Earlier this week, Bethesda began to tease something Fallout related, updating their social media accounts with the ever so cryptic #PleaseStandBy tag. This lead many to believe that they were about to announce a remaster of Fallout 3, which made the most sense given that this year is its tenth anniversary. However, to everyone’s surprise, the tease eventually came through as a brand new game in the series, known as Fallout 76. The accompanying teaser didn’t showcase a great deal of information, but reports since have made up for it.
According to sources close to the game – who have disclosed the information exclusively to Kotaku – Fallout 76 will be an online survival RPG. Before we continue, it’s worth pointing out that until we learn more, presumably at E3 2018, it’s best to take this with a pinch of salt. However, on the flip-side, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier is rarely wrong with this disclosures, so there’s more weight leaning on the likeliness than the opposite. Still, we have to give Bethesda the benefit of the doubt, they may, after all, reveal something else entirely.
Though, if Fallout 76 is indeed the online survival RPG that we all believe it to be, there’s a lot to look forward to. If we go further back in time, it could even be the “bleeding edge AAA freemium game” that Bethesda put a job listing out for last year. This project is said to be a AAA-quality game that supports a free-to-play business model, so it does indeed add up. In any case, we’re very excited to see what’s what. Although details are thin on the ground right now, we do know that it’s being developed in the Maryland and Austin branches.
Austin were previously working on a game known as BattleCry before it was cancelled, before becoming a part of Bethesda Game Studios in March. Bethesda Game Studios’ main office in Maryland is where we see the likes of Skyrim and Fallout 4 being developed from, so there’s a lot of potential straight off the bat. If you’re wondering why the game is titled Fallout “76”, it’s because the game is named after “Vault 76”, which has been mentioned in the likes of Fallout 3 and Fallout 4; both games set two hundred years after the nuclear war.
Vault 76 on the other hand, was set to be opened just twenty years post-war, which we suspect will give it a totally unique setting in comparison to Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. This is backed up by the new trailer’s (seen above) narrator, who states that “When the fighting is stopped, and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild”. Whereas Fallout 3 and 4 had two centuries worth of time for civilization to bounce back on its feet, a mere twenty years for Fallout 76 should indeed serve something quite the opposite; suitable for an online game.
According to word on the street, Fallout 76 takes inspiration from DayZ and Rust. The game will allegedly come packed with quests and a story, much like any other game from Bethesda. The game is also said to feature base-building alongside multiplayer mechanics, as well as other survival elements to tie it all together. This, for me at least, pegs it as somewhat of a mashup of Fallout 4 and DayZ. It’s a very fascinating concept, though I do know that many fans are a bit upset that this isn’t the Fallout 5 that they’ve waited for.
It makes sense, really, given that Fallout 4 is still fresh on the minds of players. It’s not that old and its mod support helps to keep it relevant. The trailer shows that of a character donning the iconic blue jumpsuit, complete with the ever so famous Pip-boy. So we know, at the very least, that its overarching theme will remain intact. The addition of online play, on the other hand, makes this an entirely different beast. I’m not convinced that it will be a MMO on the scale of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls Online, but it may not be too far off.
It’s quite likely that we’ll see something more akin to that of a shared-world, like Ark: Survival Evolved (only better, one would hope). Ark’s sizable world allows for repeat visits to the same server and plenty of space to carve out your own base, but not so much space that running into other players is irregular. If I was to hazard a guess, this would be the sort of format that I would place my money on Bethesda following for Fallout 76. If this is indeed the freemium AAA game outlined above, it’ll be interesting to see how Bethesda handle it.
Whatever the weather and in whichever direction this game goes, all signs point to an online RPG and on that score alone, we’re intrigued. If the Fallout series has taught us anything, it’s that it has a massive fan-base that are constantly, rightfully so, allured to the aspects of scavenging and base building, within a rich and interesting setting. Throw in other real-world players, hundreds of quests and story on top of that and this could well be one of the most enticing games to come from Bethesda. Though, let’s reserve judgement for now.
The Bethesda E3 Showcase will be live streaming on Sunday, June 10 at 6:30 pm PT. We suspect we’ll get more details then. One thing is for damn sure, Bethesda will need to maintain a steady flow of content and find a fine balance between the game’s mechanics if this really is to be a free-to-play AAA experience. The fires of MTs and PTW still burn brightly from EAs shortcomings. What do you believe the game will take shape as? Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Sound off in the comments below to get involved.