There’s nothing like a good ol’ post-apocalyptic story to close out the year. In the eyes of most gaming fans, if any franchise could deliver on this scenario, it would be Fallout. For years, Fallout has examined the aftermath of the “Cold War gone wrong,” and most times the developers have succeeded in telling a captivating story that most of us can relate to. At the heart of what endears many of us to this game is the realism. Fallout makes each one of us ask ourselves what we would do in the same situation. How would we handle this? How would we react? Would we survive? Fallout puts you right in the middle of this scenario and excels at making you ask yourselves these questions.
After examining the distant aftermath of the apocalypse, Bethesda decided to tell a story that took a look at earth’s condition within 20 years of the war. Fallout 76 is the earliest story that Bethesda has chosen to show. It is a prequel to all the stories in the series. While there is a lot to be excited about, there are some problematic mechanics of this game that many fans are worried about. It does have an open-world feel, its earlier occurrence in the timeline will bring color that fans have yet to see, and players can enjoy the games with their friends. However, the significant emphasis on multiplayer modes and the lack of a coherent story is worrisome. What should you look out for as you begin to sit down with this game? Take a look at our list of the best and worst things about Fallout 76.
30 Best – A Prequel That Brings Continuity To The Story
Fallout 76 is a prequel to the main storyline and events of the Fallout games. Typically, prequels can be risky territory to go into because they will sometimes play on random story elements that no one has ever heard of. Fallout 76 is the exception to this rule.
Hmmm…could Bethesda have had this in their hip pocket all along? Hmmm.
As fans of the series know, players start in Vaults that protected them from the aftermath of atomic bombs that were dropped during the Cold War. Vault 76 is one of the oldest vaults mentioned throughout the series. This means the prequel will have a solid foundation of lore to work with since this location has been mentioned before.
29 Worst – The Change To V.A.T.S. Combat
V.A.T.S. is a combat system that is not only a game mechanic but a good part of the story. It is a part of the game’s lore and in the past, has allowed players to freeze the game to place shots on enemies. Well, the V.A.T.S. system is still a part of the game, but it now takes away the freeze frame. It is now a real-time targeting system. This slight change impacts the lore and takes away a critical element that ultimately makes the targeting system no different than an FPS aiming mechanic. This new development might not go over well with hardcore fans of the game and its story.
28 Best – A More Colorful Experience
Fallout is known for its dusty, drab, and post-apocalyptic industry. This setting fits in with the message of the game. However, some of us do like a little color with our video game experience. Well, if you are one of those people, Fallout 76 has a pleasant surprise for you.
It will be nice to get some reds and greens with those greys and browns.
Because this is the earliest game in the series, it is less removed from the pre-war world. Therefore, there are still trees, bright colors, and beautiful natural landscapes. This game will play with your senses.
27 Worst – An Entirely Online Experience
Fallout 76 is entirely online. When we take into account that the game will only feature a multiplayer mode, this makes absolute sense. While many games subscribe to this tactic, it can be challenging for everyone to play, especially in the beginning. Regardless of the security of the servers, someone is always going to lack the bandwidth to participate. So, if you are planning to play Fallout 76 on opening day, be sure to begin at the stroke of midnight.
26 Best – Enjoy Fast Travel
There is not yet any word if vehicles will make an appearance in this game. Considering the fact that this is so close to the start of the war, it is likely that many cars will be inaccessible. Not to worry, you will not have to spend time walking everywhere.
The scenery may look awesome, but you won’t want to frolic through it all the time.
Once you visit one location, the game employs fast travel. This situation is perfect as you can enjoy the exploration of the world while also taking advantage of an efficient means of travel after you have taken a look around the map.
25 Worst – The Blending Of A Huge Map With Small Players Groups
Fallout 76 is said to be four times larger than Fallout 4. This game is massive, and the developers wanted to include as many natural set pieces as possible to bring the realism of the game to life. This is all well and good, but the size of the map does not seem to match up with the group of characters released into the game. You will be paired with a group no larger than 12. With this being the case, it is likely that interactions with enemies will be kept to a minimum. This situation could take the wind out of the sails and bring down the excitement of the game.
24 Best – You Are Only Playing With Real People
Developers love to fill out a game with NPCs. To their defense, it makes sense. It fills out the world, can move stories along and allows for a more immersive experience. However, NPCs can grow tiring if they are used in excess (which many modern games are guilty of doing).
These NPCs hold more intelligent conversations than human players…sometimes.
The refreshing aspect of Fallout 76 is that there are very few NPCs included with the game. Most characters you encounter are actual people. This scenario drives home the realism of the game since most individuals would be missing or dead due to the perils of war.
23 Worst – No Cross-Platform Play
Unfortunately, you cannot play this game with players on another platform. Since a game like this is creating a world where there are not many individuals to play with, it could have benefitted from cross-platform play. While some are looking to Bethesda for why this is happening, they are pointing to Sony. The company has a history of preventing cross-platform play for online games, and it looks like Fallout 76 is no different. So, choose wisely if you are shopping for a console to go along with this game.
