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Fallout 76 is an action role-playing video-game and is one of the most anticipated releases of 2018. The Fallout series has always been one of the most popular titles on all major platforms and Fallout 76 has been highly anticipated.

Fallout 76 was announced on May 30th, 2018, by Bethesda Studios, and published by Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda is best known for The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, and their Fallout franchise. The product officially went into its open beta phase on the October 23rd 2018 for Xbox, and October 30th 2018 for PS4. The open beta phase was due to Fallout 76 being Bethesda’s first online related product. The official release date, to the general public, was on the 14th of November 2018. The product is available on Windows (PC), PlayStation 4 (compatible with PS4 Pro), and Xbox One, with no word about Steam platform compatibility.

Gameplay and Features

Fallout 76 is a prequel to previous Fallout product, Fallout 4. It is set in an alternate type of futuristic world, taking place in the year 2102, 25 years after a nuclear war scorched the planet. The player’s character is a resident of Vault 76 (the namesake in the series), which is a fallout shelter that was built in West Virginia to provide protection to America’s best and most intellectual minds. Your avatar exits the vault on “Reclamation Day”, which is a part of a plan to re-colonise the left-over Wasteland.

The fictional story has a new take on things, as it moves away from the traditional single-player mode. As the 9th edition in the series, Fallout 76 is unlike other titles in the line-up, as none of them supported an online multi-player experience. This new iteration fixes that, taking the entire story online. Other important changes include enhanced graphics, suitable for 4K resolution screens, and the video-game being, overall, more “life-like”.

The play experience itself is eye-candy, as the graphics are breath-taking. The stunning views of the nuclear wasteland of West Virginia are immersive, to say the least. The monsters and creatures have accurate detail, with all the components bringing the screen to life. The ‘Hunger’ and ‘Thirst’ bars for your avatar bring a sense of realism to the future world, along with more immersive gameplay, as it pulls you further in with various tasks, such as crafting, cooking, hunting, and even sleeping.

The gameplay starts out with your character, known as your “avatar”. On this screen, you customise your avatar’s appearance, which you can also edit during any time while playing. From here, you progress in into the story. Since the story features multiplayer, you do not interact with any computer-generated characters, but with actual people. According to Bethesda, each server houses 24 players, hence the likelihood of bumping into hundreds of strangers is inevitable.

Fallout 76 uses an updated version of Bethesda’s Creation Engine, which was designed to accommodate multiplayer. Work on modifying the engine was carried out by Bethesda Studios Austin. This modified engine also allows the development team to incorporate new lighting modes, rendering processes and more accurate terrain mapping. These allowed the development team to create a world with sixteen times more detail than was possible with previous iterations of the Creation Engine. The storyline also includes a dynamic weather system that allows for contained climatic conditions and greater draw distances mean that these weather events can be observed by the player from a distance.

With Fallout 76 only having public servers available currently, director Todd Howard has revealed plans for private servers to be introduced soon after the title’s initial launch. These private servers will grant players the ability to invite their friends to play and would help to prevent griefing (an act of a player in a multiplayer narrative who deliberately irritates and harasses other players) or trolling from affecting a player’s experience. However, the alternate world does have a feature to “punish” players who do this. Basically, if a player goes up to another and starts attacking them, but they do not attack back, it is declared as murder. After this, the perpetrator would have been flagged on the map, allowing other players to attack them and earn points from their own personal balance.

The V.A.T.S system (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) is a tool that was introduced in Fallout 3, which allows you to temporarily pause the narrative and target certain locations on an enemy’s body before attacking and will now be used as a real-time system, but still allows you to specify a target on their body. It takes some time getting used to it, but it comes in handy.

The alternate world is an open world that is nearly 4 times the size than that of its predecessor, Fallout 4. The so-called “world” in the story is called “Appalachia”, which is a virtual representation of West Virginia, and has several recreations of locations in the area, such as Camben Park, West Virginia State Capitol, etc. Fallout 76 also has several new mutated monsters, such as Mothman and the Flatwoods monster, which were adapted from West Virginian folklore.

The S.P.E.C.I.A.L progression system has been revised for this version. Attributes regarding the character fall into one of seven categories:

Strength – The strength perk card applies to your character’s physical attributes, such as power in melee and how much the character can carry. This card works mainly with increasing damage output, and carrying more items.

Perception – This applies to your character’s accuracy with weapons in V.A.T.S., and enhances your ability to detect other nearby characters. These cards deal with improving rifle damage, detecting valuables, and picking locks.

Endurance – Endurance refers to your character’s health, resistance to diseases, and the Action Point drain cost while sprinting. These perk cards deal mainly with the ability to maintain hunger and thirst and avoid unwanted nuclear radiation.

Charisma – This perk focuses on group interactions (using the multiplayer functionality), like sharing higher point perks, and potential for better rewards and prices when bartering. These perk cards mostly deal with the improvement of your teammates’ abilities.

Intelligence – Intelligence determines your character’s ability to hack and affects the durability of crafted items and return from scrapping items. Majority of these cards deal with either increasing your ability to craft items, or performance improvement with energy weapons and power armour.

Agility – Agility is the character’s number of Action Points in V.A.T.S. and determines your ability to sneak. These cards focus mainly on your ability to generate action points, sneak, and use smaller weapons.

