If you’re not sure what Fallout 76 is, you’re not alone, as apparently developer Bethesda doesn’t know either. Fans were thrown for a loop when Bethesda first announced that the next installment in the Fallout franchise would be entirely online. It was a big change from previous installments, which have been single-player action-RPGs. Such a drastic departure left players worried that Fallout 76 was setting a new standard for the series. Because this is new territory for Fallout, neither the fans nor the developer are sure what to make of the game.
What is known about Fallout 76 is that players will be returning to the apocalyptic landscape they’ve come to know, but on a much larger scale. The game is a prequel, bringing gamers closer than ever to the nuclear war that brought about the world they now traverse. The switch to online multiplayer has opened up a host of new problems for Bethesda to tackle, namely the issue of griefing. The addition of useable nukes threatens to complicate matters since it is inevitable someone will attempt to use their newfound power to mess with other players. But Bethesda has taken steps to curb the potential abuse before it begins.
Bethesda posted a letter on their site to thank the fans and prepare players for the B.E.T.A. (which started October 23). Bethesda addressed the confusion both the developer and gamers have had regarding the switch to online multiplayer, repeatedly asking “What, exactly, is this?” It doesn’t look like Bethesda has an answer and is instead putting much of the game’s future into the hands of players, telling them, “That’s up to you.” Bethesda will be leaning heavily on player input to make their foray into online gaming a success, warning fans that the game still needs a lot of work, writing:
“Given what we’re doing with 76, we know we’re opening everyone up to all new spectacular issues none of us have encountered. Some we’re aware of, such as areas where performance needs to improve with lots of players. Others, we surely don’t. We need your help finding them, and advice on what’s important to fix. We’ll address all of it, now and after launch.”
Bethesda could be trying to lower player expectations. Early previews for the game left Fallout 76 reviewers concerned. The game was said to feel “empty and lonely,” with complaints about the graphics and the shooting system. Bethesda appears to be trying to prep players for a game with numerous issues that still needs to be smoothed out. But the problems will be addressed.
Hearing a developer warning about a buggy game can be a little disheartening, especially with the official launch just weeks away. But the act speaks to the company’s transparency. So far Bethesda has been hard at work trying to prepare for Fallout’s entry to online gaming. While there are plenty of problems, it sounds like the developer is eager for feedback. Hopefully Bethesda will use what they learn to adjust and improve Fallout 76 in the near future, if not before launch, making it another worthy addition to the series.
- Fallout 76 (2018 Video Game) release date: Nov 14, 2018