The Fallout series has been a mainstay in the landscape of games since 1997, when the first Fallout was released by Interplay. Now, four games and two spin offs later, we’re on the verge of the next installment of the series: Fallout 76. The new spin-off comes at a time when love for Fallout has never been higher, and to say it is ambitious would be an understatement.
The setting isn’t hugely different from some of the other games; acting as a prequel to the other Fallouts, it is set in the year 2102, 25 years after the nuclear war which ended life as we know it. The main character is a resident of Vault 76, a shelter build in West Virginia to house America’s best, and apparently, brightest minds. We’re pushed into the world on ‘Reclamation Day’, where humans begin to re-colonize the Wasteland that is America’s new reality.
The first, and possibly most drastic, change in Fallout 76 is that, for the first time, the main game will be an online co-op set up, with up to four players in a party. This isn’t only big because it’s Fallout’s first foray into online multiplayer gaming, but it is also Bethesda’s. Not only have they shifted the whole focus to an online cooperative, they’ve also cut all Human non-playing characters (NPCs). So all interaction with other humans will be with other players- for better or worse! There are rumors that they’ve chosen instead to shift the story forward using robots and holotapes, as they’ve done in previous games, but this remains to be seen. Todd Howard, the game’s director, has also said that there will be dedicated servers for players, to which they’ll be automatically added, but that a short while after release, private servers will be introduced to try and reduce annoying interactions (for those who want to pay more, obviously).
The next thing we know is the map is going to be truly massive- it’s been reported in Digital Trends that the map will be up to four times larger than the previous Fallout’s map. Based on the state of West Virginia, the area has been dubbed Appalachia. They’ve stuck close with this theme, including areas such as the West Virginia State Capitol, Woodburn Circle, Camden Park and The Greenbrier. Even the monsters which are out to kill you are based off of local folklore, including the Mothman and the Flatwoods monster, which, depending on how closely they stick to the folklore, could end up being a 10-foot tall humanoid figure, with a hoodlike shape around the face and glowing eyes.
Next up, PC Gamer reported that your player, when at a sufficient level, will have access to nuclear weapons, which you can actually use to both shape the land around you and kill other players. As a side effect, it’ll also irradiate an area, meaning you’re free to explore to have a greater chance of finding rare weapons, items and gear. However, it warns, it could attract extremely powerful enemies.
All being said, and despite Bethesda’s warnings that there is the potential for some ‘spectacular’ bugs when first released, I think it’s safe for us to say the prospect of a new Fallout game has us all very excited here at NETGEAR.