Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tech: Fallout 76 review (Wastelanders update)

After a heated legal battle, Bethesda brought multiplayer to the Fallout series with "Fallout 76." Unfortunately, when the game was released in late 2018, it was an unfinished mess with little content and plenty of bugs.

Bethesda has worked to improve "Fallout 76" steadily in the year and a half since that rocky launch. The latest free update, "Fallout 76: Wastelanders," grafts in a new main story quest, two factions of human NPCs, and a wide variety of enemies and allies:

The update doesn't change how "Fallout 76" starts. Like most games in the series, you emerge from Vault 76 into a post-apocalyptic version of West Virginia, complete with an opening tutorial and cinematic that could have been lifted straight out of "Fallout 3." From there, you have total freedom. You can follow the main quest, group with your buddies to hunt dangerous monsters, or operate your own dive bar (or hotel, or restaurant, or convenience store) with the basebuilding system first seen in "Fallout 4."

I never played FO76 before the Wastelanders update, but I don't think I would have wanted to. Roughly half the content I've seen was either added in or substantially modified by this update - FO76 must have felt pretty barren on release day. It's also disappointing that there are still so many broken quests and crashes-to-desktop, even 18 months after launch. However, this is finally a functional multiplayer Fallout game, so if that sounds appealing to you, I think it's worth a try.

Rating: 76/100


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