Bethesda's Todd Howard just revealed a ton of information about Fallout 76, the biggest of which is that the game is actually an online multiplayer experience. But don't fret if you're a fan of single-player, story-based experiences. Howard ensured gamers that Fallout's usual focus on lonesome exploration is intact.
Players will all be residents of Vault 76 who step out into the landscape of West Virginia to reclaim the post-nuclear world. They will encounter one another, and can work with or against each other to take on the radiated wilds. However, Howard promises that you will encounter "dozens, not hundreds, and not thousands of other players." The goal seems to be to keep the sparse nuclear wasteland intact, not be a hugely-populated world like other online multiplayer games.
If the player does decide to team up, they can easily form groups with friends. Building also seems to play a major role in 76, although unlike Fallout 4 it's not limited to certain areas. Survivors will be able to build anywhere, and can team up to build and defend bases from the radiated creatures and other threats of West Virginia.
Unlike other online multiplayer games, losing a life does not mean the loss of progression or items. In that way, Howard jokes that the game is less of a true hardcore survival experience and more of a "softcore survival."
If players do become enemies, they will have one very powerful weapon at their disposal to deal with one another: nuclear missiles. Footage was teased of a group of players questing to obtain launch codes and then literally dropping the bomb. Howard explained that several launch sites will populate the world for the players to use as they wish.
But in the end, Howard reiterates that the development teams focus is to let players explore the world as they wish and tell their own stories. "When we think about games, we think about worlds," he said "The choices that you can make, and the stories that you can tell yourself." With Fallout 76's world being so open, it will allow for more choices and more stories on the individual level.
For those who still aren't convinced, Besthesda will be having a beta for Fallout 76. Or as Vault-Tec calls it, the Break-it Early Test Application. No info was given on the particulars, but the game was given a release date of November 14, 2018.