Written by Nick Farinola // Edited by Joe Ahart
Let me take some time out of your day to share with you my brutally honest opinion of Fallout 76. Ah, the infamous Fallout 76. By now, pretty much half of the videos on my YouTube feed cover Fallout 76…and how much of an “atrocity” it is on the gaming industry. I’ve been a gamer my entire life; it’s simple to see that this industry is a salty one. Consumers are never happy, whether a developer tries to change up the formula of their games or not. Bethesda studios wanted to bring something new to the table with their massively successful and popular, post-apocalyptic Fallout series that’s impressively been around since 1997. Damn, I was a year old. While most would not agree, due to the outcome of Fallout 76, it’s admirable that Bethesda wanted change. A multiplayer Fallout game, personally, sounds awesome to me, yet to others not so much. Fallout 4, which was a good game, felt rather like a visually suped-up, copy-paste of previous titles, with admittedly better narratives. It’s a divisive move, yet an admirable one. This is the point where I’m going to stop praising the game.
Sheesh, where do I even begin? To add insult to injury, I am incredibly pissed off that the game is now on sale for as little as $25 just two weeks after its launch and my full-priced credit card charge. Guess it’s not selling too well. Moving from one frustration to the next, Fallout 76 is a mess, both technically and narratively. You’ve probably heard all of this before in the never-ending videos and articles published every day since its launch, but Fallout 76 runs like crap…especially for those playing on launch Xbox One and PS4 consoles. The stuttering is unbearable and unacceptable for a game released in 2018. Look at God of War, or hell, look at any other game released this year and I guarantee Fallout 76 performs worse. Like any other Bethesda game, Fallout 76 includes some of the notoriously hilarious glitches we’ve all come to expect. Enemies caught on objects or stuck face down, t-pose and all, in the floor, and the infamous power armor glitch that has now become a meme. Everything stops being funny once the “bad” glitches show their ugly faces.
Let me paint this particular scene for you. I pop back into my world after an annoyingly-long load screen, notice the last quest that I had completed had seemingly reset, and discover my camp is nowhere to be found. Meh, pretty average day in the wasteland for me. As a human being, I sadly admit that I don’t have as much patience as I should for my age, but as a gamer, it’s a completely different story. I sighed and re-completed the quest, then headed back to my new camp to rest up and regain my health (while also praying I don’t contract a disease from, you know, resting on my own bed). My character layed down on the bed only to be attacked and killed by two protectrons that literally appeared out of thin air. I checked my surroundings before laying down, and I promise you that there were no enemies to be seen. Okay, shit happens. Let’s try this again, shall we? After respawning and collecting all of my scraps, I did a 360-degree scan of my surroundings. No protectrons, no scorched, no nothing. I layed down only to get attacked yet again by the same two protectrons. Not so funny anymore, now is it?
That was just one of several bad experiences I’ve had with the game. I constantly feel like I’m fighting the game to have my own fun, and for a full-priced triple-A game that’s completely unacceptable. Continuing to complain about everything this game has to offer would be beating a dead horse. I wanted to take some time to explain why I think anyone skeptical about Fallout 76 should wait six months to a year until picking it up. What?! You just spent like an essay’s worth of paragraphs describing your animosity towards it. I know, I know, but there is still a good amount of fun to be had with Fallout 76! Playing with a buddy of mine improved the overall experience exponentially…well, when the server didn’t crash on us. This overwhelming sense of discovery and the beautifully decrepit zone of West Virginia to explore helped me look past some of Fallout 76’s biggest problems. Sure, the quest design is glitchy and boring, but Fallout 76 is the best designed Fallout game…not the best looking, oh no, the best designed. The lighting engine, world and creature design are all insanely creative, and helped with the immersion factor (I use immersion very loosely here).
I’m not happy with the way Fallout 76 turned out. Unlike most of the community, this was one of my most anticipated games of the end of 2018. There are just too many problems with the game right now to even consider recommending this to anyone. I feel like I would be doing a disservice…it just wouldn’t feel morally correct. Fallout 76 feels like a below-average step one of a billion step journey. Destiny and Rainbow Six: Siege are perfect examples of two games that were mediocre and lacking content at launch, but over time and with consistent updates transformed into incredibly popular and beloved franchises. The future could be bright or the exact opposite for Fallout 76, and it all depends on how much love the developers are willing to give it. The sales aren’t looking too sharp (based off of the reduced price after a mere two weeks), so it’s tough to predict the outcome of Fallout 76. I wish it all the best…I really do.