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- Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76, the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person. Work together, or not, to survive. Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, you’ll experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.
- Reclamation Day, 2102. Twenty-five years after the bombs fall, you and your fellow Vault Dwellers—chosen from the nation’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America. Play solo or join together as you explore, quest, build, and triumph against the wasteland’s greatest threats.
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Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76, the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person. Work together, or not, to survive. Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, you’ll experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.
Reclamation Day, 2102. Twenty-five years after the bombs fall, you and your fellow Vault Dwellers—chosen from the nation’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America. Play solo or join together as you explore, quest, build, and triumph against the wasteland’s greatest threats.
KEY FEATURES: Celebrate 300 years of freedom with the all-new Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition, commemorating the opening of Vault 76. Our good friends at Vault-Tec have pulled double shifts, working around the clock to assemble this one-of-a kind compilation…for you! Be the talk of the town when you emerge from Vault 76 fully prepared and patriotically styled in the new American frontier!
In addition to the highly anticipated game, the Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition includes bonus in-game items:
- Tricentennial Power Armor Customization for the T-51, T-45, T-60, and X-01 Power Armors
- Tricentennial Weapon Customization for the 10MM Pistol, Hatchet, and Laser Rifle
- Spectacularly Handsome Vault Boy Mascot Head Patriotic Uncle Sam Outfit
- Celebratory Vault Boy Saluting Emote
- First-Class Tricentennial Workshop Posters
- Tricentennial Commemorative Photo Frame
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This plays a lot like an online port of Fallout 4, and I love the West Virginia setting! The premise and nature of this title sets the stage for player-driven roleplaying alone or with friends, and there are a plethora of features both new and old integrated into the experience.
-- Breaking a spike pit someone put outside my room.
-- Firing back at a auto turret that was shooting me.
-- Accidentally damaging some unknown object that happened to be in the blast radius of a grenade I threw at an NPC robot that attacked me.
I don't like griefing, have no interest in PVP, and only want to go exploring with my friends. Yet this game's idiotic anti-griefing mechanism randomly subjects me to PVP just for using weapons in a post-apocalyptic environment. And "PVP" isn't even the right word for it -- unlike what all the major reviewers said, you don't get a fight with the other player, you get ganked by every other player in the lobby simultaneously. It's truly obnoxious, and yet appears to be the only way to remove the stupid wanted notice on yourself. So if you want to play what is basically Fallout 3/4 but with random deaths due to hit squads here to avenge that time you scratched somebody's teddy bear, enjoy. But I doubt you will.
I thought the extras I got with the Tricentennial Edition were not worth the extra price.
Update: I have now played Fallout 76 for about 100 hours. Just a couple of things to add to my original review. (1) There are bugs, many bugs: some are game-breaking, most are just very annoying. Hopefully, these will all get fixed. Example of game-breaking: my character got to a certain level and then would not increase in level after that. I don't know if I will start a new character or just take a break from Fallout 76 for several months to allow Bethesda to de-bug the game. (2) As to "Non- Consensual" PvP: I have not had a single experience with another player attacking me since beta. Nearly all players (so far) seem to prefer co-op play. (3) Some of the end-game content will probably be very, very difficult solo (i.e., you need to group with other players). Unfortunately, the completely lack of in-game Chat and in-game "Guilds" (clans, whatever) makes this challenging.
Bethesda Game Studios will certainly be making changes to the game. Therefore, the game may evolve (through updates) such that parts of this review may no longer apply.
Bethesda is famous for launching games with lots of “bugs”; therefore, some gamers wait a few months before playing the game.
Review is Brief. Fallout 76 is a good first-person-shooter game: you will probably like it. Perhaps the very best thing about Fallout 76 is that you can now play a Fallout game with your friends. You can play the game solo; but group-play is easier and more fun. While I enjoy Fallout 76, it is not as interesting, eventful, engaging, immersive, or surprising as Fallout 3 or Fallout 4. The game-map may be four times larger than in Fallout 4, but the map is mostly empty. Fallout 76 has no human non-player characters (NPCs): they are greatly missed. Overall though, I recommend the game to Fallout fans, I think you will have fun. I can’t see playing this game for years and years, as players do in other online games. I might play it for 150 hours or so (which makes it totally).
