Breakdown of Fallout 76

I know I promised an article on Fallout 76 when I wrote that Bethesda conference article, and here it is, finally. “What took you so long?” I’ve been busy, and Preston Garvey keeps bothering me with more settlements… Onto the main story though, you’re here for Fallout 76. What do we know about it? What are the specifics? Let’s start at the beginning.

Story

From what we were told at the conference, you start out in Vault 76, a vault built in 2076 to celebrate America’s tercentenary, or tricentennial anniversary. Vault 76 is a control vault, so instead of having an evil dictator for a leader, or having their citizens subjected to chemical testing, you live a normal life. You are trained in the skills you need to rebuild society after the bombs fall. The bombs fall, and in 2102 you emerge from the vault on Reclamation Day, but it looks like the vault is empty except for you, and a voice that is The Overseer.

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Reclamation Day is here!

Setting

Stepping out of the vault, Pip-Boy 2000 strapped to your arm, you see the sprawling landscape of West Virginia, and a whole new Wasteland awaits.

fallout 76 wasteland
View from the top, outside of Vault 76

New creatures based out of West Virginian legends, like The Mothman and the Beast of Grafton, come to life and evoke a whole new set of challenges than in previous games. Not only that, but you will be able to explore (most of) the map of the actual West Virginia, as it is four times bigger than the map for Fallout 4. There is a lot to explore in this one, personally I’m excited for it. You can see distant weather systems, giving you warnings of where not to go so you don’t get caught in a radiated rain storm. In the endgame the map can change too, but more on that later.

Gameplay

First things first- yes, it is an online game. Yes, you can play it solo, without interacting with other people. Towards the end game, this will probably become more and more difficult, but not impossible. This seems like it is going to be built like an MMO, and in my experience with MMOs, you can grind the whole game solo (minus dungeons and raids), it is just very difficult. I’ve done it on a few different ones and had a blast doing it, I enjoy the challenge.

Todd Howard said in the conference that “every character will be a real person”, that we will choose the heroes and villains. You can be attacked by other players in the game PvP-style. From the gameplay footage that they showed, it looks like you earn caps when you kill them, almost like a bounty system. You can go around and play the game like a renegade, killing and stealing to make your living as a “villain”. Or you can take on quests, explore, and make your living as a “hero”. You can also team up with up to three other people and take on more challenging quests, like killing a Legendary monster to get rare loot, or exploring challenging areas.

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Look at all of that power armor

I want to team up with some of the people here in SSG, that would be a blast. I also want to play music in the game- yes, you read that right, you can play music in the game. As a musician, I like this.

Now, remember settlement building in Fallout 4? It was very unpolished in my opinion. Short of serving as a way to customize somewhere that you like to hoard all of your stuff (Red Rocket station was mine), and keeping the people that you saved with the Minutemen protected- “Another settlement needs your help!” Shush Garvey, I’m working! Sorry, he loves doing that. Anyways, I didn’t like the settlement building in Fallout 4 as I thought that it served no practical purpose for me in my exploration. Well, C.A.M.P. seeks to change that.

camp system
The C.A.M.P. system

C.A.M.P.s, or Construction and Assembly Mobile Platforms, allow you to build a settlement (almost) anywhere you want. Find a good vantage point across a heavy traffic area? Build there. Do you like the views across that valley? Build there. Want to protect your pet boulder? Build there too, why not. You can build anywhere, it’s just up to your imagination. Build a base that you will want to call home. Be careful though, you will get raided by creatures and maybe even other players, so make sure to protect your home with ordnance, and keeping a watchful eye.

Now for the fun part- endgame. There will be active missile silos hidden throughout West Virginia, thanks to the government secrets hidden there.

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane! No son, that’s a missile, duck and cover!

Now not anyone can just walk up to one and fire it off, you need the code. Here’s the catch: the code is broken up into pieces. Each piece has a pair of two characters and tells you which silo that it goes to. They’re all scattered randomly throughout the map, and you have to have the full code for that silo in order to launch the missiles. Once you get the pieces and put them into the control console, you can pick your target. Will you take revenge on that guy who killed you that one time and destroy his base? Or will you nuke an uninhabited area, creating a new wilderness for you and your friends to explore? The choice is yours, but wherever you launch that nuke, the area it hits will be changed, creating a new area with enhanced creatures to kill and new resources to collect. I’m up for the challenge, plus I’m not the kind of guy to destroy another player’s hard work on their base.

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The landscape is bathed in radiation, have fun and don’t die!

Music

The old music we come to love from the Fallout series is back, with old favorites returning, and new ones coming in (Country Roads, yes). This is one of my favorite parts of the Fallout franchise because I love the older music. I hope with them bringing the game to a more rural part of the country that they bring in more folk music as well. I think Silver would agree with me on that one.

Collector’s Edition

Now we know Bethesda loves to go over the top with their Fallout collector’s editions, and this one is no exception. Unlike the Pip-Boy, you don’t have to have an iPhone to use it. Introducing, the Power Armor Edition.

It comes with a wearable T-51 Power Armor helmet, complete with headlamp and voice modulator, and its own carrying bag embroidered with the manufacturer of the helmet in a Vault-Tec style font and bordering.

fallout 76 helmet.jpg
You can wear it, yes please

It comes with a map, that glows in the dark. That map makes me want a table that has glass on the top so I can stick it under that, then draw on the glass with dry-erase markers as I play the game, day or night.

fallout 76 map.png
It glows in the dark, yes it does

It comes with 24 collectible figurines that you can use on the map. This will be useful when you wanna play strategist and plan out what steps you would take on certain scenarios, or even if you want to make a DnD-style campaign in the Fallout universe. That would be really fun actually, I should make some notes on that later.

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DnD miniatures anyone?

It comes with a steelbook case for the game (I really like steelbooks, they just look so nice). I’m excited for this game, and this collector’s edition. They are doing a B.E.T.A., Break-it Early Test Application, and if you pre-order any edition of the game, you get access.

My verdict on this game is as follows from what we have seen so far. If you like MMOs, you’ll like this game. If you like the Fallout universe, you’ll like this game, if only for the story and lore more than the gameplay. If you’re on the fence, give it a try before you buy it. I hope you look at it with an open mind and give it a try. As for me, I hope to see you in the game and that we can go on some adventures together.

If you want to keep up on all of the latest Fallout 76 updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and watch us live on Twitch when the game comes out on November 14th, we will be streaming it.

-V

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