FALLOUT 76 – My journey into West Virginia

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♪♪ “COUNTRY ROADS, TAKE ME HOME,

TO THE PLACE, I BELONG,

WEST VIRGINIA, MOUNTAIN MAMA,

TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS” ♪♪

 

 

Happy Reclamation Day everyone!

I’ve been holding off writing this review because I just wasn’t sure what to make of Bethesda studios newest Fallout game. On one hand I’m really enjoying what it has to offer with it’s survival mode and large beautiful looking landscape. But on the other it’s full of glitches and bugs, some even being game-breaking. I know that it’s “cool” at the moment to hate on Fallout 76 and call it a horrible game and a complete disaster, but it’s far from it. So let’s start off with the negatives because I want this review to end on a high note, so here it goes.

Fallout 76 is set in the post- apocalyptic West Virginia with its large mountains and hauntingly beautiful forests. But it has some problems, growing pains if you like to call it that. When the beta went live before release players were complaining of the constant bugs and glitches (one particularly bad one where the game would delete itself off of the person’s PC), Bethesda said that they were working on these issues before the games release, but still players were nervous about the quality of the product that they were going to be purchasing. Then, just before the release of the second round of the beta, Bethesda issued a “Letter to the fans” here it is here…

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Now we all know Bethesda’s track record when it comes to their games. Most of them are full of bugs that the QA team just didn’t pick up. But Fallout 76 is a fully online multiplayer experience, so going into this game I knew what to expect. And I was not disappointed. I started the game by myself, during these first few hours I ran into a few frame rate drops (I’m playing on Xbox if you’re wondering) but otherwise it was a relatively smooth and fun experience. But then I stopped playing for I didn’t want to get to far ahead of my friends who I was going to be playing it with. So a few days went by and I organised with my friend to play it, so I joined his lobby and off we went to explore West Virginia, and that’s when the trouble started. As soon as we came into contact with other players the frame rate dropped tremendously to point of almost being unplayable, the night ended with my game crashing to dashboard. The next time we invited one of our other friends to join us on our adventure, I joined their lobby and my game immediately froze, so I had to quit the game and return to the dashboard. This happened twice. After that however we went on our adventure, which was filled with HEAPS of bugs, most of them hilarious, my favourite is when a random player jumped into a suit of power armour but the armour doesn’t load. During that time I started to realise how Fallout 76 was unlike any other Fallout game I had ever played.

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Firstly, the combat was very confusing. Enemies would run around at crazy speeds and would be really hard to hit with the slow weapons you’re given at the start of the game. VATS (which allows you to hit the target more accurately) can no longer slow down time because of the multiplayer aspect. The only problem with this is VATS doesn’t lock onto the target quick enough, so by the the time it does the enemy is a metre away from you or their behind cover, which makes it useless. There are no NPC’s, so you are given quests either through letters or audio logs, it really makes the world around you feel empty even with the other players running around. Alright, that’s the negative stuff out of the way, now for the positive.

really like Fallout 76, the past few days I’ve been playing a lot of it and really enjoying myself. I’ve mostly been playing it solo and just enjoying where my feet take me. I’ve been doing small side quests, I traded with another random player, I even found and fought against the horrifying Grafton Monster. But mostly I’ve been travelling from location to location and simply marvelling at the world that Bethesda has created, because it sure is beautiful. Fallout 76 also uses Fallout 4’s crafting system. Except this time the player needs to have the schematics or the weapon mods to be able to customise your weapons. But unlike Fallout 4 your weapons now degrade, which means you need to be keeping an eye on their condition as you fight enemies. This system seems tedious at times, but if you pick up a lot of loot and scrap it into crafting materials you will be fine.

Another added mechanic is the CAMPS, in which players can set up a home wherever and whenever they like. That’s what makes the CAMPS so great, if you don’t like the area you’re in then you can pack the whole thing up and take it someplace else. I made a small homestead for myself up in the forests surrounding Flatwoods, it’s a quiet place and I even put a small ammo box out the front with some ammunition so if people needed some equipment they could take it. It’s a place where players can go regroup and stash there weapons and equipment, but also craft new weapons and armour and even cook meals to take out with you and boil water. For Fallout 76 is a survival game, the players character will get hungry and dehydrated, so the player needs to make sure they have an ample amount of food and water on them as they travel around West Virginia.

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Another new addition in Fallout 76 is the perk card system. Unlike other Fallout titles in which you could pick which perk you wanted from a set list, Fallout 76’s perk system uses trading cards. Every time you level up you pick which perk you would like to upgrade (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck) and from there you can are given a selection of perk cards you can choose from. You can then add that to your character and even upgrade them. The part of these that make it so great is that you can trade these cards with other players, so you’re not stuck with the same cards over and over again. Sometimes you are given a random pack of cards you can open (almost like a loot box) and you have a chance to get a higher ranking card in the packs.  It’s a confusing system at first, but it really feels SPECIAL (see what I did there) when you get further into the game.

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Fallout 76 really is an amazing game. It has the foundations to become one of the biggest multiplayer games in the next few years, Bethesda aren’t just going to stop working on it now that it’s out, they have a plan for it, and yes we might be getting large updates over the coming months. But at least they’re trying to fix it. Yes it might not be a typical Fallout game but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyed. West Virginia is incredible to explore, sometimes it might be a bit wacky, but what Fallout game isn’t? So if you want my advice, don’t listen to the people screaming online at how awful this game is, because it’s not. And from that, I’m going to head off to my next adventure into Fallout 76, thanks for reading!!

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“For when the fighting has stopped, and the fallout has settled. You must rebuild. Not just walls, not just buildings. But hearts, and minds, and ultimately America itself.” 

 

♪♪ “COUNTRY ROADS, TAKE ME HOME,

TO THE PLACE, I BELONG, 

WEST VIRGINIA, MOUNTAIN MAMA,

TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS” ♪♪

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