Just when fans think Rick and Morty can't get any more surreal, along comes a three-hour live stream of the characters playing Fallout 76. While Bethesda's game was once shrouded in mystery, Fallout 76 is the franchise's first MMO and a brave Vault-Tec experiment for the company. Ahead of the title's full release, Rick and Morty decided to try it out and pass judgment.
Fallout was going to try the whole multiplayer idea before, but now players can team up or go it alone to take on the horrors of the nuclear wasteland, in a period of time set before the other games in the series. What's more, Bethesda is giving fans the biggest Fallout backdrop ever created in 76. Exploring the game before players get their mutated claws on it is a clever idea, but Bethesda went ahead and followed up the Fallout 76 beta sessions with a bizarre union of Rick and Morty, Fornite legend Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, and American rapper Logic (who appeared in a season 3 episode of Rick and Morty). It made for a strange watch and here's what happened.
Shared live on Twitch and Mixer, the "Rick and Morty do Fallout 76" stream was off to a slow start when it arrived 22 minutes late. Hitting a peak of 32,000 viewers, Rick and Morty trying out Fallout 76 wasn't as thrilling as some gamers might've hoped for. Series co-creator (and voice of both leads) Justin Roiland had a tough job voicing Rick and Morty on the fly, while neither Ninja or Logic had the same comic timing as Rick or Morty. In the end, there was an extended run of awkward silences and three players bumbling around in the wasteland. There was even a period of time early where Logic seemingly wasn't setup and had someone talking to him. At other times, the players were separated and there wasn't much going on - which is a fear the community is raising about the game.
With quips about Morty not being rad enough and Rick already having plenty of diseases, the video started as an improvised version of "Interdimensional Cable." It was up to Roiland to keep the dynamic going and there were mixed results. Roiland was great, especially on the spot, and had some really funny moments even when the gameplay was as dull as ever. Adding to that that recent controversy surrounding Ninja avoiding streaming with women, Bethesda could have a related PR snafu on its hands thanks to Logic's comment about Ninja having "black uncle laugh." The Twitch chat was already largely negative at this point, and this set it over the top. It was even worse than the framerate.
As PR stunts go, combining the fandom of Rick and Morty with a game like Fallout 76 was an interesting idea could've worked so well. There was every opportunity to pay homage to the Mad Max-inspired nuclear wasteland from Season 3's "Rickmancing the Stone," but even Roiland seemed a little out of his depth at times. Aside from the stalled conversation, commenters pointed out Fallout 76's dodgy framerate on the Xbox One and their general boredom from the stream without really getting to explore much of what Fallout 76 is about.
That being said, at least Bethesda tried to stay relevant and combine popular pop culture figures with its latest title. Despite the problems, there was something there for fans of Rick and Morty and those who wanted to get a taste of Fallout 76. Hopefully, Bethesda's outer space Starfield will bring back Roiland for something a little closer to Rick and Morty and choose some different celebrities to play alongside him.
Given Roiland's affinity for games, and his incredible talent with character work, we'd love to see Rick and Morty return to stream all sorts of other games!