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Old 11-26-2018, 07:57 AM   #1
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The Evil Avatar Fallout 76 Review

Title: Fallout 76
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

Fallout 76 Review

$60 for a pre-alpha

Oh damn! Bethesda, you've gone and done it now. No doubt by the time you read this you'll be very familiar with the general response to Fallout 76, and there's no shortage of reviews and Youtube videos on the Internet ripping the latest Fallout release to shreds. I use the term release very loosely, being as Fallout 76 is, nothing more than a glorified pre-alpha demo. For that's what we have here, and no amount of open letters from Bethesda claiming bugs are always present in such large-scale games is going to change that. Yes, Fallout 76 is buggy – boy is it buggy – but it's also lacking features, any form of real story, decent PvP mechanics, and so much more, but I get ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

Fallout 76, much to the dismay of many fans, was announced this year as a new direction for Fallout, one that would be an actual online MMO RPG designed for PvE and PvP adventures. The traditional single-player only setup was going to take a back seat, and Bethesda was doing with it's post apocalyptic series what it already did with The Elder Scrolls.



“You mean, release a poorly executed and dull MMO packed with tropes and no originality, instead being a husk of its former self?” You may ask. And, yes, you'd be correct. Fallout 76, hidden from us until the beta event only a month or so ago remained nothing but promises and clearly paid for previews from some of Bethesda closet public critics. When the general public got hold it, however, the veneer cracked, and we saw the very real burning tire fire that is this hodgepodge of missed opportunities and terrible design.

Set a mere 20 years after the bombs fell in, Appalachia, West Virginia, Fallout 76 is a prequel of sorts to the rest of the series. Instead of the brown and grey hues of a ruined, long dead wasteland, here we have a much more vibrant landscape, still filled with trees and life, be it irradiated life. According to the game's lore, this area of the US was spared much of the heavy impact of the nuclear bombardment, hence the less devastated environment.

Still, even only 20 years on, it's still a world packed with super mutants, ghouls, and all manner of mutants, so it would seem nuclear fallout is pretty fast acting when it comes to creating whole new, mutated species.



As a resident of Vault 76, you emerge into this world on the trail of your Overseer, who left the vault ahead of you. This, my dear reader, is the crux of the game's 'story.' You see, unlike the previous Fallout games, packed with life, interesting cities and settlements, and NPCs to give the wasteland a feeling of a real place, here there are none of these. No NPCs at all. Instead, the game tells a story from holotapes and computer terminals, and the odd robot vendor you find dotted around. There's no human interaction here, save that for other players, which I'll get to later.

Now, I'm all for telling stories in different ways, especially using recording of past survivors or long dead characters. Games like System Shock 2, Bioshock, Deus Ex, and many more have done this well. Fallout 76, however, does not. Instead, what we have here is a tedious and dull map location chase. You trudge to the next location, find an uninteresting message, the repeat, and repeat. On the way you'll find all sorts of side quests and other opportunities to delve into the lore of the world, but as everything you find out about has already happened, and you're simply listening to ghosts of the past constantly, you struggle to actually feel engaged in the narrative. You're a nameless listener, and not an important character.

The world itself is perhaps the highpoint of the game. It really is a different spin on the usual Fallout world, and it's more interesting for it. There are varied and more lush locations, and Bethesda's world building skill is clearly demonstrated in the small details, it's just a shame the world created here is so empty.



Bethesda has said this world map is four times larger than Fallout 4, and whilst it may be true in terms of area, in depth, it most certainly is not. There's just so little to do here, and the quests that are present are largely dull, by the number MMO guff. Even the public events, which could have been a good way to pull together players, are dull, repetitive affairs, and in almost all cases, the rewards of these quests and events just aren't worth your time. Add to that a ridiculously tight carry weight restriction, with an equally tight storage box capacity, and you have a resource management nightmare, and a system that it just plain broken, and not at all fun.

Combat is a mess too, be it the floaty, unresponsive FPS shooting, clunky melee combat, or the, frankly awful, implementation of VATs, which boils down to little more than an auto aim, and a poor one at that. Enemy AI is almost non-existent, plagued as it is with glitches and broken pathing, and even higher level foes are quickly put down by most attacks, even if you're several levels below your target. Enemies do have a special trick up their sleeve, though, and that's spawning out of nowhere right in front of you. Yes, this happens a lot, if you're not disconnected from the server, that it, always a cherry on top of any always-online game.

