When it comes to bad launches for online games, before Anthem came around, Fallout 76 was labelled as one of the worst games of all time. It was labelled as the worst in the Fallout series and people thought it was all over for the series because of the bad reception. However while I honestly think this was all somewhat justified I don’t think it half bad as everyone makes it out to be now. That might be because I am a Fallout fan boy, but maybe it genuinely isn’t as bad as we all thought. In this article I will be talking about the amazing turnaround of the game, what’s new and what is coming.
The Opening of Vault 76
When vault 76 first opened on launch day, a lot of people liked it initially, but they were sceptical of it from the start as it's an online only adventure. Fallout 76 started about 4 weeks before official launch day with the BETA stage for people who pre-ordered, and the game was already getting negative press from everyone that felt the game was nowhere near complete. If they had waited a year to release then yeah it would have received so much better press, and the whole canvas bag situation didn’t help matters either. It is a fair assessment to say that Fallout 76 didn’t have a smooth launch. I didn’t like it at launch and my parents poke fun at me every now and then for praising the game now despite despising it at the start.
The Fallout 76 Updates
What I have to commend Bethesda on is the fact that they could have left the game high at that stage and dry because it wasn’t doing well. However they have kept it going with constant balance tweaks and updates which has been really good. Like for example in Fallout 76 you have your stash box, which you used to have up to 500 pounds worth of weight in max. However with so many legendary items like the crank gun and a Fat man, weighing about 35 pounds each, this limit was a little bit concerning. So after some feedback Bethesda increased the limit to 800 pounds, which was a nice touch. They also stopped people from using game breaking exploits, which may have taken months to fix, but they stopped them.
Bethesda also run a series of articles called “Inside the vault”. Through these Bethesda communicate quite openly about their upcoming changes to Fallout 76. The first couple of months and weeks were to stabilize the game. Now the updates are more to add content like Wild Appalachia.
Wild Appalachia was the first big DLC to hit Fallout 76 and it was met with good and bad responses. The biggest change with this DLC was the fact it introduced a brand new questline for a new workbench, the brewing station, so you can start making alcohol. I liked this quest because it is just a fun quest line. In it you uncover the secrets of the Vault-Tec
universities' elusive Nukashine recipe. The lore behind this is rather interesting to me and it is just fun to go through the quest for the first time.
The new questline isn’t the only thing added from this DLC though. They also added a seasonal event called the Fasnacht Parade. This is a real parade in Helvetia that takes place every year which is a nice touch I think. The update also added in plenty of fixes for the likes of energy weapons, making them break 5 times slower and cost less resources to repair.
The next patch for the game introduced the still rough Survival mode. This is a mode in which everything from adventure mode is made a lot tenser because you take and deal damage to players at the same rate now as you would an enemy. If that wasn’t enough you can’t see players on the map anymore so you are constantly watching over your shoulder for enemies. However this game mode came with extreme griefing because people in groups of 3 and 4 would wait at the spawn location for players when they died and target them as they load in and kill them and take their loot, as you drop more items when you die in survival mode. The main issue here was that you could only fast travel to your camp, Vault 76, workshops or stations in this mode. I am glad they added a more hardcore dynamic into the game, but I feel like it was rushed in to add a new way for players to play to keep players interested.
Another questline was added which focuses around the disappearance of Calvin van Lowe. This quest is called “Lying Lowe”. This quest line involves finding the Sheepsquach, a real folklore story in real life Appalachia. But the biggest draw for people was the addition of Fallout 76's first ever high level dungeon. This is at Harpers Ferry and follows the footsteps of the Brotherhood of Steel. The story angered a lot of fallout fans because of the lore breaks but I personally didn’t mind it.
The next mini update included a Camera questline which allowed the user to take pictures of wildlife and then use those pictures to complete challenges and create load screen menus. This was a rather small update to the game but it is still nice to have new content for the whole game. Plus this update added player vending and repair kits that you can buy in the atomic shop with real money. However these utility items are not game breaking in my opinion. As in they are not needed to get ahead of every player in the game.
The last update before Nuclear winter added a dungeon called project paradise which is under Arktos Pharma. The point of this was that this was the game's first big raid for teams to complete.
This was their biggest update as it has added a brand new game mode to Fallout 76 which has been a lot of fun. I personally think this has been the best update to come to Fallout 76 for PVP content. This game mode alone makes the purchase of Fallout 76 worth it to me. I don’t want to repeat myself from the review I did of the Nuclear Winter DLC, which you can find here, so I will just say it is good fun.
Fallout 76's future
Is Fallout 76's future bright? I honestly think it is, as they just keep adding content to the game. They keep adding more and more to do and they fix the game when the game is broken in any way shape or form. The way Bethesda is handling this game is rather good and I am glad they didn’t take the easy way out and shut the servers down when it got bad. Now for their efforts of constantly updating the game there is once again a strong fan base of people on the game. The biggest DLC will be coming in the fall of this year with the Wastelanders DLC, which is meant to introduce consequences, companions, dialogue choices and NPCs. It is said that this DLC will change the game entirely. I personally can’t wait.