Fallout 76 Game Review: Flawed plan for survival
The Fallout 76 world is so empty of interactions that you might wish you perished with the rest of humanity
Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX
Price: Rs 3,999
Fallout has an ardent fan following, people who genuinely enjoy hours and hours of gameplay to reveal new storylines and unlock the mysteries of the post-apocalyptic world. Fallout 76 lets go of that story-driven gameplay, instead, opting for a completely online player-driven game with no real narrative. While there is still a certain charm to the world and the monsters, most other factors that essentially make Fallout different are lost.
You start in Vault 76 and are one of the last people to leave the facility after a hard night of partying. Here you get to choose your appearance and collect a bit of gear before moving out. Once out, you are welcomed by a wasteland version of West Virginia that will be familiar to any Fallout veteran. The only difference is that the world is empty, there are hardly any other players populating it and even when you find them, they aren't as engaging as you would want them to be. Once in a while, when you do find a person willing to play with you, the game gets significantly more fun, though these are rare instances.
Even Player vs Player interactions are mostly discouraged because you do not go into a death match, unless the other player also responds in violence. Not to mention if you are on the PS4 you need to pay for PlayStation Plus to even start playing the game.
Like in previous Fallouts, dying is easy, if you don't carry enough food, clean water and ammunition, the grim reaper will come knocking faster than you can say Nuka-cola. This poses a serious weight related problem, where you are always encumbered because of all the supplies you need to carry to stay alive. You might end up spending time constantly editing the contents of your bag to get rid of things you might not need immediately. Not to mention the crafting requires you to constantly forage and salvage to build things, so almost everything is useful in some way.
There are many places to explore in the Fallout 76, while some areas are relatively safe, others are house deadly monsters. The monsters are probably the only parts of Fallout that feel warm and fuzzy. These monsters are very creative and often, the stuff nightmares are made of, which is a good thing. There is always a constant fear of something lurking around in the wilderness, which is another welcomed Fallout related emotion.
While some areas are ideal for exploring on your own, others require co-operation. This can be easy if you have a crew, but otherwise it is difficult to make a real connection in Fallout 76. As mentioned earlier, there is no storyline to follow here, instead you are given instructions in the form of recorded messages from the overseer. These only provide you a way to learn the basics of the game and they don't dwell too deep either, follow this overseers path and you will end up with nuclear weapon. There is no karma meter, or dialogue options, or factions to pledge your allegiance to, all you have to do is survive alone.
It still looks good, though not in any significant way better than the last Fallout. The quality is not close to what we expect of a big game title released this year. In the end, Bethesda's grand plans for the game have failed because of several factors and it is a mere shell of what Fallout was. The game could improve over time but it would be an MMORPG based in the Fallout world and nothing more. Fan or not, we would probably skip Fallout 76, if you need to have it, wait for an inevitable reduction in price before picking it up.
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