The game's implementation of multiplayer, remember, the actual point of the entire title, is awful, with a paulty 24 players per instance. Yes, in this huge, open world map, only 24 players will be featured, making the sparse and empty content seem even more empty. Planned feature? Or just a limitation of Bethesda's ability to squeeze the required performance out of its increasingly creaky engine? You decide, but I'm leaning towards the latter here.



When you do encounter players in the world, at least in the many hours I've spent with the game, you find that people either ignore each other, work together very briefly for an event or to kill some foes, or spend their time trolling others, most likely as there's just nothing else to do.

You see, the PvP implementation is so watered down and worried to actually upset anyone, that we're left with a pointless inclusion that means there's just no reason to bother wasting ammo. To initiate an actual PvP duel, one player has to shoot their intended target, and the other player has to retaliate. If one player doesn't fight back, the attacker or attackers do minor damage only, so little that all a victim has to do is wait a while, hit a stimpack, and they're at full health again. Only when both players attack each other does damage then scale to normal and make a duel possible. The problem here is many-fold. First, the initiator of combat will usually always lose, as many have pointed out online already. Why? Because damage only scales up when both players attack. This means the target of the player initiating the PvP can take their time to equip the best armour, and hardest hitting weapon, get nice and close and then, boom! Massive damage, and the attacker in the situation, is devastated. It's just terrible, and unbalanced.

If you're attacked, and don't want to fight, it can get very irritating, and opens up serious trolling. One or more players can team up and keep firing at you, doing minimal damage, but they can eventually kill you. They can follow you around, nipping at your health, generally making your life a misery. Only be retaliating and winning, or simply quitting the server can you avoid this. If Bethesda wanted PvP to be opt in, all that was required would be a passive invincibility mode where no damage could be done. Indeed, you may notice such a mode on the options menu, but get this. This passive mode means you can't attack others, but you can still be, as the menu itself says “murdered.” What on Earth is the point of that?!



PvE is better, but that's not saying much. The game does get a little more enjoyable with friends, as do most other games, but it doesn't matter how many people you play with, it won't change how shallow the game is, and how dated the game engine has become. The most fun you'll have is encountering and laughing as the myriad bugs and glitches the game contains. Bear in mind that some of these are actually game-breaking quest bugs, though, so you may not be laughing for long.

When you're not exploring the empty world, or indulging in tepid combat, you may wish to spend your time farming resources so you can build a camp. Well, good news. This is broken too. Not only does the tiny storage and carrying capacity hinder this, but bases you build don't even stay from game to game. In a feature that I find purely mind-boggling, you can spend hours farming for and building a cool-looking base, complete with beds, crafting benches, defensive turrets, and even full electrical systems, only to log off and come back later to find it all gone. Why? Who knows? This alone makes building camps virtually pointless.



It honestly hurts my brain to see one of my all time favourite open-world series ruined so badly, and Bethesda has seemingly lost its collective minds with Fallout 76. There's no doubt that isn't a finished game, not in the slightest, and there's no way Todd Howard and the team behind the game can believe that, or expect us to swallow the lies. It's a game that's been rushed out of the door far too early, and I wouldn't even call it an alpha at this stage. This rally is a AAA, full price early access pre-alpha, and, to add even more salt to the wound, it has the unmitigated gall to have a microtransaction store. Yes, you can spend even more real money, above and beyond the $60 price tag for, frankly awful, skins and other aesthetic items. These items are also grossly overpriced, and it really is just the final bit of spit and polish to the steel toe cap that's going to kick you right in the privates if you buy this game.

With almost no redeeming features, I really can't even try to recommend this game. True, A certain infamous game called No Man's Sky has proven with time and effort a bad game can become good, but that game was never even close to the dumpster trash that Fallout 76 is, and I seriously doubt any amount of patches can save this. I'd love to be proven wrong, as I do truly love the Fallout license and previous games, but by the time any worthwhile patches arrive, I feel the player base will have moved on. Tragic.


Score: 1 out of 5




The Good
  • World design is a little more varied than usual
  • You can use the disc as a drinks coaster
  • You can still go back and play Fallout 4
The Bad
  • Ageing engine
The Ugly
  • No story
  • ugly visuals
  • poor combat
  • terrible PvP
  • pointless base building
  • masses of bugs
  • poor AI
  • the list goes on...
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:21 AM   #2
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$34.99 ... and falling fast just a week after release
http://a.co/d/1UVgzgQ Amazon PC version
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
$34.99 ... and falling fast just a week after release
http://a.co/d/1UVgzgQ Amazon PC version
I suspect they thought they could throw the Fallout name on anything and people would just buy it.

