Up and atom in the mul­ti­player apoca­lypse

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENT -

Fi­nally it’s time to leave the vault and pop­u­late the waste­lands of Bethesda’s post-apoc­a­lyp­tic MMORPG, but we have some con­cerns. First, is 25 years re­ally long enough for the nuked, ir­ra­di­ated world to be hab­it­able? And, mainly, are we re­ally go­ing to al­low other gamers to tram­ple over our pre­cious Fall­out ex­pe­ri­ence? As we start play­ing one thing’s clear: the game mostly looks and plays like Fall­out 4, ex­cept for there be­ing other play­ers milling around. You start in a group of four, in in­stances of up to 24, but if you pre­fer solo play you can go off on your own at any time. There are no hu­man NPCs – the idea is that you are the first hu­mans back out on the sur­face, and mis­sions are ac­quired through in­ter­act­ing with the world (holotapes, ro­bots, and so on) while ev­ery hu­man you fight or trade with is a real per­son, fresh out of the vault.

We still find plenty of mu­tated crea­tures, ghouls, and other fa­mil­iar foes, and run­ning squad skir­mishes with su­per-mu­tants is a new but log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. You can swap out ac­quired Perks at any time, to bal­ance squad strengths. Aside from mis­sions, there are spo­radic events; we fight a Scorch Beast – a mas­sive dragon – that is way too high a level for us. If you thought Death­claws were bru­tal, these things are ter­ri­fy­ing. The VATS tar­get­ing sys­tem re­turns, but in real time. It’s trick­ier too, and will re­quire Perks and prac­tice to make it op­ti­mal.

The map is huge, four times the size of Fall­out 4. We find a wa­ter park, ex­plore a mine, fight ghouls on a golf course, and blow up a mu­tated bear in a garage. We also pick up mu­ta­tions of our own. Along­side ra­di­a­tion dam­age, you have a ran­dom chance of chang­ing. Hav­ing de­lib­er­ately poked around in ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial, one of our group de­vel­ops the Mar­su­pial mu­ta­tion, al­low­ing him to leap like a kan­ga­roo.


PvP is also a big part of Fall­out 76, but the devs have gone all-out to en­sure griefers won’t ruin your game. Kill an­other player who’s not fight­ing back and you be­come a mur­derer, with a bounty (from your own caps) for other play­ers to claim, and your weapons re­ceive a de­buff. It’s a great bit of game de­sign that pun­ishes while pro­vid­ing a dra­matic waste­land event. Or, if you pre­fer, a ‘paci­fist flag’ will turn off all hu­man dam­age.

De­spite the mul­ti­player an­gle, the sin­gle-player prom­ises to be just as grat­i­fy­ing as the pre­vi­ous games, with Bethesda con­firm­ing to OPM that there are hun­dreds of hours’ worth of quests out­side of the main path. Enough to keep even the most ra­bid Fall­out fan as happy as a bloat­fly in ra­dioac­tive muck.


Top The VATS sys­tem is back but now plays in real time to ac­co­mo­date the on­line co-op di­rec­tion of Fall­out 76.

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