Fallout 76: The Answer to Your Prayers
Bethesda Softworks has heard your pleas and has decided to be merciful!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been shaking with excitement since the most recent Bethesda Softworks announcement. After last year’s paltry E3 showing, fans, namely me, have been completely and utterly disillusioned by the IP priority shown by the Maryland game studio. Make no mistake, we love any and all creations by this fabled studio, but it's hard to keep the Nerd Rage perk down. Finally, after years of praying to the almighty Todd Howard, we have been blessed with the knowledge of a new Fallout title:
Anyone else just get goosebumps? No? Okay. For those of you that live under rocks, the Fallout series is one of the greatest sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, open world exploration, role-playing, god-simulating, first person shooters out there. The degree of freedom in these games has set the standard alongside The Elder Scrolls franchise for years. Name a better duo, I’ll wait.
If you know anything about the Vaultec Vault systems from the storyline, you’ll probably get an idea of what the 76 stands for. That’s right, Vault 76. If you happen to also have a photographic memory or unhealthy obsession, like I do, you’ll remember that Vault 76 was briefly mentioned in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. I’ll assume you have a social life, though, and lay it out for you. You see, in most Vaults, Vaultec orchestrated some form of nefarious experiment to study humankind. Everything from social experiments involving drugs to freezing people cryogenically, nothing is off-limits to this ethically-challenged firm. Well, when it comes to basic scientific theory, experiments need controls, right? Vault 76 is one of those controls. In information found on a computer terminal in Fallout 3, we see that Vault 76 has no specialty equipment. It was simply slated to open itself automatically 20 years after the war.
Coinciding with information from the delicious teaser trailer, we notice that the premise of this game is to reclaim the world back after the nuclear fallout settled. This runs contrary to most games in the series, which, take place after civilization had already budded back into existence. How absolutely wonderful. My first thought was that Fallout: 76 would be a sort of Fallout: New Vegas spin-off that utilized the Fallout 4 engine. Which, to be honest, I would have welcomed with open arms. However, according to Kotaku, that is hardly the case.
Reclaim the Wastes Together
Yeah, you read that right. I said “together,” you’re not dreaming. Jason Schreier, Kotaku news editor, went on the record in his article to say that sources have confirmed the nature of this project. According to him, Fallout: 76 is an online survival RPG. Think, ARK: Survival Evolved and Rust. Apparently, the game will feature full-length quests and an actual storyline. More importantly, though, it will feature the Fallout 4 style building we’ve all come to know and love. This isn’t another form of Elder Scrolls Online people, this is a straight-up new way to experience the wastes, with your friends. I still have a letter I wrote to Bethesda when I was 10-years-old trying to make them put co-op into Morrowind. Oh, if 10-year-old me could be here now.
Revolutionizing Online Survival
Now comes the healthy does of realism I’m required to have. It has also been noted that this project is being worked on between two different studio locations in tandem with other projects. This could be cause for worry when it comes to receiving a polished product. When it comes down to it, survival games, battle royales, and MMORPGs all depend on a clean experience. If you know anything about game design, you’ll understand that once building engines are introduced into games, bugs run rampant, lag plagues the world, and frame rates potentially become an issue for lower-end rigs. Bethesda will need to execute like they never have before. If they do, though, this could be the future of the genre and of The Elder Scrolls franchise.
I can already see fans rolling their eyes at the potential of losing the beautiful single-player experience and modding community found in the traditional installments. I ask you to save your criticism for E3 folks, it’s going to be a big year for it. Regardless if you think Fallout: 76 is a good idea or not, you need to admit to yourself that Fallout co-op will be a religious experience. Keep sending your prayers to the One True Howard and prepare for a hell of a year in gaming. For now, this is me signing off, too hyped to focus.