Game Name: Fallout 76
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Release Date: November 14th, 2018
As you may have noticed with my previous reviews that I am a fan of the Fallout series. I am especially a fan of the revamp starting with Fallout 3. I understand that there are a lot of different opinions in regards to the game.
I will try to break down the negativity and provide a more objective view of the game.
Let us address the elephant in the room to start this off. Bathesda at E3 was touting that this would be the first time that the Fallout game would have a multiplayer aspect.
I have been very clear in my streams and even in my Fallout 76 preview, I was not a big fan of this specific aspect. I think that in general I did not like it but not for the reasons that I initially thought.
The thing that I do like is that it does not force you to play with other players. That is a good thing as I am a player that usually likes to play solo. The issue is that when I met other players in the game, it bugged out for me very often. So the experience with other players was not a great one. Yes you do not need them, but I could see how playing with friends could be fun and useful. Unfortunately, the game never really gives you a reason to buddy up. Very often I found the other players hindering my experience. So for this, I could say that I was kind of right.
Another point of contention that I had was the story. One of the best aspects of the Fallout series is the story. Walking around the wasteland and trying to find your son in Fallout 4 or your father in Fallout 3. The storytelling was one of the big reasons why people return to play the games.
Here in Fallout 76, the story is pretty much non existent. Yes there is one about the Overseer but I could not care about it. Also, they removed NPC's (which I will discuss later) so they replaced a lot of the dialogue with holotapes. Some of these holotapes take 10 minutes to listen to. In a game that is always online and time does not stop, it is annoying. It has happened that I was listening to the holotape and someone re-spawned in my area, so the enemies re-spawned as well and I died as it caught me off guard. This to me took away from the experience.
Another aspect that I was not fond of is the survival mode. In Fallout 76, you need to keep being hydrated and fed. So you constantly have to get food and make sure that you are hydrated or else you lose some health. This cannot be turned off . This is a light version of the survival mode in Fallout 4. They could have made some servers that had this mode off. May be we will see this in the next year or so.
Another big change about this game which was announced by Todd Howard at E3 is that, every other human player in the game is another player. There are no NPC's. I think that Bathesda missed the boat on that. Yes, these take a lot of time, to create for the game developer. However, you spent all that time on Holotapes. It would have have been a stretch to add those to other NPC's. The reason I say that is that NPC's added character to the world. That is one of the fun parts of the Fallout Series is meeting other NPC's in the world and hearing their story. The holotapes just feel emotionless in my opinion.
If you are going to remove the whole idea of what VATS is, just remove it. It is almost completely useless. You have a better chance of hitting your target without VATS.
The new card perk system is not bad. I cannot say I care for it though. I do not like the randomness of it. I rather know where I put my points. However, this is not something that is major. It is more of a preference thing for me.
I am not a person that liked the building aspect in Fallout 4. The good thing about that is that you can do the minimum and that is fine and you can carry on. Here in 76, you need to set up the camp and you cannot setup anywhere. Also you run the chance or having it nuked. So you can spend hours and hours building something that can be potentially destroyed and you will need to start over. It is not for me and it is a shame for those who like to build stuff.
A lot of other reviewers have made the argument that the graphics are horrible. I understand they are not state of the art, but if it is a good game, people would not care. You could have made the same argument with Fallout: New Vegas. It was a game that was on an old engine, buggy and the story ended kind of blah. However, there was no backlash like there was for 76. Also with new Vegas, they tried to new things like the crafting. People seemed to like it. Then that was ported over to Fallout 4.
As for the bugs. I know that there are a lot, like servers disconnecting and the health regeneration bug. However, to their credit Bathesda never shied away from that. They did admit that it would be their first time doing this kind of game. So they knew there would be bugs. If that is the case, I would have retailed it at 29.99$. Why charge 60$ for a game that should have remained in a BETA. Also whoever played the BETA and thought everything would be fixed come release day, were very naive.
I have also met players that love the game as well. There are a few channels that I follow on Twitch which are having a blast with it. However, I find these to be few and far in between. I also have seen the number of live viewers of Fallout 76 on Twitch go from about 100 000 to roughly 20 000. That is a huge drop.
Here is some gameplay from JustforlolzFYI
Do I think that this is a good game. In all honesty, it feels like a game that you give the testers to see if there are any bugs. Unfortunately, this time around they asked the public to be the debuggers. For me personally, it is a game that is overpriced for what it brings to the table.
I love this series, but I believe this series has taken a step back. It feels like they took everything in Fallout 4 with old bugs and just made it online and slapped a new name on it.
In my Fallout 4 review, I had mentioned that I thought it would have been cool to have a Fallout 4 with co-op. In the sense that your companion would be your friend instead of Dog meat for example. That would have been cool. But in Fallout 76 I do not see a reason to play with friends. At least a single player offline mode with co-op would have given purpose to the game.
I tried to stream my game but I ran into so many bugs that it was not worth it. I ran into disconnecting server very often. So their claim that I would not even see a server is kind of false. I understand that these things can happen but not as often as I have seen it happen.
I also do understand that due to the fact that it is online, they needed to make some compromises. This includes the VATS system, paying for Fast Travel and having to carry your camp everywhere. However, although I commend them for trying something new. They have to acknowledge that they failed. Nothing is wrong with that. Not everything can be perfect all the time.
I heard on CAGCast from Wombat that he would think that in a few months, he thinks, Bathesda will come out with an offline mode. Although that would be ok, they would have to build NPC's or else the world would be empty as hell. But this is just speculation and no one has said at all this is happening.
Also the game on Black Friday, one week after release was already 40% or 50% off. So whoever bought it day one were kind of taken advantage of.
Look, I know people that work for gaming companies as programmers and they work hard. I doubt that they did not work hard on this game. However, from the gamer's perspective, this is a lackluster entry into the series. I think that they took a risk and that risk did not pan out. That is fine. I would hope that they take a step back from this and rethink their strategy. There was a 47 GB patch released on day 1. I actually do not know what it did as it is just as buggy as in the BETA.
I am not as mad as other reviewers, even though my review was not flattering. However, it is a bump in road for Bathesda. I really do hope that they learn from their mistakes. This just felt like a cash grab. Unfortunately, all the reasons why that I listed why I was skeptical about getting this game, came out to be true.
I said this before and I will say it again. I thought that this would be an in between game between, Fallout 4 and Fallout 5. Same as New Vegas was between Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. However, with the backlash that this game has received online, I am not even sure if we will see a 5 anytime soon. This could even hurt their other games that they release in the future. They need to be careful.
What do you think? Was I too hard on the game? Was I too soft? Let me know at the coordinates below.