Fallout Online. Fallout 76 is the first online version of the Fallout franchise. This is the first multiplayer version of a Fallout game. However, with a maximum of only 24 players per server it is not a “massive” multiplayer game. The game is an “open world game,” meaning you can start the game and then go anywhere and do anything as you please. The game is set in post-apocalyptic West Virginia and begins with you waking up in Vault 76 some 25 years after the “end of the world as we know it.”
PvP Worry. If you are worried about the player-versus-player (PvP) aspect of Fallout 76, don’t be. This is mostly a player-versus-environment (PvE) game with PvP elements. However, it is true that you can be killed anywhere at any time by other players. However, if you have don’t want to fight other players, there are ways to avoid combat and ways to avoid being murdered. However, it is entirely possible that PvP may increase as the game matures. I wager that many Fallout fans will leave the game over PvP.
Fallout 76 a good game, but it is does not measure up to some better online games. When we rate games on Amazon, should our rating be based on how the game compares to other games? Or should our rating be indicative of an endorsement to play the game? If you thought Fallout 4 was a 5-star game, then Fallout 76 might rate 3.5-stars. Anyway, I lowered my rating for Fallout 76 mostly because of the “cons” listed below.
Main Issues. Perhaps the biggest issues in Fallout 76 are: (1) how the game deals with player-versus-player combat; and (2) the limitations on inventory (“Stash”) size. Some players feel that player-versus-player combat should be eliminated entirely, some feel it should be unrestricted (increased), and some feel it is just right. Similarly, some players feel that the frustratingly low inventory limit ruins the game, while others feel strict inventory limits adds a touch of “realism.”
Update Process. I think some customers may leave the game due to the way Bethesda updates the game. With other online games, updates are at most a few GB. With the Bethesda update process, the update sizes are huge (due to update process). Unless this changes, a lot of folks may quit the game.
Softcore Survival Game. I think Bethesda’s vision of Fallout 76 is to create a survival game with tension, dangers, drama, terror, challenges, and frustrations, not a game that is delightful. There is no delight in the in the post-apocalypse!
No Game Guidelines. There is, at the moment, very little “How To” instruction for the game. I am sure that detailed guidelines will soon be posted by fanboys and fangirls. Now personally, I prefer to figure things out for myself; but I understand how the joy-of-discovery can turn to aggravation. You might take a look at the “Fallout 76: Official Guide.”
PvE (player-versus-environment) fans. Fallout 76 is mostly a PvE (player-versus environment) game with PvP elements. Some folks are saying that Fallout 76 was advertised as a PvP game. This is simply not true: it allows PvP; but it is mostly a PvE experience. There’s always a chance you will encounter “griefers,” players who enjoy maliciously harassing and murdering other players (like sixth-grade bullies tormenting kindergarteners). If you don’t enjoy fighting other players, there are strategies and tactics to for avoiding “griefers” (beginning with selecting Pacifist mode at level 5) and for escaping a PvP encounter (fast travel; swap servers; log-off).
PvP (player-versus-player) fans. Possible complaints from PvP fans: (1) for now, the “Pacifists” seem to greatly outnumber the killers (there are few “victims” who want to fight); and (2) players become harder to murder when in Pacifist mode (the babies take reduced damage as long as they do not fight back). Perhaps more players will take up PvP after they have level-up their character(s) and completed all the quests?
Character Appearance. Do not spend too much time with your character’s appearance during Character Creation at the start of the game; you can change appearance later at any time.
- It’s a fallout game. It’s a lot of fun. It plays a lot like Fallout 4.
- (Major) Playing as part of a group (of up to four players) is a lot of fun. I think this game was especially designed for Fallout fans who wanted to play with their friends. You may enter the same server as someone on your “friends” list, if that server is not full (there is a maximum of 24 players per server).
- There is no monthly fee to play (you just make a one-time payment when you buy the game).
- (Major for some) Fans of PvE may not be happy: Non-Consensual PvP (getting attacked by other players when you don’t want to fight) ruins the game for many.
- (Major for some) Fans of PvP may not be happy: With only 24 players per server, the opportunity for PvP, and the scope of PvP are very limited. PvP-fans may also hate the measures that mitigate damage to players who don’t want a PvP-fight.
- (Major, Game-Breaker) Storage space for your game items is extremely limited. Fallout 76 requires a lot of crafting: there is only 400 pounds in your “Stash” for crafting supplies, weapons, armor, “aid” items, ammo, etc. I filled my “Stash” in just a few hours of game play.
