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Fallout 76: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

My Previous Fallout Experience:

Historically, the the way I have played Fallout was actually competing with my friend in my living room, which Fallout 76 allows in a much more streamlined manner. What do I mean by this? Well, previously I would sit by and watch how far he got on his record and how long it took, and then try to beat his time. Then he would watch me for a while and do the same. With the addition of multiplayer, it’s more of a hand in hand experience.

Getting a full understanding of Bethesda’s game, as well as making sure that the patch improved performance, is included here.

Failure to Launch

This game came out pretty spotty initially, had plenty of glitches, the usual T-like bodies glitch, and quite a few frame skip issues early on. Bethesda did release an extensively large patch for these issues. It looks like the patch was roughly about 52GB in size, obviously extremely large. Odd part, however, is your actual game file size didn’t increase by much, only about 200 MB. This probably means most of the current files you use on your game were probably updated and simply replaced the old files.

Although this technique is frowned upon by many (especially because some companies like Comcast have a limit of 1TB per month before additional charges) it was still done. If 10 games did updates like this all at once, you would basically be killing about 50% of your internet allowance for that month. Obviously nobody wants that. The one thing I will commend about the patch is that it seems to have fixed a lot of performance issues across multiple systems. I myself have not seen a glitch as of late on mine.

Basic Changes

This game, although extremely similar in controls, material gathering, and even building, has everything that Fallout 4 has. The biggest changes that I have noticed is the VATS system no longer slows down time, so you have to make quick decisions. However, for myself at least, the VATS system has never been more reactive. The rush that you get when something unexpected shows up and you really don’t have time to process it because you have to react, like now, is something that Fallout seems to have hit or miss on previous entries. In this game, it’s full on scream like a girl action cause you can’t slow it down to think up fast solutions, you have to react on the spot.

So far I haven’t run into any live NPCs (robots not included). I have run into players, and enemies (yes those are NPCs but I mean NPCs that you interact with). There is a ton of backstory, though it is all found in the PC’s. So for those that enjoy reading, knock yourselves out as you have plenty of lore to go through.

The Fallout 76 Hype

Yes, the game was hyped a bit, and yes it has been smashed to the ground hard, mostly by players who enjoy the single player experience and don’t like multiplayer. For these I can say that the game definitely does not force you to group up, it does offer up multiplayer options but you can still go through the entire game solo.

Additionally, others are upset about a system that has very little NPC interactions. The problem with this is that the game revolves around the very first vault to open, meaning life that isn’t mutated or adjusted to the new world would be extremely scarce. This is probably the most discerning part of this game since you often feel like the lone survivor. I don’t know if its slotted for a later DLC that a vault opens and allows a few NPCs, or if Bethesda just went all out lazy mode on us. What I have seen is tons of dead bodies, some more recent than others. You find plenty of recordings, research, and other objects to use to find out more info about the environment and better survival techniques, the first of which is boiling water and making steak ribs… Tons of steak ribs.

Let’s not forget the hunger thirst system as well as a resting system. So your character can lay on a bed, and you legitimately have to stay there till your health bar fills up. If you do so you get a rested bonus. Otherwise you only recover up to the amount of time you stayed there. Additionally, your character will get hungry and thirsty throughout the day, so you want to make sure you keep stock of food and water. As before, food and water can also heal you, and can cause radiation damage, so keep a good balance of both and cook often to minimize radiation.

With that mechanic said, there is another mechanic. I am not sure if it was on Fallout 4, I never had it happen, however there seems to be radiation mutations that can occur from radiation exposure. One of the players I played with had roughly ½ of his health bar in radiation but he carried 5 mutations in total. These mutations tend to carry a bonus and a negative effect so if you wanted to keep them you could but if you disliked them, using a rad medpac usually took them away.

Controls

Control wise, the game handles pretty much similarly to Fallout 4. I really didn’t see much difference other than having to be much more reactive about the VATS system.

Rating

All in all, I don’t think this game is as bad as the hype train has hit it. Yes, it does have multiplayer, big deal, from my experience they haven’t interfered with my single player experience. The fact that multiplayer is in also just makes it that much more fun since now I can compete with my friend for gear in real time as well as experience. If you like the Fallout games, don’t be fooled. It is still the same game, just less people to talk to unless you play with friends!

Graphics wise, I don’t feel this game has upgraded too much from Fallout 4. Yes some body textures are much cleaner but, all in all, I felt like it was a minor upgrade.

This game gets a 4.3 out of 5 from me after the patch updates. If you are more into multiplayer and enjoy games such as survival(Farcry 5) I would also recommend this to you.