Opinion: Why you’re really pissed with Fallout 76 and really shouldn’t be

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Marketing issues aside, there’s no reason to be as pissed off with Fallout 76 like you are or is there? See what Dustin has to say on this very matter.

Since the launch of Fallout 76,  Bethesda – even I will admit – has made mistakes with how they’ve handled their game. From bugs, to server issues, to disgruntled fans over the bag shipped with the Power Armor Edition of the game, Fallout 76 has received what seems like little appraise for the ambitious project that was revealed just months before its release during Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference.

Now, here we are just weeks since the release of Fallout 76 and it doesn’t seem that anything is getting any better for Bethesda’s game outside of bad press and even more pissed off-than-before fans than before. But, do you really need to be all that pissed at the game or even let yourself turn red around the neck over a game? No, not really and there’s plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t be pissed in any way about the state of the game.

But if you’re like my David here at Blast Away the Game Review, then maybe you aren’t the happiest with the game but are still holding out; hoping that there is room for improvement.

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The NPC issue is a non-issue and it’s been clarified as to why multiple times

When I talk to people, the first issue I hear about is the NPCs and how none of them are human. After all, we’ve seen human corpses everywhere, albeit green and rotted, but they are everywhere. We’ve even been getting the Overseer’s logs and journals throughout the game. Let alone have we been getting that, we’ve also been getting a lot of content through those who survived the blast in some way or another, but they’re all dead. Every. Single. One of them. Dead.

But after playing the game, I realized that NPCs weren’t the issue to begin with in any form. Sure, we have the robots and they are all depressingly psychotic, but I began to learn that NPCs were a non-issue in many ways and much of it has to do with the story of the Fallout universe in its current state, which seemingly could be retconned at some point or another.

First off, we know NPCs could exist, we’ve been getting plenty about the Firebreathers among others who seek to call West Virginia their slice of the paradise pie. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and we know the story has a lot to do with several factors including radiation, mutated creators, and even a lack of resources to help them stay alive along with the Scorched threat that lurks about the lands.

Secondly, it has only been 25 years since the bombs had fallen, eradicating almost any life that lived on the surface and leaving what didn’t get… Well blown to bits by the blasts; an irradiated mess. As logic would say, this leaves little room for NPCs, humanoids or anything living to really survive without some serious side effects gone awry. Unfortunately, that’s the truth and we’ve seen little life outside of other vault dwellers themselves. That is unless you count the super mutant vendor that walks about with his brahmin not far behind.

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NPCs could be planned for a later update that could reveal the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave

Now one thing is for certain and we should be watching what Bethesda does closely in the upcoming months: NPCs will appear, there is no doubt this will happen at some point or another. We already know that the Brotherhood of Steel has been in touch with – we can assume dead from radiation or other causes – military forces that have established themselves in Appalachia shortly after the bombs had fallen and they’d managed to hunker down for safety.

It’s been hinted at several times before and was even openly retconned by Bethesda themselves on their Instagram account. Because this game does take place a considerable amount of time before Fallout and Fallout 2, we know there’s a ton of room for expansion and growth within the game. This means Bethesda could be planning for NPCs, new weapons, new locales, and even future expansions once they get the game where they want it to be.

We’ve even got a chance to see raiders and the likes begin to appear over the horizon. You as well as myself – know that Bethesda isn’t even remotely done with the game. They’ve already said it’s here to stay and they want it to stay around as long as it can. After all, there are fans that enjoy the game and I’m one of them that will say this: Give it a chance and you’ll see why we’re enjoying it as we are and why we have hopes for expansions and content drops.

The graphics engine isn’t all that bad and you’ve got to realize it’s not just the graphics engine that matters

Once upon a time, I would have agreed that the graphics engine for Fallout 76 could use some polishing on the side, a bit of spit and shine here and there, but I’d be lying to you in recent days. To be honest, I don’t really care about the graphics themselves when I decided to look at the game a bit deeper than before.

Now, you may get pissed when I tell you that the graphics engine itself isn’t actually all that bad all things considered. It’s been considerably upgraded since Fallout 4 thanks to new particle effects, sunshaft lighting, and the way shadow and fog work within the game. To be honest, it’s quite the upgrade when compared to the likes of The Elder Scrolls Online and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.

But what I did realize is something even more noticeable moving forward. Bethesda Game Studios is using the same graphics engine, they are steadily upgrading it piece by piece, but they are also having to make it so that the game engine itself can run without a hitch (for the most part) and provide the experience they want their fans to have.

How can I say this though and what foundation do I have? Look at the game itself. Everything runs in real time. The NPCs, the events, all of it. They are all real-time, which puts pressure on both the graphics engine AND the game engine itself. I’m well aware that games that are more graphically intensive such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does this rather well, but they aren’t accounting for EVERY little NPC. Every little thing in the game from various bugs int he atmosphere to every little particle that processes on or off the screen.

To put it bluntly: There’s a lot going on that you don’t actually see and the graphics engine and game engine are processing that constantly behind the scenes. This little tidbit of food for thought makes the graphics where they are at rather well done and they work for what they are.

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The server and performance issues. Yep, let’s talk about those.

Since the launch of online gaming, we’ve all seen those games that are hit and miss. Some have great servers, others not-so-much while others have managed to balance things out from their previous issues. That’s where Fallout 76 currently stands. It’s standing in a place where Bethesda Game Studios has already admitted they are hard at work on addressing those very problems.

While you may notice, several media outlets have also said that Bethesda has fallen into complete silence about the state of Fallout 76, which if you look into it, is complete rubbish. The team has been pretty active on both the official forums and their official Fallout 76 Subreddit forums. Shocker, I know, but the team has been adamant about getting the game into tip-top shape.