- (Major) There are no human NPCs (non-player characters). Previous Fallout games were populated with lots of interesting and quirky human characters who made the game a lot more fun. In Fallout 76, you will be reading computer terminals and interacting with lifeless robots (human NPCs are much more interesting).
- (Major) Bethesda tells us that the map is four times bigger than Fallout 4. Sadly, that big map is mostly empty. Empty is boring.
- (Major) The “update” process requires huge downloads.
- (Disappointing) No means to send in-game “bug” reports or requests for help to Bethesda. No means to “report” other players in game. Bethesda does has a “Help” website; but nearly 99.9% of the time I get a “Login Error” message when I try to use it.
- The game uses a primitive, clunky, non-intuitive user interface.
- The game engine is old. The graphics look at least 10 years out of date (but, honestly, I personally do not mind).
- No means to send in-game text messages (Chat or Whispers) to other players, although you can communicate with voice chat (if you have a microphone).
- Does not have push-to-talk: this means you will hear everything picked up by the microphones of other players.
- Computer-controlled enemies in the game behave in a very simple and predictable manner (i.e., the game AI is simple/primitive).
- The game crashed or locked-up my computer about once every two hours.
Facts of Life:
- New games have lots of “bugs.” Don’t worry, Bethesda will hopefully fix them.
- Being an online game, you cannot pause or save the game.
- The game action does not pause when you use the user interface.
- Fallout 76 is a “survival game.” It includes a lot of “survival mode” elements from Fallout 4: ammo has weight; you must stay hydrated, fed, and rested; character health does not automatically recover; you must use some “aid” to cure injuries, radiation sickness, and/or diseases; you can get mutations.
- You cannot build a large permanent base (house/settlement) the way you could in Fallout 4. You can build a simple camp, that it is not permanent and is very limited in size. Other players can attack and destroy your camp when you are online.
- Guns and armor deteriorate (like in Fallout 3). From time to time, you must repair these items at crafting stations (which requires materials).
- It is possible to play most parts of the game solo. Co-op (grouped) play is best for some content.
- You may create multiple characters; but there is no easy in-game method to pass items among your characters.
- There are only a 24 players per “instance” (a.k.a., server).
Some PvE players just want to be left alone. Some PvP players want more opportunities for recreational torment and murder. PvE players think PvP players are bullies in need of therapy; PvP players think PvE players are sniveling little babies.
Players seem to have one of three opinions about PvP: “The PvP is too hot”; “the PvP is too cold”; or “the PvP is just right.” Many players may leave Fallout 76 because they will not tolerate the non-consensual PvP (unwanted attacks by other players). But then, lovers of PvP may leave Fallout 76 because the game does not have enough opportunities for PvP and they feel the “Pacifist” mode is only for cowards. Of course, those who think the PvP system is perfect will be satisfied.
You cannot just mind your own business in Fallout 76; you are at risk of being killed by other players at any time. The Bethesda developers thought this would add a little “tension” to game. True: but adding “tension” to the game with unpredictable PvP may be like adding rat droppings to chocolate chip cookies to add a little “flavor.”
There are a few players who get their jollies by “griefing” and murdering other players. Such players ruin the fun for a lot the PvE fans. Unlike other online games, Fallout 76 does not have dedicated PvP and PvE zones or servers, nor does it not have the option to completely opt-out of PvP. In Fallout 76 you can be attacked by other players at any place and at any time.
Until you reach level 5, you cannot be killed by other players or kill other players yourself. At and above level 5, you have the option to flag Pacifist mode “on.” It is “off” by default, so change this as soon as you reach level 5. While you are a Pacifist: (1) you cannot initiate an attack on other players; and (2) as you long as you do not fight back, their attacks on you inflict reduced damage. But the truth is: You Can Be Killed Even in Pacifist Mode.
Escaping PvP is really no big deal. You can avoid other players (so they will not see you on their maps) by: (1) social-blocking them; or (2) crouching. Check your map often to see the locations of other players. If you are attacked by another player and do not want to fight, you can: (1) social-block the player so he or she cannot see you on the map; (2) then either fast-travel or change servers or log-off/close the game.
If someone murders you, he or she gets a “Bounty” and other players can get a (very small) reward by hunting them down and killing them (“Wanted” players show on everyone’s map). This does not seem to stop the “griefers” in the slightest (they enjoy harassing and murdering other players). Oh by the way, when you are murdered, you drop all of the Junk you were carrying, but at least your murderer cannot loot your corpse for weapons or armor.