Normally, there is nothing I love more than plugging in hours of my time into roaming the Wasteland and engaging in one of the most riveting, role-playing games I have ever played. Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 took days, even weeks, away from my life, but a multiplayer experience mixed with one of my favorite RPG series did not sit well with me. So, I did what I usually do when a game comes along that I'm iffy about playing. I sat behind the computer chair of one of my best friends and watched him sink hours into the game. And let me tell you, it was the most hilarious experience of my life.
I appreciate a game with good flaws; flaws make me laugh, but flaws do not make my friend laugh. I had a front row seat to his rising irritation with Fallout 76 as he uncovered more and more of the game's mistakes and I thought his keyboard was in serious danger of ending up in pieces. That is how frustrated he was. I warned him that Fallout 76 might not be all that he hoped for and I told him that this deviation from the series' foundation might compromise the game's overall integrity, but did he listen? Not until it was too late. Any true fan of the series should be able to recognize the flaws in Fallout 76. I'm not saying you can't enjoy the game, but you should notice what is wrong with it. So, read on if you want to check out the dubious qualities of the latest Fallout game.
25 Rinse And Repeat Missions
Sprinkled throughout Fallout 76 are these audio logs that are supposed to give players something to do. These tapes give instructions that players are supposed to follow in order to uncover some more of the story.
After the fifth such mission, my friend and I realized that these “missions” were nothing more than cookie-cutter samples of each other. Once you did one, you kind of did them all, and there was not enough variation to keep us interested.
24 The Loneliness Outside Vault 76
Previous Fallout games had survivors emerging from the Vault to seek out what remained of human civilization. Once out and about, they could explore the different cultures that remained on the surface, but all of that is missing from Fallout 76.
I get that this was a deliberate choice by the developers in order to only populate the game with players, but it does not correspond with what we've seen in other games. Apparently, the area outside Vault 76 was truly the only uninhabitable part of the Wasteland.
23 Fighting Unseen Enemies
Part of the joy of Fallout 76 should be fighting creatures with your buddies, right? Well, that isn't always the case.
My friend had invited a couple of his buddies to play alongside him and at one point, one of them started yelling about mutants that were attacking him. The rest of us were puzzled as we couldn't see any enemy creatures in sight. Apparently, the mutants attacking him did not make their way to the other team members' games. Someone made a mistake right there.
22 A Cost To Fast Travel
The price of fast traveling is not an egregious sum, but for a map this big and so sparsely populated, placing a price on fast travel seems like an error (especially if a player has no caps on him or her).
Having players pay to fast travel makes it so that they are either forced to spend their caps to get to interesting portions of the game more quickly or trudge their way to their objective using the long route. Either way, it seems unfair to ask this of players who just want to get to the nitty-gritty of a game.
21 The Push-To-Talk Delay
For PC gamers, the “push-to-talk” disaster has been patched up. It used to be that any player using a microphone could be heard throughout the entire server. So, if a player happened to be streaming, his or her conversations with a chat could be quite distracting.
This has been partially fixed as console gamers still have to put up with a lack of “push-to-talk.” Honestly, I kind of miss those weird-sounding voices in the distance; they always made my friend halt in his tracks looking for a source.
20 There Are Microtransactions
Any game that releases with so many bugs and then still has a microtransaction system in place is making a mistake. I understand the business model of a free-to-play game using microtransactions to boost revenue, but if there is already a hefty price to purchase a game, microtransactions are a wrong move.
The only saving grace for Fallout 76's microtransactions is that they were, as far as I could tell, for cosmetic purposes only.
19 Where's Our Camp?
My friend, who I shall call “Bob” from here on out for simplicity's sake, was not the “owner” of the base among his group of friends playing Fallout 76; it was somebody else.
When the owner of the base logs off from the game, the base disappears with them. Now, this may be a handy tool to ensure that other players don't mess with another's base, but it's a sad experience for whoever is left online from the owner's team since they are effectively base-less until the owner returns.
