Truly un­ac­cept­able of­fer­ing from Fall­out team

Fingal Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

It is hon­estly as­ton­ish­ing how the mak­ers of such a re­spected fran­chise have al­lowed their work to slowly slip into the realms of te­dium.

Fall­out 76 is baf­fling in its ut­ter lack of di­re­ce­tion and jar­ring de­par­ture from the well-trod­den tropes that have de­fined the Fall­out se­ries to date.

What is im­me­di­ately no­tice­able about Fall­out 76 is that it is clearly graph­i­cally dis­tinct from the other en­tries in the se­ries. The light­ing is more dif­fuse and the over­all art di­rec­tion softer, which is ac­tu­ally a rather wel­come de­par­ture to the harsh hues and sharp lines of the pre­vi­ous ti­tles.

Nev­er­the­less, the pal­lette of greys, greens and pas­tels wear thin af­ter a while, ul­ti­mately re­in­forc­ing fur­ther the idea that Fall­out 76 is just a lit­tle bit lack­lus­tre and un­in­ter­est­ing. The main crit­i­cism – and hon­estly the only one that re­ally mat­ters as it truly un­der­mines the con­cept of an RPG game – is that the world feels vast, life­less and de­void of any im­pe­tus to ac­tu­ally ex­plore be­yond an un­abat­ing stream of fetch quests. Other than the 20-odd play­ers spread point­lessly and thinly across the al­to­gether too-large map, your only in­ter­ac­tion with any­thing mean­ing­ful will be the en­e­mies you slaugh­ter and a smat­ter­ing of ro­bot NPC’S who ex­ist for no other rea­son than to re­lay emo­tion­less in­for­ma­tion to you.

The cru­ellest as­pect of Fall­out 76’s limp at­tempts at any form of sto­ry­telling is in how they have mas­ter­fully in­jected an im­pres­sive amount of en­vi­ron­men­tal cues in re­gards to an over­ar­ch­ing nar­ra­tive. Aban­doned toys, skele­tal re­mains, notes and jour­nals all point to a thriv­ing so­ci­ety up un­til mere mo­ments be­fore the bombs dropped. Where the cru­elty lies is that you in­evitably end up yearn­ing to meet the ac­tual char­ac­ters as op­posed to their re­mains, mak­ing all the more bit­ter the end­less trudging through this bar­ren game.

Fall­out 76 is, un­sur­pris­ingly, to­tally lit­tered with bugs rang­ing from mi­nor and of­ten hi­lar­i­ous to ma­jor and ut­terly game-break­ing. Large swathes of your camp may sud­denly dis­ap­pear with­out any warn­ing.

Fall­out 76 feels like one of those ti­tles that was rushed out to meet a dead­line. Per­haps in a few years the is­sues will iron out and the game will feel like a redemp­tion story but, for the minute, the game is in an un­ac­cept­able state for a de­vel­oper held in such es­teem.

Fall­out 76 feels like one of those ti­tles that was rushed out to meet a dead­line.

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