WELCOME TO WEST VIRGINIA!
*MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY IRRADIATED*
The game that has been completely consuming my soul for the past month and a bit is Fallout 76. Don’t believe the rampant negativity online! While it is not without its faults game is actually quite solid. The main story of the game is enjoyable and it’s varying side-quests are consistently stimulating. I’m currently at Level 50 and there is no sign of monotony present in the game, so I think its safe to say that I’ll reach Level 100 without any boredom creeping in. I play the game frequently with my fiancé and a friend of ours that we met online. We’ve all been exploring the rugged Appalachia in our own ways, all while fighting off grotesque Grafton Monsters and Ferals and Scorchbeasts. Oh my!
I first delved into the harsh wasteland of Appalachia back in October when B.E.T.A. access was given to those who pre-ordered the game. The B.E.T.A. was buggy as hell, sure, but it was decent enough to keep me coming back for more. Visually speaking, Fallout 76 immediately surpassed its predecessor, Fallout 4, by a longshot. No, I’m not talking about the quality of the graphics, but the setting! There’s something special about Appalachia, like that John Denver song in the Fallout 76 trailer says, “Almost heaven, West Virginia. Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze…”
There is a vibrancy and lush beauty in Fallout 76 that was not present in any of the previous games. The West Virginian terrain brought about a much livelier and more compelling playground than the Commonwealth of Fallout 4 or even the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3. What also sets Fallout 76 apart from previous Fallout games is the implementation of online play with other players.
IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE…
I began my journey in Appalachia in the same way as the other games in the series – a lone wanderer. Eventually, my fiancé picked up a copy of the game and so did a friend of ours that we game with frequently online. Together we started exploring, lock-picking, sneaking, hacking, looting and shooting, and looting some more. The game’s online functionality was something that I was initially quite skeptical of, considering none of the previous games had an online element to the gameplay. After wandering the Appalachian wasteland with my friends, however, I realized how well Bethesda implemented online play. Being on a team doesn’t restrict your movements or your decisions in the wasteland. In fact, many times we’ll all play the game together, but on different parts of the map.
I might be fighting an irradiated Wendigo in the North-East section of the map, while my fiancé might be constructing new parts of her C.A.M.P. near the middle of the map, while our friend is removing toxic waste barrels from a lake up North! Of course, we all start a voice-chat party before the game gets going so if one of us is getting too overwhelmed by Super Mutants or Ferals or whatever, that person can simply ask for help. One fast-travel later and BOOM! Fallout squad is reunited!
WHAT SAY YOU, CITIZEN?
If you haven’t tried Fallout 76, I would certainly suggest it. It’s an online game where most of the players, being Fallout fans, are contented walking through the waste alone. Occasionally they are willing to trade with you or aid you in a battle with a Scorchbeast, or sometimes they just stop and say hi. It’s not a highly competitive game, pitting you against another player and it’s a game that does not promote griefing either. Fallout 76, generally speaking, is pretty laid back. Most of the other Vault Dwellers out there just want to experience Appalchia in the same way that you do. Maybe they’re taking study breaks too.