When Fallout 4 was released in 2015, I decided to buy pre-order games. And he faithfully followed this principle until the Fallout 76 announcement at E3. Even then, the headline for this review began to ripen in my mind, and, I must say, after the beta test and the release of the game, it did not change for the better. We have a very stingy, loaded-up and unbalanced multiplayer mod for Fallout 4, which is sold at the price of a full-fledged game.
I will not shed tears through the isometric Fallout, which was buried by Bethesda with the release of Fallout 3. This Fallout in 3D was playable (especially New Vegas), interesting in its own way, even if it wasn’t that. But by the fourth part number, he began to decompose, and the audience began to suspect something. A large gaming company saw a special development path for the cult series and moved in this direction, adjusting to the trends of time and trends in the video game market, simplifying everything that can be simplified. There was only one step left. Bethesda turned out to be more merciful than Blizzard, and made it in the direction of online, rather than a mobile platform (yes, I’m aware of Shelter, but this is different).
Today, after all, it is fashionable to create game services, with built-in virtual stores, where people could spend very real money, spending weeks and months in the game, consuming content, carefully supplied from the developer conveyor. Crafting, construction, survival in the post-apocalyptic world, microtransactions. All of these are elements of the now popular online survivors that have been in early access for years. Fallout 76 differs from them only in the legendary past. These are disappointing conclusions, which I wanted to tell at the very beginning.
Wasteland in your heads
Events in Fallout 76 unfold only 20 years after the whole world drowned in a nuclear frenzy. We take on the role of Resident 76, who wakes up on a Steel Maze Day and can go out into the open world of West Virginia to enjoy the fresh air, picturesque scenery, and the ongoing process of collecting trash from nearby shanties and dead enemies.
It should be noted that landscapes are one of the few advantages that Fallout 76 can boast of. In contrast to the previous parts of the series, the hilly edges of West Virginia do not turn the language to be called wasteland. The artists of the environment tried to fill the map with the maximum number of objects that can be studied and rounded.
In these decorations of devastation and decay, we are offered to go through the main quest line, which begins with learning the basics of survival in Fallout 76. We must learn to cook our own food, make and repair armor and weapons, build housing, finding out what happened to all who inhabited this area. They faced a mysterious epidemic that turned ordinary people into “burnt ones”. This is a cross between wild and intelligent ghouls, known to us from the last parts of Fallout. In short, “burnt” – stupid, but they know how to handle weapons and shoot straight. Unfortunately, at the time of our awakening, apart from them and hostile super mutants from the living, only protectrons and monsters disfigured by radiation remained on the map of West Virginia.
No live NPCs to interact with were added to the game. Instead, the plot is presented through dozens of lines of text in the terminals, as well as notes and voices of the dead. And this horror is so boring. Do not think, I love to read: I read all the options in the DivinityL Original Sin 2 dialog box. But in Fallout 76 this is just the text you need to read in order to run to another point to another terminal and read again. No staged cut scenes, conversations and emotions – just a dry text, written not the most outstanding artistic style.
Corresponding to the submission of the plot and the quest tasks themselves, which consist in finding objects, clearing the area and crafting various household items. Perhaps the online game can even be forgiven. But the game from the Fallout series … Remember how in the fourth part of the developers they scolded you for cropped answers in dialogs? In Fallout 76, the creators went further and these dialogs were generally removed. What then remains of the RPG-component of the project?
And I told him in the face with a kettle
The system of pumping is a lithoks with cards. Luthboxes, Carl! Thank you for not selling them through the store for real money at the start. But given their obvious Luthcox origin, in the future the game is not immune from this.
Every Lutbox gamer gets on reaching a new character level. It contains several cards with perks related to strength, dexterity, perception, and other familiar categories of the SPECIAL system. Cards with skills drop randomly.
This may be a modifier that increases the effectiveness of satisfying hunger or restoring health with stimulants. The number of cards that a player can apply to his character is limited by the number of points in a certain category. Pumping the character as you want from the very beginning, in fact, impossible. And it is a little sad.
Annoying and combat system. Not only that since the time of Fallout 4, shooting has not become more convenient, and the game online leaves its mark. It happens that the system simply does not count the hit in the enemy. And the animation of the enemies and their stupid nature lead to the fact that it is often easier to deal with them with a zinc tube in the melee.
As for weapons, then, as in the previous parts, we have ample opportunities for its repair and improvement. To do this, you need to disassemble all sorts of rubbish, abundantly scattered around the locations, as well as pick up the guns of killed enemies. After 20 minutes of active play, so much useless loot accumulates in the pockets of the character that you are no longer able to move around the map normally. That is why it is often necessary to look for a machine on which all this can be disassembled in order to be used for a good cause. Naturally, such regular stops for picking up trash does not contribute to the overall perception of the plot and immersion in the atmosphere of West Virginia.
Apartment for the parasite
In addition, care requires not only armor and weapons, but also a game protagonist. He wants to eat and drink regularly. From bad foods, he may have parasites, which is why he will only want to be stronger. And therefore, you always need to have with you a stock of fried dogs or rats, and also do not forget to boil water and search the lockers in search of something useful.
When there is a lot of trash, you can start building your own blackjack panel and windows. For the first time, most of the drawings are blocked, so you will have to restrict yourself to the floor and four walls. You can put them on the outskirts of gaming points of interest. But if, by entering the game on a new server, it turns out that in this place there is another player’s shack, the camp will need to be moved.
Given the weak storyline support, Bethesda believes that the pursuit of a three-story mansion of its own, as well as interaction in multiplayer with other gamers, should become the main motivation to return to Fallout 76 servers again and again.
But why should I cooperate with other players? A joint settlement in Fallout 76 cannot be built yet. It remains only to go through the story missions with friends and search for codes in order to launch a nuclear attack on a specific location, and then collect high-level loot from it.
It would seem that in an open online world based on post-apocalypse, gamers should be wild ghouls to each other. But Bethesda deliberately minimized PvP. The lost player loses nothing but garbage, and the aggressor does not receive a decent reward and becomes an easy target for the rest of the players on the server.
The rest of the multiplayer nature of the project give out only the constant sounds of shots and explosions at points of interest on the map. Accidental meetings on the road do not lead to convivial relationships with strangers. In many ways, because the interests of the multi-level characters, especially in the first few tens of hours of the game, do not overlap.
The developers didn’t bother much about creating Fallout 76 from scratch. The game is built on the engine, which was used for Fallout 4, and is filled with assets, models of enemies, weapons and items from the last part. All this is glued hastily, replete with bugs and looks coarse.
Three years have passed since the release of Fallout 4. As a result, it is not entirely clear what the creators of Fallout 76 were doing all this time, if the vast majority of the mechanics and elements of the game remained unchanged. After the time spent online, there is a feeling that you were cheated: at the cost of a full-fledged AAA release, you got access to the raw fashion for Fallout 4.
It remains to hope that the money donated by Bethesda will be used to create new singles like Doom or Wolfenstein. But little hope, because for any product there is a merchant. And the abundance of players on the Fallout 76 servers is a clear confirmation of this.