They’ve even addressed a couple of the issues including game stability and performance as noted below in the patch notes themselves:

  • Console: Fixed an issue that could cause the player to encounter an infinite loading screen when signing out of their console account while playing Fallout 76.
  • Xbox: Addressed a crash that could occur when sending multiple team invites immediately after exiting Vault 76 to a player who is not a friend.

Whether you know it or not, these are only small steps to improve the quality of life and bring more stability to the game itself and ensuring fans will enjoy the game as originally intended. Concerned about the damage bugs? Bethesda has addressed that issue as well stating that “the damage bugs are actively being investigated,” which shows they are actively looking at ways to address current problems within the game.

Some of these problems include the Plasma Pistol not hitting its targets, energy weapons feeling underpowered and even the issues regarding the “Salvaged Assaultron Head” bug where it uses all your fusion cells in a single shot. If you’ve been having that bug, just note that Bethesda has already started their investigation into the issue and are actively seeking to patch it when possible.

These are all minor steps to improve the game you’ve been complaining about and their Community Manager(s) have been extremely active reporting those annoying things you’ve been complaining about since the beginning. Your voice is being heard, you just aren’t taking the time to hear them in return.

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But here’s why you’re as angry as you are: it’s not a single player experience

I get it. I wanted Fallout 76 to be an optional online game, something closer to that of titles like Conan Exiles and Ark: Survival Evolved. Neither of those games really have a story. Both of them are about as bare as they come. They’re simply survival games with small tutorials placed like a cherry on top of your hot fudge sundae.

The reality is, that’s exactly what Bethesda did. They created a survival game filled to the brim with newly established lore, a few new songs and an entirely new and gorgeous setting. The only problem? You aren’t happy. You are unhappy because they used the same engine (yet improved upon it a bit) from Fallout 4. You are unhappy because you need something to complain about.

And before you say I’m not a Fallout fan. I beg to differ as someone who has an entire room, desk, and almost wardrobe that is Fallout-themed. Guess what? I like – no. I love the game. To be completely honest. I’m 100+ hours in and I am loving it. I’ve found a ton to do from daily quests to public events to participate in. I’ve constantly found new challenges just over the horizon that constantly push me forward.

But that’s the least of it. I don’t care this one doesn’t have a story. I don’t play Fallout or The Elder Scrolls titles for their story as a primary source of entertainment. What keeps me coming back is the world. Sure, I like playing the stories. I loved Fallout: New Vegas, I loved The Elder Scrolls (all of them), but my first instinct is to explore. I want to enjoy the worlds they built. I want to live in them and that’s exactly what I’ve had a chance to do with Fallout 76. I’m not glued and confined to a conventional story that leaves me hungering for more once the credits begin to roll.

But why your mad is because Fallout 76 is exactly opposite of its predecessors. You want a reason to be mad outside of the marketing issues the game is had. To be honest, stop being mad. Stop giving a reason for us fans to look like entitled little brats. Sure, we’re divided. We’ve all played the game in our very own ways and some of us have decided to quit. It happens. But what if Bethesda actually has phases for this game and they want to see it grow over the next – say – ten years?

That’s a lot of content to enjoy. There’s going to be mods, there’s going to be updated content and I bet you – eventually – we’ll get to see crossplay get enabled. Can you imagine how awesome that will be? I can and I already am imagining that very world whether I play alone or with my friends. Can you guess which one I’ve done the most? I’ll give you a hint. I was alone for almost 80% of my review and around 90% since post-review.

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But your mostly mad because it’s not Fallout 5

Do I need to say more? Well, probably. I know you’re red in the cheeks and you’re going to leave some disgruntled comment on this editorial, but before you do I want you to think about this. What if Fallout 76 is just the starting point for the future of the Fallout franchise? What if it’s a way for them to enable optional cooperative play in future titles?

Sure, they – Bethesda – support singleplayer games. They’re all about it. Look at the awesome singleplayer titles already in the works or have been released just to give you an idea of how much they support singleplayer titles:

  • The Evil Within
  • Wolfenstein
  • DOOM
  • Fallout
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • Starfield
  • Dishonored
  • Prey

If that’s not enough to calm you down a bit, then I don’t know what is. Bethesda knows what they are doing and they’ve done a great job doing it. They’ve managed to bring The Elder Scrolls Online into a beyond playable state with a rather large and active fanbase across three different platforms.

They’re even investing in Nintendo Switch releases to ensure that their fans can enjoy their games. They’re even working hard to ensure you get to play the games you want without all the bugs that most games have seen. They’ve even made it so microtransactions aren’t eating your games alive. They’ve even kept season passes out of some of their latest releases, giving you the option to play the games how you want, when you want and where you want without feeling suffocated by being obligated to purchase DLC for each and every title (here’s looking at you DOOM (2016)).

So what are you really mad about? Nothing. That’s the answer. Nothing. You’re just mad to be mad. You’re mad because you didn’t get the “game that you’ve been waiting for years to play. But rather than being pissed off, disgruntled and inflammatory, why not give critical feedback in a way that is more conducive towards a positive future? I am, so why not you? Think about that for a bit.

Fallout 76 is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Find out today why we scored Fallout 76 at an 8 out of 10 in our review and called the game’s world a “glorified theme park due to how different one zone is from another, each carrying their own designed from fractured buildings to various shifts in the landscape itself.


Editors Note: All views in this article are solely that of the writers and do not reflect Blast Away the Game Review/Blast Away Gaming as a whole. If you have questions or concerns, please read our ethics policy here.


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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