18 The Strangest PvP Experience
Bethesda's handling of PvP in Fallout 76 is perhaps the most peaceful I've ever seen. In order to prevent other players causing needless grief toward each other, steps have been taken to ensure only voluntary PvP can truly occur.
If a player starts firing at another, the target will take minimal damage; it is only when fire is returned that true damage is inflicted. I can't tell if this is a brilliant gameplay choice or an equivocating decision from a company unwilling to commit to a multiplayer game.
17 The Hugest Of Maps For A Handful Of Survivors
On occasion, Bob would play Fallout 76 by himself. He would log on without his friends and roam the map looking for things to do. And you know what? There's just not enough.
Fallout 76's map was vaunted for being four times bigger than the map in Fallout 4, but with so little to do, no people to run into, and repetitive missions, the large map becomes a detriment. Poor Bob would log off shortly after he logged himself on out of pure boredom.
16 When I Was A Floating Head
I adore glitches; I live for video game glitches. Mass Effect: Andromeda was a gold mine for me, but Bob does not like glitches. Glitches irk Bob.
One of the ones that recurred frequently and ticked Bob off more than anything was when he would switch to third-person and find his character was merely a floating head. The look on Bob's face was priceless and I would just dissolve into peals of laughter. While the situation is funny, it is also, sadly, a mistake.
15 Gazing Into The Badly-Rendered Distance
Anyone who knows me knows that I don't place too much importance on graphics. So, when I say that Fallout 76's graphics disappointed me, you know that it means something.
When Fallout 4 came out, it was filled with so much content that I could excuse graphical mistakes. However, Fallout 76 has no such excuse. Plus, in my opinion (and Bob's), the graphics look a tad worse in Fallout 76 than they did in Fallout 4, and staring at the sunset offers no enjoyment.
14 Online-Only Error
I think it was a mistake making Fallout 76 an online-only game. Firstly, it runs counter to the foundation of the Fallout series as Fallout games have always been massive endeavors in immersive story-telling.
An online game relies on players to create their own stories, and there is nothing wrong with a game relying on that for their narrative, but that leads to the second part of Fallout 76's problems. There is not enough content in the world for players to create their own meaningful stories.
13 Diving Headfirst Into Radiation
Taking on radiation has always been a bad thing in my book. In nearly every other Fallout game I have ever played, I've gone out of my way to avoid radiation and the problems it causes.
However, Fallout 76 handles radiation differently. Getting irradiated provides some negatives and positives at the same time. So, imagine my surprise when Bob decided to rush his character over to some radiation without any protection, just to see what perks he could get. I'm pretty sure radiation does not work that way.
12 How Much Can I Carry?
It is unrealistic to have an unlimited inventory space, I understand that, but excuse me for liking my video games about roaming the post-apocalyptic, nuke-riddled Wasteland to verge on the unrealistic.
Fallout 76 definitely needed to up the weight limit on our inventory spaces. In a game that relies on exploring a world all by yourself, the least it could do is allow you to carry as much junk as you want. I mean, what else is there to do in the game aside from carrying junk to build your own base?
11 A Sudden Disconnect
Early on in Fallout 76's life as a video game, there were numerous server issues. When my friend Bob was playing, he would get unceremoniously tossed off the server due to connection issues. Luckily for him, this never happened while he was in the middle of doing something important.
But, given how often it happened, I can imagine that other players may not have been so lucky. If your game is an online-only game, it's a mistake to have servers that kick your players out that much.
10 A Nuke For You And A Nuke For You
I can't decide whether giving every player a chance to access launch codes is a stroke of genius or a poor mistake. While Bob played on his server, I never witnessed anyone aside from him launch some nukes and I have no clue what it was like on other servers.
It seems that for a game so worried about PvP griefers, giving everyone the ability to launch nukes around the map seems counter-intuitive. It does make the sunset look prettier, though.
