A BRAVE NEW ENTERPRISE FOR BETHESDA
”About four years Ago we hit upon An idea that was perfect for fallout,” recalls bethesda director And executive producer todd howard. “It was an idea that we just couldn’t shake; we knew we had to do it, and we had to do it in a big way.”
Howard is referring to Fallout 76, a bold new initiative from Bethesda Game Studios that’s left us reeling.
The idea, as he tells it, was to build a Fallout experience around three concepts: it had to be open world; it had to be pinned around survival; it had to be populated by real characters. It’s that last one that’s ushering in change. It isn’t about making the NPCS of the world feel more real – this isn’t about the progression of artificial intelligence and animation – it’s about Bethesda pushing into a new area with a franchise that has a long history of risk taking and evolution. “We have always wanted to tell the story of what it would be like for the first characters that leave the vaults,” Howard continues on. “But there is one big difference with this game. Each of these characters is a real person because, yes, Fallout 76 is entirely online.”
That’s right. Fallout 76 is a spin-off taking aim at the burgeoning online survival genre. Much like Rust and Conan Exiles, it’s a game with crafting, exploration and emergent player experience at the core of it. Only, being that this is a Bethesda game, Fallout 76 will also feature a heavier emphasis on storytelling and quest lines than perhaps any of its closest competitors. “You’ll be who you want to be; exploring a huge world, doing quests, experiencing a story and levelling up. We love those things about our games as well and we would not have it any other way. But like so many of you we have always wanted to see what our style of game would be like in multiplayer. So, lots of us talk about the experiences that we have in our games but we’ve never experienced them together.”
Fallout 76 is going to change all of that then. It’s a prequel to all of the other games in the series, casting 10 you as a vault dweller charged with rebuilding America after the fallout settles, emerging from the underground 25 years after the bombs fell. Bethesda is whisking us away to West Virginia, to an open world four times the size of Fallout 4’s by Bethesda’s own estimation.
It’s here where you and a dozen other real players will have the opportunity to work, explore and fight alongside (or against) one another to lay the foundations for the bright future of America.
Bethesda has put considerable time and resources into refining and expanding upon the crafting systems introduced in Fallout 4, and we are going to see the result of that iteration here. If crafting isn’t of interest to you, that’s okay – leave it to your friends. If you’re looking to explore the wasteland, Howard promises that West Virginia will be the most beautiful landscape from the studio yet. “We always start with the world, and this time it features all new rendering, lighting and landscape technology. It allows us to have sixteen times the detail and even view distant weather systems across the maps.”
And if you’re into combat, there will be plenty to hold your interest here too. While all NPCS have been stripped out of the game – every human character you meet will be another real player – there will still be an array of mutants, monsters and weird anomalies to do battle with. Bethesda has confirmed that, due to the online-only nature of the experience, traditional V.A.T.S. is out, although it is currently adapting the system to work in real-time. Howard has also promised this will be a “softcore” take on the survival genre, promising that “death never means the loss of progression or the loss of your character.”
Fallout 76 is ambitious and divisive by its very nature.
It’s exactly the type of experience we want to see
Bethesda pushing itself to explore and the type of space we are eager to see a big development team experiment on. Fallout 76 isn’t traditionally what we’d expect from Bethesda but that’s okay. It’s about time we saw some risk taking in the wasteland.
“FALLOUT 76 IS A PREQUEL TO ALL OF THE OTHER GAMES AND IT’S
OUR BIGGEST ONE YET, FOUR TIMES THE SIZE OF FALLOUT 4.” TODD HOWARD, GAME DIRECTOR, BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS
Fallout 76 is launching this november, but the studio does plan on running a beta ahead of that. server problems and bugs come with the territory with this type of experience, and bethesda wants to get on top of them as fast as it can