The release of Fallout 76 is still a few months away and to be completely honest, I am still on the fence about purchasing it. I, like many others, was introduced to the Fallout universe with the release of Fallout 3. Since 2008 I have spent countless hours exploring the radioactive world of Fallout….alone.
Fallout 76 is an online multiplayer set in the Fallout universe, and while I absolutely love the Fallout franchise, I tend to stay away from online multi-player games (the only reason I ever renew my Xbox live membership or Playstation Plus is for the free games each month). I love to experience stories, explore open worlds, and immerse myself in the game’s lore. However, Fallout 76 seems to a different endeavor entirely. So, for introverts like myself, I have to ask the question: “Is Fallout 76 for the single-player gamer?”
What is Fallout 76?
Before attempting to decide whether Fallout 76 is for single-players, it’s important to understand the details of the game. The development for Fallout 76 began during the development of Fallout 4 back in 2015. “76 is the multiplayer design from Fallout 4,” stated Todd Howard during a recent NoClip documentary on the development of Fallout 76. According the documentary, the idea of a Fallout multiplayer was too big of an idea back in 2013, so it was brushed to the side, so the company could focus on Fallout 4. Around that time, ZeniMax opened BattleCry Studios in Austin, Texas who eventually became the developers behind Fallout 76. With the creation of Battle Cry studios, which consists of MMO experts such as Chris Mayer (Ultima Online, Star War: Galaxies) and Doug Mellenncamp (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Doom 2016), Fallout 76 began to become a reality.
(If you’d like to learn more about the development of Fallout 76, feel free to check out the Noclip documentary below)
Fallout 76 Gameplay
So is Fallout 76 a single-player game? I don’t think there is a way to answer that for every type of single-player because Fallout fans love different things about the game. To determine if Fallout 76 is for you, I think it is best to discuss the two most popular aspects of the Fallout universe (exploration and story), their place in Fallout 76, and then decide.
One of the best things about a Fallout game, or any Bethesda game, is the ability to explore a vast open world with interesting locations and enemies. While there will be other players within the world, the quality of the environment in Fallout 76 appears to be greater than that of Fallout 4. The map in Fallout 76 is reportedly four times larger than that of Fallout 4. Based in West Virginia, the world Fallout 76 draws a lot of influence from popular West Virginia locations, as well as creating its creatures from local lore.
In Fallout 76, players will be able to explore, search for weapons and upgrades, as well as build their own camp. For players worried that they will lose their camp when they leave the game, rest assured, when you return to the world of Fallout 76, your camp will be right where you left it. Camps can also be moved to a different location, whether that be because somebody else’s camp is placed in the same location as the player’s, or if the player simply wants a change of scenery.
Lastly, for those worried that the world will be overrun by other players, Bethesda has confirmed that the cap for players on one particular server will be anywhere from 24-30 players. And given the size of Fallout 76’s map, players may wander around the wasteland for some time before actually running into another player.
Is Fallout 76 for single-players who love to explore? Yes!
Unlike previous Fallout 76, there is no main storyline to complete (finally, we aren’t looking for a lost relative!) and much of what a player will do is based upon what they enjoy. Players may choose to wander the wasteland as an explorer, or craft various guns, mods, armors, food, etc. The possibilities are endless.
However, for those players who need an end game, Bethesda has given players an explosive one. Literally. The end game of Fallout 76 involves players searching for codes to launch their very own nuclear bomb. Players will even be able to choose the location that they wish to bomb. In Fallout 76 there are bat -like creatures called Scourgebeasts that players can target with the bombs to end the game. But, because this is Fallout 76, players can choose to bomb the Scourgebeast or bomb other players. Again, the possibilities in Fallout 76 are endless. After a player launches a nuclear bomb, the entire environment of that location will change, containing much stronger creatures and better loot. Unfortunately, it appears that these codes will be hard to come by since they are in pieces. The codes can be collected by individuals but having a team will make collecting the pieces much faster.
Fallout 76 was designed so that the players in the game would create their own stories and Bethesda has made a world where players aren’t limited by NPCs or the traditional storyline so they can.
Is Fallout 76 for single-players who want an engaging story and endgame? Not really.
Fallout 76 is a multiplayer game. It has been developed for players to interact with one another and enjoy the world of Fallout together. From collecting the codes for nuclear warfare, to teaming up to create settlements and destroying monsters, Fallout 76 appears to be a true multiplayer experience set in a Fallout-esque West Virginia.
Despite being created for multiplayer, Bethesda has tried to create a world that single-players would also enjoy. Similar to what has made games like Minecraft popular, single-players will be able to explore, craft, build, and collect as much as they can while exploring the beautiful setting and battling its vicious creatures.
As for this single-player, I can’t deny myself the joy of exploring the world that Bethesda has created and collecting as many weapons and armor pieces as I possible can. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a friend.
Take us home Bethesda.