Fallout 76: it’s been hyped, it’s been debated, and now it’s here; and while it’s definitely a success, it’s quite possibly the most divisive entry in the franchise. This isn’t much of a surprise though; many came into the game with preconceptions as Bethesda tackles uncharted territory for the franchise—but with a current, and mostly unfair, user Metacritic score of 2.8, there’s definitely some merit to complaints.
It all started with the beta; sure, it was fun, and in true Fallout fashion it was addicting, but glaring problems were starting to arise. No NPCs, a map that was large, but surprisingly empty, and a PVP system that obviously needed a ton of work was just the beginning of it. But this game is young, and extremely different from any Fallout game before it—which is a good and bad thing.
If you’re a creature of habit, you likely won’t enjoy the changes that Bethesda has implemented with their new game. But if you’re willing to overlook these differences, you’ll definitely have a blast exploring West Virginia with your friends in Fallout 76.
In short, this game is controversial, and it’s only going to get worse as you watch Steam and Metacritic reviews go up. It ain’t as bad as the reviews make it out to be, but, and we do mean a very long but, this game does come with its problems. It’s a Bethesda game, and while Bethesda does have a good track record for the most part, many fans know that a Bethesda game does come with its fair share of issues. So let’s talk about the things that make no sense in Fallout 76, and we promise we won’t be too hard (at least we think).
25 Where The Heck Are The NPCs?!
Sure, we knew this coming in, but it’s a really hard pill to swallow when you actually experience the lack of NPCs in Fallout 76. In Fallout 76 you can interact with other players, quest giving robots, and there really isn’t much after that.
The world of Fallout is already an extremely empty one, and no human NPCs overbears that lonely factor. Friends can be fun, but listening to audio tapes and talking to mostly dull robots gets extremely tiresome—this game needs human NPCs soon if it expects to last.
24 It Can't Decide Whether It Wants Multiplayer Or Singleplayer Focus
This is perhaps where the game struggles the most, because the game never decides whether it wants to focus more on a single player experience that is more concerned with story, or a full-fledged multiplayer survival game.
The multiplayer aspects like PVP and social interaction feel half-baked, and almost as if Bethesda refrained from fully doubling down on multiplayer. But the singleplayer feels equally disappointing, as in Fallout 76 you're connecting the pieces of some giant puzzle through quests rather than getting fully immersed in a great story.
23 Bugs In A Bethesda Game? No Way…
Bethesda has a bit of a history with bugs in their games—whether it be dragons clipping through entire structures in Skyrim or suddenly being thrust into the air in a Fallout game, we’ve come to expect anything and everything from bugs in Bethesda games.
Sure, these games are huge projects, but it showcases that Bethesda lacks the kind of polish that, say, someone like CD Projekt Red or Rockstar has. Not to mention this time around many of the bugs revolve around server issues. Here’s a list of some others.
22 It Looks Just As Good As Fallout 4 (And That's Not Really A Good Thing)
Fallout 76 is one of those games that has you torn between whether it looks better or even slightly worse than its predecessor Fallout 4, and that’s inexcusable.
I’m on that side that never thought Fallout 4 looked bad, but despite those absolutely gorgeous trailers for Fallout 76, it more or less looks like a minor improvement at best. The environments and overall lighting look stunning for the most part, but the character models and the constant graphical issues like the poor draw distance get frustrating very fast.
21 Multiplayer Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be…
Isn’t this what we always wanted? Multiplayer in a Fallout game, the ability to explore the wastelands with real strangers and friends alike? Well, it might’ve been a dream, but Fallout 76 is quite possibly a nightmare when it comes to multiplayer.
For starters, the PVP is abysmal; in what feels like an awkward handshake, you can’t really fight someone unless they fight you back. Unless you’re playing with your friends, other players just feel tacked on here, and that’s perhaps the most mind-boggling thing for this MMORPG.
20 But Playing By Yourself Is Even Worse
So the multiplayer is spotty, but that’s alright because Todd Howard and all those good guys and gals at Bethesda promised that we could have a single player experience too; except it’s even worse than multiplayer.
Playing Fallout 76 by yourself is like playing New Vegas without any proper story, a well fleshed out world, or any of those elements that make any Fallout game fun. Maybe that’s a bit harsh—there is some fun to be had on your own in Fallout 76, but it really just makes you feel like you're playing a dumbed down Fallout game.
19 Being Social Just Doesn't Work In A Fallout Game
Man, that E3 trailer really made it seem like Bethesda did it—they somehow took a lonely, isolating franchise and implemented some great social aspects. While it looked great, Fallout 76 far from sticks the landing here.
