In 2008 I was introduced to the Fallout franchise for the first time when Fallout 3 released on the Xbox 360. I had never really played any game like it before but I absolutely loved every minute of it. Stepping out of a vault for the first time, an experience you can never forget, and then forging my way through the Capital Wasteland made for an incredible gaming journey. Fast forward to now and I still have that same passion for the Fallout series. New Vegas was incredible and the fact that you can actually play the casino games is something every game needs in it quite frankly. Fallout 4, while having some missteps in my opinion, is still the best game in the series to date, not to mention the fantastic Far Harbor DLC. Despite my adoration for Fallout games, there was always one black sheep in the family that went unspoken among many in the gaming world...that game being Fallout 76.
Fallout 76 was basically an all-out disaster before the game even launched. When it was announced that the next Fallout game was not the long-awaited Fallout 5 but rather a multiplayer game that essentially looked like Fallout 4 re-skinned, you can imagine not many people were happy. In an instant the Fallout fan base became separated into two categories, the traditionalists like me who only wanted to see single-player story driven games from Fallout, and then people who loved Fallout and also the idea of playing it with their friends. I immediately knew Fallout 76 was not for me, which is fine. Many people, including my good friend Mr. Catelli, were beyond excited when 76 was announced and couldn't wait for the chance to play a Fallout type mmo experience. During the original presentation for the game, Todd Howard himself said that this would not alienate traditional Fallout fans from 76 because you could still go it alone out in Appalachia and have the same lore focused story experience from world exploration. While I was skeptical of how easily a player like me would be able to "go it alone" in a multiplayer focused game, I trusted Mr. Howard. This was my first mistake.
When Fallout 76 actually released we truly got to see firsthand just how much "lore" and "world building" was at play. The answer is almost none. At launch Fallout 76 literally had no NPC's in it, aside from a few robots I believe. The entirety of the story was delivered through holotapes, notes, and computer logs, which isn't uncommon in Fallout I want to be clear, but what is uncommon in Fallout is not having an NPC in your massive open world map. Mr. Catelli played 76 when it came out and for him, someone who also loves Fallout and perfected Fallout 4, the game was a massive disappointment. Over time people forgot about Bethesda's failed Fallout project and moved on to bigger and better games, everyone except for Bethesda that is.
After playing Fallout 76 for the first time in 2021 it has become clear to me that Bethesda is not going to spit on Fallout's legacy and they seem truly committed to making this game reach its full potential! Now that Fallout 76 is on Gamepass, Mr. Catelli and I decided to give it a chance after seeing more news about the game at the recent Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase, which Mr. Catelli also covered here on the site in case you missed the event. We only had the chance to play for about 5 hours in total, but I was actually impressed with everything I saw. When I downloaded the game I literally didn't expect to see a single player considering how horrendous the games reputation had been but the server I was on had more players on it than Kirtonos Alliance in TBC! While of course you had the classic lvl 400 players who have probably been on since day one there were also a lot of new players just like me. This is fantastic for the overall longevity of the game because it creates an environment where new players don't feel like it will be impossible to find groups or people to quest with.
So far I'm impressed with 76, I really am. I truly expected Bethesda to just abandon the game after the early controversies and drama. It makes me happy to say that I'm glad they stuck with it. I plan on discussing my thoughts regarding the mechanics and first few hours of the game much more in-depth in an upcoming article so if you're interested in Fallout 76 make sure to keep an eye out for that. Additionally, both Mr. Catelli and I plan on playing much more Fallout 76 in general, so I wouldn't be surprised to see several articles on the game coming soon.