Eagle-eyed gamers have spotted that Bethesda teased the arrival of Fallout 76 way back at the start of Fallout 4 in 2015. While an online addition to Fallout has been teased since the early '00s, it sounds like Fallout 76's origins came long before the game's official announcement at this year's E3 Expo.
There will be plenty that is new in the franchise's first MMO, but Fallout 76 will still be a Fallout game at heart, through the use of Pip-Boy, the V.A.T.S. system, and the general backdrop of the dangerous Wasteland. Although fans already know that Fallout 76 will be set before the main events of Fallout 4, the control vault was hidden in the background of Fallout 4's opening on the day the bombs dropped in 2077.
Highlighted by a recent Reddit post, players are reminded that Fallout 4 opened with the Sole Survivor picking their gender and appearance. After this, there was then a brief chance to explore the Sole Survivor's home before all hell broke loose. Instead of exploring the baby's crib or chatting to Codsworth, some picked up on the TV playing in the background. The footage has reemerged online and teases the following:
"Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honor of America's Tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country."
Ironically, Fallout 4 wasn't the only time Vault 76 has had a mention over the history of series. Fallout 76's jumping off point was mentioned on a computer terminal in Fallout 3's Citadel and can also be found in an alien log from the Mothership Zeta add-on. Vault 76 has clearly been in the heads of Fallout developers for a long time, so let's hope it can live up to the prestigious honor of being the first vault that opened into the world of nuclear destruction. Fans still don't know why Vault 76 opens on Reclamation Day - five years after it was supposed to - but with Fallout 76 heading into its Xbox beta testing phase in the near future, there isn't long to wait.
Bethesda boss Todd Howard has already teased that Fallout 76 could get standard single player options in the future, but it will be entirely different from its predecessors at the start. For those who don't know, Fallout 76 is actually built on Bethesda's abandoned plans for a Fallout 4 multiplayer option, so it makes sense that the two games be closely linked. That being said, with the company planning their games years and years in advance, it begs the question of what came first, Fallout 4 or Fallout 76?
Swapping out DLCs for a (nearly) totally PvP experience with a focus on teamwork, Fallout 76 promises to chart new territory in this prequel to the rest of the games. Being set before all the other Fallout games, it will be interesting to see what Easter eggs Bethesda includes that hint towards the other titles. Either way, the tease of Fallout 76 before Fallout 4 even hit shelves shows that developers have been tinkering away in Vault 76 for quite some time.