9 Role-Playing In The Wasteland
Fallout used to be the series I would recommend any fan of RPGs to give a try if they hadn't already, but with the release of Fallout 76, I no longer have the confidence to recommend the series.
Even if a person enjoys Fallout 76, it can't be said to be an RPG. There is not enough of a role-playing aspect to it, and that's largely due to an empty world. There are not enough people, stories, or meaning in the game, which makes it a diversion and nothing more.
8 Frame Rate Hitches
Big games occasionally “hiccup” as the game runs along, and one sign of those “hiccups” is a dip in frame rate. In case you are one lucky dog and have never experienced frame rate issues, it basically makes your game look like it's running in slow motion.
Many open-world games have this issue because the game's space is so massive and there are many elements occurring in it; Fallout 76 is one of these games. The drops in frame rate were massive and unhelpful when in the midst of combat.
7 Who Are You Supposed To Talk To?
I never thought I would say this, but I miss NPCs in Fallout 76. Other players are not numerous enough to populate the world, and in other Fallout games, the world came alive with the people and creatures populating it.
In this most recent of entries, the world just feels empty. If you don't come into the game with a group of friends to play with, you're going to truly feel like you're wandering around in a Wasteland. A few NPCs would have made the world more... alive.
6 A Balanced Set Of Monsters
Another one of Bob's biggest complaints against Fallout 76 is the fact that clusters of mutants would be unevenly balanced level-wise. When you start out the game, you can go anywhere, and the sense of freedom is fine, as long as you can avoid tangling yourself in a fight with higher-level creatures.
When Bob was playing, he would run into level 10 enemies mixed in with a level 30 one. At the time, he was able to take on one level, but ill-equipped to deal with the other.
5 Missing Friendly Ghouls
A huge mistake on Fallout 76's part, in my opinion, is a lack of friendly ghouls. Yeah, okay, I'll admit that this is not an enormous mistake, but I loved those guys!
Now, if you don't want to include NPCs in the game, that's fine (I guess), but at least have some non-violent ghouls roaming around the world, too. That would have definitely soothed some of the frustration I felt regarding the game (Bob would have been frustrated with the game whether there were friendly ghouls or not).
4 The Quick Respawn
Imagine you are clearing out a building of enemies and you do a fantastic job of sweeping the area clean. Unfortunately, let's say that you have to leave the building momentarily and then return. Well, Fallout 76 has it set so that enemies respawn extremely quickly.
You can't just casually run through a building you thought you had cleared. If you make that mistake, you will pay for it. Once you are used to it though, it is a hassle to say the least since you have to do your work all over again.
3 Menu Under Attack
You want to know the least convenient time to be scrolling through the menu of your Pip-Boy? I would say it's when you are under attack. There is no such thing as pausing an online PvP fight (that would be absurd).
So, access your Pip-Boy at your own risk. You can't have a Fallout game without a Pip-Boy, but they might have found a way to make them easier to use while under fire. It can be panic-inducing to scramble through the menus while someone else is looking to eliminate your character.
2 Simple Enemy Attacks
A huge error in Fallout 76 is the simple AI of the enemies. For a game that is relying solely on player/player interactions or creature combat, half of the game is based on the enemies' AI, and it is just too simple.
The Scorched were just brainless opponents; they rushed at you for melee attacks or weapons every time and there never seemed to be any variation in the way they leaped at a character. Repetitive missions could have been salvaged if enemy encounters had been even vaguely interesting.
1 Glitches Galore
No game is immune to glitches, but Fallout 76 seemed more prone to them than any other game I have played in a while. The only other that comes to mind is Mass Effect: Andromeda.
However, the thing that separates Mass Effect: Andromeda and Fallout 76 is that the former's glitches were never game-breaking. They were relegated to animation fails, clipped textures, and inane AI. Disappointingly, Fallout 76's glitches were often game-breaking ones.