There’s no centralized hub where players can interact, and most of the time other players become an afterthought unless you're actively seeking them out. Plus, it doesn’t help that world is so gigantic that randomly stumbling across random players is about as frequent as an asteroid striking the moon.
18 Fighting Other Players Is Kind Of Lame (But In A Way, Also A Double-Edged Sword)
So let’s talk PVP, because it’s likely the element that you’re going to hear reviewers and critics alike complain about, but it’s a little more complicated than that. In one way, PVP does suck because you can’t indulge in it without consent from the other player which comes in the form of them shooting back at you.
Yet it does cut down on the amount of griefing and annoyance, a problem that Bethesda seemed particularly interested in after fan outcry. Either way, it’s an interesting issue, but for now, the PVP definitely needs some sort of overhaul.
17 We Won't Lie, No Dialogue Sucks
There’s some things that just make Fallout, well, Fallout—VATS, which is basically gone after its reworking, companions, which are gone, and a dialogue system, which, yup, you guessed it, is also gone.
Obviously, some of these elements that are distinct to the franchise needed some sort of change in Fallout 76, but that doesn’t mean that those changes aren’t going to suck. And the one that quite possibly hurts the most is losing a dialogue system; it makes the game feel all the more lifeless. It’s so bad that players are taking over the roles as NPCs.
16 And The Story Takes A Hit Due To It
No dialogue might suck just because we’re missing out on one of the quirkiest and best elements from the Fallout franchise. But the biggest repercussion is felt in the story.
Fallout 76 feels like a giant breadcrumb trail that you’re stuck following—lose interest in one of those crumbs and the entire story falls apart. Instead of being whisked away in another truly fantastic story, you feel as though you’re playing a detective whose work is to piece together a story through terminals and holotapes; hooray?
15 Environmental Storytelling Can Only Get You So Far
So the story does deserve a few more points, because it might seem like a black and white issue being this story sucks, but it’s little more complex than that. Bethesda has excelled at environmental storytelling in the past through those same terminals and holotapes we were complaining about.
Problem is that those sometimes gut-wrenching stories told on terminals took a backseat compared to the overall story at hand. Now, those holotapes and terminals have been pushed to the forefront, and it works sometimes, but more often than not, well... let’s just say it’s not.
14 We Sure Do Miss Companions
Hate to be that guy who keeps on complaining about the stuff they took out, but in Fallout 76 you can really feel the weight of some of the traditional content they left out.
Sure, we all love to bag on companions, all those times Dogmeat got you ended by a fleet of laser traps compelled me to toss the game straight out my window into the trash. But no matter how frustrating, it was still the kind of fun Fallout was known for, and companions could’ve played a huge part in making this game feel more alive.
13 The Map Might Be Big, But It's Empty Too
This is probably my biggest gripe with Fallout 76, and I just don’t know how I didn’t see it coming. When Bethesda confirmed the map for 76 was four times bigger than the already massive map in Fallout 4, fans, including myself, jumped for joy.
But a larger map usually means less detail; that is, unless you're Rockstar or CD Projekt Red (sorry we keep bringing them up, but it’s true). Some of the coolest locations in 76 feel so empty. That giant space station in the trailer? Barely anything of interest there, and that’s the case too often.
12 DLC Is Free, Microtransactions Ain't
Honestly, most of you probably expect another berate of the game here, but microtransactions are handled surprisingly well in Fallout 76. Sure, in an ideal world we do wish that everything could just be offered as rewards for your in-game grinding, but we’ll somewhat let it slide.
In Fallout 76, you can travel to The Atomic Shop to purchase cosmetics, skins, and all the other cool gear to distinguish your character. It’s reasonably priced, to a degree, and the fact that DLC is free definitely makes these microtransactions feel more justified (still, we’d rather they be gone entirely).
11 Still. No. New. Engine.
Bethesda, we love you, we really do, you’ve made some of the best and most globally popular games of all time, but sometimes I really just can’t stand you. You can’t really attribute all of a game’s problems to its engine, as it’s always more complicated than that, but Bethesda games are way overdue for an upgrade.
The engine received minor upgrades in the form of a new renderer and a new lighting system, according to Todd Howard. But it’s time for a complete overhaul, as ambitious as that sounds—maybe then we’ll see fewer bugs and graphical issues.
