Fallout 76: Wastelanders DLC (XBOX One) Review
Game Name: Fallout 76
DLC Name: Wastelanders
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: April 14th, 2020
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
I would have never thought that i would make a review of this DLC for Fallout 76. The game disappointed me so much with its money grabbing schemes and bad ideas.
As I wrote in my initial review of the Fallout 76 base game, which can be found here, I was not a big fan. It lacked the charm and appeal of the previous games. It also was lacking on of the biggest aspects of the Fallout series, NPC's (Non Playable Characters).I was also not a fan that the game was survival mode light. I never liked to play that mode in Fallout 4 and this did not sway my opinion.
Then I was looking at private servers. Well, that was another disappointment. I thought that this was going to allow me to play the game offline or at least closed off to the world. Unfortunately, that was not really true. People can still enter the private server that you pay for. So i decided to not go for this feature.
I will not even get into Fallout 1st. All that I will say is that it is a blatant quest to get more money from players. If the game was super popular, I could may be see this working. However, the game has been in turmoil since the beginning and this just added fuel to the angry players fire.
Then they announced Wastelanders. This was to be a free DLC for those who have the base game and it would reincorporate NPC's to an otherwise NPC free world. To be clear, there were enemies to kill. However, none of them can be interacted with. This to me was very interesting. But I was not really sure how it would work with the open server concept of the game.
So in May, I started playing the game offline for my own curiosity. I wanted to see if this could make up for the fact that it would seemly have everything that I found the base game lacked. So let us see if this makes the game worth the purchase.
There are two main storylines for this DLC. The first one has to do with the Overseer. She wants to create a vaccine that will inoculate the population from the Scorched disease.
Once that is done, you go on a quest to capture a treasure of gold. It is rumoured to be located in the Vault 79.
There are also some side questions to explore as well. However, these are the main storylines. I will not delve into them much more as I do not want to ruin the experience for those who would like to play the DLC.
I will have to say that the idea of Wastelanders really got me curious and I am happy that I played it. However, is it enough to redeem a game that has had so many PR problems and bugs, amongst others?
Let me start with some positive feedback first. That sentence was something that I never thought that I would write. This DLC made me feel like I was in the Fallout world again. It felt less empty. It seemed to have a purpose. Unlike the main game where other than Events, the rest of the world feels quite empty.
If you want to play the DLC, you will need to be at a minimum of a Level 20. However, I would suggest that you start at a higher level. There are parts in the DLC that are quite difficult. I think it would be prudent for the player to be at least at Level 30 or even better Level 40.
It was so awesome being able to talk with some NPC's. Getting to choose your dialog is awesome. Speaking of dialog, I like the fact that they did not give a talking part to the Vault Dweller (your character). Like in Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, the dialog is on the screen and the other NPC's respond right away. Your character does not narrate his own lines. I appreciate that they went back to the old way of doing things.
There was quite a bit of thought that went to making the main storyline and the side quests. It makes me wonder if releasing this was already in the plans from the beginning. For a DLC of this size to have been released almost 2 years after the release of the main game, this would have taken time to do. However, the hard work did show and I have to give kudos to the Bathesda team.
There are some new weapons and clothes that are newly introduced in the DLC. It was to be expected and they were fine. There was nothing that I got that blew me away. May be it was just me.
There are some negatives about this game as well. I have to admit that I had not played Fallout 76 for months. At the time on the XBOX One, I kept running into bugs and I would get disconnected from the server all the time. This was not due to my internet but the game just being buggy. I have to admit that it is much more stable now than it once was. I guess all those patches were good for something.
Having said that there are a few bugs that could break the DLC. The one that I am thinking of is when you are in Vault 79 and you are almost at the end of the main story of the DLC. There is a bug where the NPC's do not load properly and they are all in their underwear. In addition, in order to finish some quest, you need to talk to some of them. There is a workaround to get this working, but if you are not resourceful, you may just quit the game and not comeback. This was a bummer.
If ever they create another Fallout game, they need to change the game engine. It is buggy and it seems dated at this point. They can create something so much better but they refuse to go outside of their organization. This is more of a suggestion than a critique of the DLC. The more I play it, the more I feel they need to change the engine.
This last point, I understand why it is done this way. It is due to the fact that save states do not really exist as the game is on an online server that is always on. However, it sucked that I could not choose all the options available to me. In most cases, you choose and option and that is it. Having a save state used to allow me to make a choice and then go back and choose another option, to see which outcome that I would like better. To get to the same result now, the player would need to create multiple characters and use them to see which outcomes are best.
Having said all that, do I think that the DLC was worth it. Unfortunately, I do not think that it enough to redeem the rest of the game. It is a step in the right direction. However, once this was done, I did not go back to the main game. As I mentioned before, I give credit to Bathesda for sticking to this game even after everything that happened. What this DLC shows me is that there are people at Bathesda that do care. It just sucks that it took all the negativity to get to this point.
What do you think? Am I on track or on crack? Let me know below.