22 Best – There Are Still Mysterious Stories To Uncover
While there may be more of an emphasis on multiplayer, the story elements from the original game are still there. If you want to explore some of these on your own, then you have the option to do that.
See this as “solo-player lite.”
Bethesda’s Pete Hines had this to say about the story exploration that is an option for you as a player, “There definitely is a story in this game," He told GameSpot. "What happened to the people outside after the bombs fell? Where are they? What are the new threats? How do you solve that?" There are many tasks and quests to fulfill to still give you that “single-player” fix.
21 Worst – The Looming Threat Of Cheating And Hacking
Since the Fallout 76 Beta dropped, many have been concerned about the game’s vulnerabilities and the possibility for the game to be hacked. The conversation picked up steam on Reddit as someone claimed the Beta could easily be hacked. Bethesda got word of this and made statements that downplayed the threat but did say they could put extra measures in place to prevent something like this from happening. While they have acknowledged the issue, it does not change the fact that this could still be a possibility for the final game.
20 Best – The DLC Is Free
Isn’t this a different tune than what we usually hear from a famous gaming studio? Typically, the game is over $60, and the DLC is another $30 depending on the popularity of the game. Many gamers are likely feeling as if they have to budget to prepare for new gaming releases.
We have all foregone necessities to enjoy that new “bonus” content.
Bethesda is giving players a break by saying all DLC content for the game will be free. So, you don’t have to worry about any expensive costs for the DLC material. Thanks, Bethesda!
19 Worst – But... Microtransactions Are Making An Appearance
All right, so we are home free when it comes to DLC content, but gamers are not out of the woods yet when it comes to shelling out additional cash. There will be microtransactions in the game. Players can purchase cosmetic materials for their in-game characters as well as other items that may help them during play. While microtransactions can always be a bit of a bummer, one good thing is that many of these items can be attained through in-game play as well.
18 Best – Get Ready For A Shaper Fortnight Mechanic
Well, since this game is all about you roughing it in a post-apocalyptic world with new friends, you will also be expected to construct shelters. Players can create settlements using the new Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (C.A.M.P.). Using this, players can quickly develop defensive structures as well as weapons to ward off enemies.
It’s Fortnite without the cool dances…
While Fallout 4 also used this mechanic, it will be interesting to see how games like Fortnight have impacted how Bethesda has chosen to incorporate this feature and deliver it.
17 Worst – Fallout 76 Is Not Coming To The Switch
If you were hoping to have the opportunity to take Fallout 76 out on the town for some portable play on your Nintendo Switch, we have some sad news for you. Fallout 76 will not be included on Nintendo’s roster of games for the foreseeable future. Bethesda has made a lot of their M-rated games available to the Switch, but Fallout 76 will not be included in the roster this time around because of the games technical requirements. Now, considering how much time it took for Skyrim and Doom to make their way to the Switch, there is a possibility that it could come along in the future, but it will not be soon enough for many.
16 Best – Skills Are Back But Different
S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck) are back. However, instead of serving as a numeric marker that shows how quick or skillful your character is, a point system allows you to see how many perks you can use in each attribute category.
The “Have It Your Way” Approach…we like it.
The bonus here is that perks are no longer permanent, you can continuously change your character's loadout depending on the situation. You get the opportunity to customize your character’s approach to the game without having to stay in one lane for the whole game.
15 Worst – The Gaming Engine Is Not Up To Snuff
Bethesda is using its proprietary engine to host its game. Many have a problem with this as Bethesda’s engine does not seem to perform very well. Some have noted bugs, stiff animations, and overall unclear graphics that are not enticing to gamers. The character modeling is rough, textures are unfavorable to look at, and the V.A.T.S. controls are not conducive to a smooth gameplay experience. Players may find that navigating this world on this gaming engine may be challenging and frustrating.
14 Best – The Special Edition Is Awesome
So, we have all had to sit and watch these gaming studios release individual boxsets or editions that they claim we are supposed to have. Typically, they are expensive and barely useful other than having a cute trinket to look at.
This time…you can cross a major part of your Fallout 76 cosplay off the list.
Well, Fallout 76 followed in the footsteps of its predecessor to have a pretty awesome special boxset available for gamers. The Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition comes with a glow-in-the-dark map, working headlamp, and an actual wearable helmet.
13 Worst – The AI Is Pretty Bad
Compared to Fallout 4, the AI is abysmal. Unfortunately, your human counterparts are the only individuals you may receive some intelligent gameplay from. AI is simple. According to VG247, many of the AI-powered enemies just run right at you. There is no thought, or critical thinking put into them. They will likely not try to go through windows or come at you in a way you are not expecting. This situation means that combat will be severely less challenging and much likely a lot less fun.
12 Best – You Have Access To The Nuka Codes
Okay, so there are a lot of not-so-bright spots about this game, but when all else fails Bethesda developers know that gamers like carnage and chaos. They have delivered it through offering gamers the options to nuke other gamers.
If you have a big axe to grind…look for those codes.
Throughout the map of Fallout 76, there are a lot of inactive missile silos spread throughout. Savvy players can find the launch codes and strike fear into the hearts of other gamers. You can shoot at players, their camps, and well as NPC character locations.