10 No Mods For Multiplayer (Community Creations Possibly?)
Remember when Bethesda introduced the Creation Club and everyone flooded to the streets to celebrate that they now had to pay for user-created mods? Wait, I feel like I’m remembering that wrong…
Regardless, it looks like Creation Club is going to be the only source for Fallout 76, a game that desperately needs some personality. What better way to get that personality than through mods? Well, Bethesda has been kind of tight-lipped about the whole situation, but hopefully, we get some sort of mod support soon.
9 There's So Much Loot! But Most Of It's Lame
This statement isn’t entirely true, because there is some good loot to be had in Fallout 76, the problem is that most of it surfaces around level 20 at best. Early on you’ll be stuck with pipe pistols and other weapons that lack any kind of uniqueness.
Fallout is a game that excels in delivering one-of-a-kind interesting loot, and Fallout 76 has somewhat failed in this regards. There’s definitely a lot of loot to be had, which is fun, but there’s just such a drastic difference in the quality of early game loot compared to loot you find later on.
8 Player Interaction Is Next To Impossible
Fallout 76 misses the mark with player interaction within the world through it’s mostly lifeless terminals, holotapes, and robots. But perhaps that’s okay, as long as player interaction sticks the landing; unfortunately, it really doesn’t.
Player interaction boils down to either seeing other players and blissfully ignoring them, or attacking or jumping around with them before going about your way. Even if you have a mic, the chances of finding people is once again slim due to the sheer size of the map. So we really do hope you have some friends who will explore the wastelands of West Virginia with you.
7 It’s A Grind, And Usually Not A Good One
It’s an MMORPG, so of course there’s grinding to be had, but in Fallout 76 that grind is pure pain that usually doesn’t result in anything exciting. Everything you find requires some sort of grind, whether it’s finding parts or blueprints for crafting benches or just simply just leveling up.
Sure the best parts of the game come after the grind, but the grind is so painfully slow that the game takes a huge hit. There are so many bleak moments already in Fallout 76 with the story and lack of NPCs that a slow grind just becomes too overbearing.
6 Open Mics All The Time! Aww, Yeah?
Now, you might think this is nitpicky... well, maybe it is, but it’s also something that’s completely inexcusable for a game in 2018, especially one that’s an MMORPG!
There’s no push to talk option in Fallout 76, and that means you can hear people talking all the time regardless if they’re your friends or not. Sometimes you might be minutes into an endearing audio tape just for some random guy to interrupt it burping into his mic (yes, that did happen to me once). It was funny, but at the expense of what is supposed to matter.
5 Building Is Good, But We Need The Option For Multiple Bases
We haven’t talked about building and crafting in Fallout 76 because this is where the game clearly excels. Where Fallout 4’s building system felt like a mess, Fallout 76 delivers on its base building aspect.
But there are a few minor issues here, the biggest being that it should be possible to build multiple bases. The C.A.M.P. system allows you to move your base all over the map, but we think it would be far cooler to have multiple places strung out across West Virginia.
4 Your Field Of View Can't Be Altered As Of Now
Options—it may be something we all overlook when it comes to the Fallout franchise, but it’s one of those small things that make it possible for every player to curate their experience so it’s best for them.
This could include maybe changing the field of view... yet none of this is possible in Fallout 76. You’re stuck with the view you have, and if you want to change any of those options then you’ll be forced to go and edit the game files.
3 DLC And Patches Will Supposedly Fix Everything…
And here we are, yet again, a Bethesda game that feels broken and severely underproduced. Even though Bethesda has promised to support the game for years to come, it’s extremely tiring to see everything play out this way for Fallout 76.
Not to mention that the game’s rough start has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, something Bethesda won’t get back. Well, here’s to that free DLC and patches that will HOPEFULLY fix this game’s laundry list of problems.
2 Those Patches Are Going To be Heavy Though...
In an era where patches and game installs have only grown and grown, your hard drive ought to be worried about the patches coming in for Fallout 76. The day one patch, which was really just this supersized update that should've already been packaged with the game, is a staggering 96.6GB; making the patch larger than the actual game, and four times larger than any Fallout game. Patches might be great, and something the game desperately needs, but this is why you hope Bethesda does their games right from the get-go in the future.
1 Overall, It's Different, And That's A Good, And A Bad Thing
Fallout 76 marks a weird period for the franchise—it’s exciting to see the game go off into so many strange directions, but this game needs a lot, and we mean A LOT of work before we get the dream version of this game.
Fallout 76 might be a mess, but there is some fun to be had here, as frustrating as some of it may be. But this game needs support now so that some of these problems we addressed get corrected ASAP. And hopefully, Fallout 76 turns into something we all can learn to love more in the future.