Things You Need to Know: Fallout 76
Post-apocalyptic role-playing game series Fallout is back with Fallout 76 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. After a pre-E3 2018 teaser, the game was revealed during developer Bethesda’s E3 2018 conference last week. Set for a November 14 release date.
1) Fallout 76 is always online
Unlike past Fallout games, you’ll need a persistent Internet connection to play Fallout 76. Players share the same game world and it incentivises teaming up with others to take down epic monsters and partake in quests aplenty. That said, you can play the game on your own as well. Except you’ll still need to be online.
2) Nukes and deathmatch
One of the reasons why you’d want to play Fallout 76 with friends is deathmatch which the developers are looking to implement as a 12 on 12 team deathmatch. Furthermore, Bethesda has confirmed the end-game consists of obtaining nuclear missile codes that can be used to launch WMDs on a location to make its flora and fauna deadlier, allowing you to gain better loot if you venture out there after nuking.
3) VATS is back
VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) is Fallout’s take on a turn-based shooting system that slows down time, allowing you to choose which part of an enemy’s body you want to target. It returns in Fallout 76, allowing you to pinpoint enemy organs for critical hits. Time won’t slow down when you use it here though, which makes it an interesting addition to the proceedings as it could make Fallout 76 a lot more dependent on skill. That said, the game sports a photo mode allowing you to snap each memorable kill for posterity.
4) No NPCs
Yes, you read right. Unlike other shared world experiences like Destiny 2, Fallout 76 features no non-playable characters (NPCs) like merchants. Every character you meet is human-controlled. Throw in an expansive map (that’s four times bigger than Fallout 4) with no more than 24 to 30 people per server, and you have a desolate environment wherein Bethesda hopes to make every human encounter memorable though it hasn’t revealed exactly how just yet.
5) It’s powered by a lot of new tech
Fallout 76’s game engine has a wealth of new tech. This includes a new method of wood propagation that allows its team to create different forest areas, complex enemy animations, new lighting method as well as a dynamic weather system. All of which could make its way to the company’s future titles like Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI.
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6) Mod support
Like previous Fallout titles, Fallout 76 will support mods although not at launch. It’s unclear if it would be similar to how mods are used in games like Fallout 3 or Skyrim, i.e. manually added by players to the game, or follow a paid service similar to Bethesda Creation Club seen in Fallout 4.
7) Radiation and Perk Cards
Similar to Fallout 1 and 2, radiation lets your character mutate to give you special buffs with certain penalties, such as having a larger health bar, but you being unable to regenerate health as fast as you normally would. You can cure mutations if you want, or you can make them permanent. Each time you level up, you get to choose a new ability in the form of what Fallout 76 calls a Perk Card. There’s a limit to how many Perk Cards you can have active at one time, so you can swap them out. You can also trade Perk Cards within a party. This could have some practical use cases, such as activating all Perk Cards related to combat before taking on monsters or switching to a set of crafting cards in order to make more effective items for you and your squad.
8) Micro-transactions, post-launch content, and season pass
Fallout 76 features micro-transactions in the form of cosmetic items that can be earned in-game as well. There is no season pass for Fallout 76 and free updates consisting of large downloadable content (DLC) on an ongoing basis, with smaller content drops released regularly are on the cards. That said, much like other shared world games such as the Destiny titles and even massively multiplayer role-playing games like Bethesda’s own Elder Scrolls Online, we won’t be surprised to see premium content that adds new locations eventually. In the immediate future though, there won’t be any paid content outside of the base game that costs $60 in the US and Rs. 3,999 in India on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.