11 Worst – There Is A Cost To Using Them
Depending on your play style, this could easily be a pro for you. However, it is worth noting that using nuclear missiles does not come without its challenges. If you do decide to play “judge, jury, and executioner” and destroy camps and other gamers, then those locations will be named as a “high-level zone.” From then on, this area will spawn some of the toughest enemies in the game. The radiation impacts enemies in some way to produce insane monsters that are hard to beat. So, keep track of where you send these things.
10 Best – Get The Jump On Other Players
Since this map is insanely large, you are going to need some help in finding other players or locating your friends. Bethesda developers knew this and created a tool for you to do this more easily.
So, in order to do this, pull out your trust Pip-Boy and take a look at the color map. This act will then show the approximate locations of other players. This is awesome for “not feeling so lonely,” or giving you the tools you need to plan a surprise attack on enemy players.
9 Worst – The Meaning Isn’t There
One reviewer found that this game feels more like a collection of tasks and quests instead of a full-on coherent story. There are many distractions in this game, which is not much different from other games. We can all remember long lists of quests in games like Breath of the Wild, GTA V, and the newest Red Dead Redemption. However, even though there were tons of hours of in-game activities, each quest still tied to the original story and added to the narrative. This does not feel like it is the case with Fallout 76. There does not seem to be a unified story thread that ties up all the loose ends of the tasks.
8 Best – Enjoy The Public Events
Much like Destiny 2, Fallout 76 will have opportunities for players to participate in real-time public events that have to be completed in a limited amount of time. There will be events that allow for group missions and PVP activity.
There are many incentives to participate in these events. Not only is it a way to enjoy some real-time fun with friends, but it is said that some of the best loot can be found in these scenarios. If Bethesda is going for a more multi-player slant, this is a great way to do it.
7 Worst – Forget Interactions
Fallout is known for its expansive content and the number of items and objects that can be interacted with. However, this, as well as other familiar story elements are being compromised to make room for the large map and more massive inclusion of more human players in one place. Interacting with a body or tin can is likely no longer an option in this game. While this may not seem like a big deal, it takes many nuances away from the story and does not allow for much exploration and discovery as in game’s past.
6 Best – The Game Wards Off Annoying Players
The game tries to prevent obnoxious multiplayer behavior in many ways. If players is eliminated by the hands of another, they do not lose their progress, and other players cannot take your inventory. Also, any damage inflicted by another player is minimal as long as you do not fight back.
A war game that promotes “non-violence”…what a plot twist.
If a player does successfully eliminate you, then they will be listed as a such in the game with a bounty placed on their head.
5 Worst – No Steam For Fallout 76
If Steam is your primary way of playing new games, unfortunately, Fallout 76 will not be able to be added to your library. This game will not be accessible on the Steam system for PC players. Gamers can only grab this game from Bethesda.net. Now, there are times where popular games will show up on Steam a few months after their release, but this is not set in stone. So, clear out some space on your computer and get ready for a large download, since Bethesda.net is your only option for buying this game on PC.
4 Best – Carry Your Beta Progress Over
If you were worried that the Beta was a standalone story where none of your work matters, you will be pleased to know this is not the case. Bethesda has promised that all progress from the Beta will carry over to the main game.
Considering your experience…you may wanna just start over.
Now, considering how many people will likely be downloading and playing this game, this is going to be a challenging task for the gaming studio. However, they have promised to make it happen. So, you can look forward to starting the new game right from where you left off.
3 Worst – Multiplayer Mostly
Fallout has always been praised for its epic storytelling that comes in the form of a solo story. Well, Bethesda is shaking things up, and fans are not very excited. Instead of including the typical single-player mode, Fallout 76 is mostly focusing on multiplayer. There will be no more wandering vast wastelands by yourself or discovering the secrets of desolate wastelands with your own ability. This game is geared for a multiplayer friendly audience. Fans have been so unhappy with the news that they have started a petition for single-player.
2 Best – This Game Is An Underdog
Sometimes, it is beneficial to be the underdog. This year has been defined by “game of the year” contenders. Every major AAA title is seen as the “best game ever.” This situation puts much pressure on the developers and the story they create.
Give the Fallout team a break, they are competing with the likes of God of War…
At some point, someone is always going to be able to find something wrong since these games cannot live up to perfection. At this point, since the opinions are mixed on this game, Bethesda has a bit less to prove. This scenario hopefully brings down the expectation of players to truly enjoy the unique elements of this game.
1 Worst – It May Be Squandering Its Potential
Even on the underdog note, there is an expectation that Fallout is going to bring a dark, unique, and complete story to gaming, one that no one else can tell. So, talks of a prequel sparked excitement in gamers, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t want to see what happened right when the apocalypse occurred? What were people doing? What was the story? These are all things gamers want to be answered. With Bethesda switching up the script to make this game multiplayer, it seems this game could have benefitted from a big single-player outing more than any other story in the franchise thus far. In turn, Bethesda may be squandering its opportunity to make this entry in the franchise shine.