Various sources on the internet are scouring to explain what the newest announcement from Bethesda Game Studios means. After a 24 hour stream of nothingness, Fallout 76 was given a very short teaser trailer. Now there are some strong indicators as to what the game might actually be like, though we won’t know for sure until June 10th when Bethesda launches their E3 showcase presentation.
Fallout 76 could very well be something similar to the PC exclusive multiplayer survival game Rust, but surely different in many ways as well. With its own Bethesda flavor, new design decisions, and the overall charm of the Fallout universe, Fallout 76 has the opportunity to be an extremely fun variant on the online survival genre.
One main feature that would be importantly decided upon is how exactly to implement the persistent sandbox world the game will take place in. For example, in games like Rust or H1Z1 players can create and defend bases which remain accessible to other players once they log off. Whether or not these could be destroyed by others when you aren’t even at your game console could lead to very interesting gameplay results.
Many PC games tackled the issue of “grief’ers” to this system by giving players the tools to make their base very hard to ruin. Bethesda could give players a mobile companion app so that they’re alerted when something is going on with their base of operations, or even give them tools to strike back when away from the game. Another option is for them to remove this aspect of the game entirely and instead keep a player’s base off limits through the foundation of the game’s design. For example, if everyone’s base was Vault 76 then anytime you went to the vault it would just be your own vault and not somebody else’s, like how GTA Online handles player bases.
In any event, we will likely see lots of Player Vs Player elements as well as Player Vs Environment scenarios. Sources have said that the game will contain plenty of quests and story-lines still, even though it is not a traditional style and instead introduces a new online survival formula to the franchise.
On the topic of backlash, some gamers are upset that this title is being developed in such a way. I personally believe that there’s definitely room for Bethesda to keep making their single player RPG games every so often while also taking the time to develop fun, and innovative spin-off titles such as Fallout 76. There is a heavy rumor ongoing that they are working on a long-term project still called StarField, which will be their next big franchise. For those who wanted an Elder Scrolls game, Bethesda already said that their ideas for TES VI are so large and ambitious that they’ll need many years and new technologies before the game will be ready. This should be seen as a positive situation since it will bring a true upgrade to the series.
It’s understandable that gamers are very jaded after the behaviors of major game companies, and this move to an online spin-off while waiting for StarField could be seen as a negative thing. However, Bethesda does seem to have the best in mind for their franchises, and if given the chance I believe they will be able to please all sides of their audience. They are taking the time to expertly craft their games still, and they’re providing a lot of content at a fair price too. We should hope for the best and of course be prepared for the worst, but it seems Bethesda wants to be different from other major game companies right now. Fallout 76 should be a new and fun take on the online survival genre and bring a certain thrill that has been mainly only seen on PC to the PS4 and Xbox for the first time as well.