You could tell when it was announced that this one was going to be a turd. The audience -- even all liquored up -- was totally unimpressed with this one.

This is just like Blizzard with their mobile Diablo, they just assumed their audience was a bunch of mindless fanboys who would buy anything and that isn't true.

If anything, fans will be the first one to trip you and shove you under that oncoming bus if they think you are deliberately screwing them over.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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Its sad that this multiplayer crap was pushed by people on the top that only wanted to get money from the "try to survive craze" games...

Also as one friend that got the collector's edition said "Even Star Citizen Alpha has more content..." and he does not like the game xD... I don't know how to take that

I was going to buy at 15$ just for me to play alone in peace. But I don't think there is anything to do... Even the "epic" bosses need the whole server to be attacking to kill them...

PS: they needed 6+ months just for bug fixing ... the gameplay will always be broken ...
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:04 PM   #5
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I have a few friends who played A.R.K.: Fallout Edition over the weekend but I'm glad I passed. They had nothing great to say about the game and plenty of "meh" to "wtf". It probably will never make it into my library.

Co-op Fallout 3 or 4 would have had me shelling out my bucks. This? No thanks.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:38 PM   #6
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Dodged a bullet got a $175 refund on my unopened CE after renting the Gamefly copy and playing it for a few hours. Got my fill of the severely limited entertainment on offer here and all the low hanging cheevos. I used to be the biggest Fallout fan from 1997 release all the way to end of Fallout 3. 4 went off the rails, and now this abomination.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:07 PM   #7
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I'm absolutely in no rush to buy this piece of shat.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:00 PM   #8
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Dodged a bullet got a $175 refund on my unopened CE after renting the Gamefly copy and playing it for a few hours. Got my fill of the severely limited entertainment on offer here and all the low hanging cheevos. I used to be the biggest Fallout fan from 1997 release all the way to end of Fallout 3. 4 went off the rails, and now this abomination.
What didn't you like about 4?
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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What didn't you like about 4?
Base building and too much crafting. I'm not 12 anymore, I don't have the time, patience, or interest to build and maintain bases and settlements. Get the Minecraft out of my Fallout.
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:17 AM   #10
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Fallout 3 was good. It wasn't perfect but as the first attempt to bring Fallout into 3D, it's flaws could be forgiven. Fallout New Vegas was amazing and was moving the franchise in the right direction. Fallout 4 was a huge step backwards, and now this is them jumping off a cliff.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:56 AM   #11
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Base building and too much crafting. I'm not 12 anymore, I don't have the time, patience, or interest to build and maintain bases and settlements. Get the Minecraft out of my Fallout.
I agree, but I simply ignored base-building. I had a basic settlement with almost no improvements (but would send the dogs there to live when I encountered the guy who had them). So I basically had a kennel run by NPCs.

Then I just played the game. I thought it was very fun, and the two large DLC additions were exceptional. I could have spent hundreds of hours base-building, but instead I spent one or two. It was up to me.

76 looks awful, but it's exactly what I expected after seeing the rollout press conference.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:14 AM   #12
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What didn't you like about 4?
The lack of player choice. Dumbing down of npc dialog trees. Never felt like I could be an "evil" character.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:05 AM   #13
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Wow, Fallout 76 is getting it with every barrel people have.

Sometimes games get it because folks have an ax to grind, like movies or games that hyped so much they couldn't possibility live up to their expectations, but I don't think that is the case of Fallout 76.

I went ahead and picked up Fallout 4 GOTY in the Steam Sale since it might be the last real Fallout game for the next decade. It will take at least one release before Bethesda recognizes THEY are the problem instead of the users.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:52 AM   #14
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Hereís a protipÖ donít buy this garbage. Even if itís at a greatly reduced price. The big name studios want nothing more then to sell us less & charge us more.

If we keep purchasing this bullshit (& then continue to support it by buying the microtransactions/loot boxes) then they are going to keep cranking this same style of turd out year after year.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:51 AM   #15
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People forget that they started the DLC crap with the HORSE ARMOR !!!
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Old 11-28-2018, 03:41 PM   #16
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Never preorder anything.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:48 PM   #17
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Never preorder anything.
Truth. The stupid little trinkets they dangle in front of you just aren't worth it. Find out if it's worth the money first. Especially in 2018, where the model has shifted from release now and fix later to release now and spend 2 years patching until it's finally an actual game.
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