much better than it was. By no means is it anywhere near perfect at this point, but it is a whole lot more playable. It feels much more like a true Fallout game at this point, and by extension it feels much more like it was meant to be experienced solo. Unfortunately I think there is a real lack of proper quest-sharing which makes playing as a team rather difficult and ultimately uninteresting.
Sadly, there does still seem to be a lot of instability in Fallout 76. I have found that it is not uncommon for the game to suddenly crash, particularly while I am trying to take part in public events. Of course, being completely online means that nothing is really lost, so I don’t hold too much of a grudge against it.
Let’s not forget that this is a Fallout game at the end of the day, and that means that there are still lots of good things about it. A lot of adaptations had to be made to the usual Fallout style of gameplay to make it work as an MMORPG, and I think they did a pretty good job of that. The core mechanics of the game are the same, but with some serious changes to what happens when you level up, changes which I actually prefer to the usual format. And we have a whole new region of the wasteland to explore, Appalachia. I’ve always loved seeing the fictional nuclear wasteland in the Fallout franchise – the level of detail and design is a testament to the imagination and skill of the team behind it, not to mention a cautionary tale for us to bear in mind.
I’m hoping that we will receive more gradual updates that might offer a bit more stability to the performance of 76, as well as a few more content updates. But for now I’m enjoying coming on each day; completing daily tasks, taking part in events, building my C.A.M.P up a bit more each day, and taking on tougher challenges each day as my character levels up.
I would recommend that players who bought this and abandoned it ought to come back and see if they like the changes that have been made, but if you don’t have it already … maybe wait until it’s in the sale.
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release Date: 14/11/2018
- Genre: MMORPG