It’s been almost three years since the last proper entry in the Fallout series, with the release of Fallout 4 in 2015. When Bethesda teased a new Fallout game earlier last week, fans thought it might be a new single-player RPG in line with the likes of Fallout 4 or New Vegas. After Jason Schreier of Kotaku reached out to Bethesda Game Studios for more information, it was reported that Fallout 76 was actually a survival multiplayer RPG similar to DayZ and Rust.
While this news *may* be disheartening and even seemingly going against the idea of what a Fallout game is, we should take a step back when thinking about it. Remember, the jump from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3 was monumental, giving players a full first-person shooter experience. In 2008 first person shooters were the hottest thing and Bethesda was capitalizing on that. Now, in 2018, online multiplayer survival games are popular, so it’s not unreasonable that Fallout 76 is being developed with that in mind.
Sources have shown that it will still feel very much like Fallout, with quests, story, and even base-building similar to the mechanics in Fallout 4. It won’t be totally foreign to fans of the series. Times are changing, though, and we can’t expect a developer to stay stuck in 2008.
Trust Is Key
Bethesda has a decent track record and a massive budget, so if anyone can successfully pull this off, it’s them. We have our concerns, but the idea of an online Fallout game is pretty intriguing. Fallout 76 is supposedly set way early in the series’ timeline, just 20 years after the nuclear war. This could introduce us to some interesting mechanics, particularly with the building aspect. Since the setting is so close to the nuclear war, it’s safe to assume that civilization wouldn’t be as evolved as it was during Fallout 3 and 4, set hundreds of years later. The idea of starting basically from scratch, building a city out of tin, plastic, and whatever else you can find *could* be fun and rewarding.
What gets tricky is how the combat will work. A staple of the series, the V.A.T.S. system, allowed for players to essentially freeze time to target different limbs of enemies, with percentages of success, making it almost feel like a turn-based RPG. The notion of freezing time during online play doesn’t work, so fans are curious to see how the combat will function. With no V.A.T.S., will it still feel like Fallout? Well, maybe, but that brings us to the question of what makes a Fallout game. Perhaps V.A.T.S. will only be used with AI and not with other online players.
I’m sure Bethesda knows what they’re doing, but I know I’m not the only one who feels concerned about the implementation of multiplayer to the series. There are tons of other questions, too: Does the development of this game mean it will be a longer wait before we see another traditional, single-player RPG? If so, that may not sit well with some people. It feels like this will be in the games as a service category wherein the developers will be consistently updating it for years to come.
Micr0-Transactions In Fallout 76?
Another question is whether or not there be an offline option. Being able to play offline could bode well for the players who still want to play a new Fallout, but want to stick to a single-player experience. Will there be micro-transactions? The mere mention of a micro-transaction has become a dirty word in the industry, so Bethesda better be at the top of their game with the messaging. Games and even entire companies can fail if the messaging upfront is bad.
Bethesda’s press event will be this Sunday, June 10th, where they will hopefully be giving us a slew of answers to the questions we have. Some reports say this will be out much sooner than we think, further solidifying the idea that we’ll get an in depth look at Fallout 76 during the press conference. Stick with us here at Game Savvy for our E3 coverage and remember to stay savvy!