Luck – This card refers to your character’s “recharge rate of Critical Hits” and the quality of the items you find. These cards can influence everything, and anything, from critical damage, to finding additional items, and getting help from a mysterious friend.

As the individual progresses in the alternate world, they are able to spend skill points that can help boost their attributes on a scale of one to fifteen. Perks are also available, or players can choose inert abilities that offer in-game bonuses. Perks fall into the S.P.E.C.I.A.L categories, appearing as trading cards. Every card has a value, and a player is equipped with perks equal to the card’s respective value. The system’s purpose is to encourage the player to take note of the situation they are in, and utilise perks that can aid them.

Fallout 76 does not feature any non-play characters (NPC’s). Bethesda was required to change their strategy regarding the storytelling, as previous products in the series relied on NPCs to assign quests, engage players in dialogue and advance in the narrative. Instead, Fallout 76 uses a combination of NPCs in the form of robots and recordings, such as collectable holographic tapes, terminals throughout the technological world, and environmental storytelling, where the player uncovers bits of the story by exploring locations and piecing the fragments of the narrative together. Whilst these elements were used previously, they were never used as a mainstream option for the narrative.

The narrative allows a player to create a base, known as a “C.A.M.P” (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform), on any location on the map. These are assigned to your profile, and removed from the virtual world when you are offline, preventing loss of player creations and saved progress. While other players can attack your camp, the video-game will preserve creations in some form to prevent players from restarting if their creations and/or progress is lost.

Players are able to use nuclear weapons, or “nukes”, to reshape the video-gaming world. After you get your hands-on launch codes, you can access missile silos and fire a missile at any point on the map. This will irradiate the area, allowing the player to explore and find rare weapons, gear, and items. Although, this has strings attached, as the blast will also attract powerful enemies.

Fallout 76 also has an Instagram-style photo mode, allowing you to choose from several poses for your character and snap a photo.

Critic Reviews

Reception towards the Fallout 76 has mixed reactions. Majority of users and critics slammed Bethesda for making the product an online exclusive. While the product has numerous flaws, it has a few good perks. The pros of the product are the same as that of previous Fallout products, if you’ve played them. However, this product is not too bad for an entry into the Fallout series.

Online news outlets, such as Forbes, and forums for gamers (pros and average users), have laid out several complaints about the product. Users have reported unexpected crashes, causing you to lose progress. Some have reported the narrative not starting up at all. If you do a simple search online about the product itself, you can keep up-to-date with all the news related to it.

Metacritic users have given the product an average of 3 out of 10, with a meta score of around 50. The highest review was the most positive: “Fallout 76 is Fallout, and it isn’t Fallout at the same time. And for all the hype around the multiplayer, both friend and foe, it seems inconsequential most of the time. Just passer-by’s on the street more often than not, it’s there but it doesn’t matter. It’s a fun video-game, but I don’t think it’s going to be a timeless classic I return to time and time again years from now once I feel I’ve had enough.” – Hooked Gamers.

The lowest being, well, the bluntest of all: “Soulless, Zenimax just wanted to appeal to the large audience possible, and it’s not even a good Rust clone much less a good video-game.”

However, the most interesting statement comes from Forbes, who supports the idea of it having an offline mode, naming the article exactly that: “I’ll Say It Again: ‘Fallout 76’ Needs An Offline Mode”.

The writer goes on further to state how you can only judge the video-game once you have tried it: “I don’t particularly enjoy essentially rewriting an article I’ve already written, as I said this exact thing before Fallout 76 was released. And yet spending a full 24 hours with the video-game (as an in-video-game challenge completion pop-up helpfully told me), I have evolving thoughts on this. Namely, I still very much believe that Fallout 76 needs an offline mode.” Forbes.

Fallout 76 can be downloaded from their official website, and from numerous other application stores, such as the Microsoft Store.

Physical copies are also available, but remember, this will only grant you access to their online platform. This is available worldwide from Amazon.

Bethesda Studios has also released a special edition, which is basically like a Collector’s Edition, and features their Pip Boy on the cover: “Celebrate 300 years of freedom with the new Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition, commemorating the opening of Vault 76. Emerge fully prepared and patriotically styled in the new American frontier. The Tricentennial Edition includes the video-game and bonus in-game digital items: Tricentennial Power Armour (a sub-category of Power Armour Edition) and Weapons Customisation, Spectacularly Handsome Vault Boy Mascot Head, Patriotic Uncle Sam Outfit, Celebratory Vault Boy Saluting Emote, First-Class Tricentennial Workshop Posters and Tricentennial Commemorative Photo Frame!” – Bethesda Studios on the Microsoft Store.

Requirements

Here are the minimum system requirements for consoles or PC.

Xbox One:

  1. Standard Edition: Microsoft Store
  2. Special Edition: Microsoft Store
  3. Operating System: Xbox
  4. Architecture: x64
  5. This application will use around 50GB of your console’s hard drive space.

PlayStation 4:

  1. Standard Edition: PlayStation Store
  2. Special Edition: PlayStation Store
  3. Minimum hard drive space: 44GB

Windows PC:

  1. Bethesda Standard or Deluxe Edition
  2. Requires 64-bit processor and operating system
  3. Operating System: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  4. Processor: Intel Core i5-6600k 3.5 GHz/AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.5 GHz or equivalent
  5. Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB or equivalent
  6. Memory: 8GB RAM
  7. Storage: 60GB of free disk space

Originally written for hotukdeals

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