The first impression that we formed is that Fallout 76 tries to be a pleasing experience for all those who want to play it solo and those who prefer playing with other gamers. Unfortunately, it seems to suffer from the common problem of trying to please everyone and not pleasing anyone in the end. Don’t get us wrong – it’s is far from uninteresting, but it is also not close to being the brilliant game we expected.
The game starts with our hero waking up and the players soon realizing that he is hungover. The reason why he drank a bit too much is celebrating the Reclamation Day. Everyone else seems to have already left the Vault 76, so you rush to find your way out. The game doesn’t let you waste any time with unnecessary object interaction to speed up finding the exit.
And while the goal is to leave the Vault, it seems like the exit was far more spectacular in the previous instalments. Anyway, once you find yourself in the Wasteland, you are to locate the Overseer’s Camp and start your adventure.
Can You Find the Holotape…and Another…and Another?
Once you arrive at the camp, you pick up a holotape with instructions on getting to another location where you need to find…you guessed it right, another holotape. Except for the fact that you are changing your locations and discovering new areas on the map, quests do not offer a lot of innovation.
In fact, things can get repetitive since just listening to holotapes over and over again is not that interesting. At this moment, it doesn’t seem that the quests in Fallout 76 are shared. Even if you form a team and go on a joint quest, it just means that all members of a squad need to complete all tasks to successfully finish the assignment.
Imagine this scenario – you need to get to a point where important information is waiting. You managed to reach it first but you cannot continue until other players arrive and read the message. This can sound like a huge time-waster if one of the questers is not at the right level of skill and takes a lot of time to complete each task.
How to Craft Weapons in Fallout 76
Since weapon crafting was an enjoyable feature of the previous instalment, it was only natural that Bethesda will add it to Fallout 76, too. Aside from firearms, you can craft ammunition, armour, food, and medicine. You will, however, need to find a workbench for each of these categories.
While it makes sense that you can’t make food or medicines where you craft weapons, it doesn’t seem understandable why there is a specific workbench for the ammunition. You may end up with an amazing rifle and no bullets for it, which is absurd.
Fortunately, the very process is simple and enjoyable. You will feel proud when you make your own weapon but also bored while waiting for a teammate to do it. Just a single player can access a workbench, so you can either look for another one or wait.
Are You Hungry or Thirsty?
If you are not, your character may be, and you can’t let that happen. There are gauges that monitor levels of thirst and hunger. The point of adding these to Fallout 76 was probably to add to the feeling that your characters are humans and they need to tend to their needs occasionally.
It is a weird decision that Bethesda didn’t include non-playing characters into the mix. Although the world is shared and you are playing with other players, it is just weird that you cannot have an actual conversation with someone that will affect your current quests. We witnessed that many games used NPCs to actually give you quests and, frankly, it sounds like a more engaging approach than just playing a holotape.
Not to mention that this means you lack an important part of the motivation to explore the environment. Yes, the surroundings look great and attractive, but you will get used to aesthetics in a while and that leaves you without a valid reason to freely move around the Wasteland.
As for the enemies, the encounters seemed interesting enough. It is the good old feeling you are used to until you get used to it. We assume that Bethesda will turn up the difficulty in the future patches as it seems that the opponents do not present a real threat once you learn a thing or two about dealing with them.
The problem with battles in Fallout 76 is that you do not have a feeling you need to think things through in advance. Most of the times, just basically planning your attack and entering with guns blazing will be enough.
One of the cool perks is VATS – the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System that helps you aim at an opponent and even hit particular limbs. While this is truly cool, the truth is that it makes things even easier for the players.
At the end of the day, we expected more from Fallout 76. We admit we haven’t made a truly significant progress for 24 hours, but so far – we are not thrilled. Numerous choices the developers made only damaged the gaming experience and it seems like the game itself is indecisive whether it wants to be a solo or multiplayer release.
Fortunately, we have no doubt that Bethesda will listen to the community and iron out as many issues as possible. That means Fallout 76 will definitely get better. The problem is that it has to get a lot better to become an outstanding game, which is what we expected from it.