What is Fallout 76? Even Bethesda doesn’t seem to have a clear grasp on terminology to label it, avoiding both the MMO and survival labels for the upcoming multiplayer post-nuclear game.
“We avoid the word ‘survival,’ because people’s minds immediately go to DayZ and Rust and certain other games, and those comparisons are not really accurate for what we’re doing,” Game Director Todd Howard told The Guardian. “If you think about the survival modes we’ve made in Fallout 4, it has that vibe… Fallout 76, although it’s an online game, when I play it, I mostly still play it solo. We like those experiences as much as our fans do.”
Howard admitted that the project has the studio a little worried about taking this important franchise online: “We are sometimes afraid of doing it, as much as our fans are afraid of us doing it. But we’ve got to try new things.”
Are you all in on games as a service? Are single player-games over, replaced by much more profitable eternally online (and lockbox-ridden) titles? Bethsoft’s Todd Howard doesn’t think so. Speaking to GIbiz, Howard says that in spite of Fallout 76’s controversial online nature, the always-on games-as-a-service motif “doesn’t mark the future.”
“Corporately we’ve done a mix; people forget sometimes,” he says. “Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends. Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”
Ubisoft, on the other hand, has taken a different tack. The company’s EVP of Creative, Lionel Raynaud, spends some time in a corporate blog post to come at the problem from a narrative angle, saying his studio is trying to keep games going by doing its best not to “give finite experiences.”
As people who are intimately familiar with the online game space (source: you read this site), most everyone here can imagine the worst excesses of player behavior to be found in Fallout 76 before the game launches. But why not experience it firsthand? A new mod for Fallout: New Vegas will allow you to have that online experience for the game right now, well in advance of release.
No, it’s not adding online functionality, why would it do that? It’s adding an NPC with a flamethrower who shows up right after the tutorial and will try to kill you while shouting racist epithets.
Yes, you can probably guess the joke right from there, but there is a video just below for those who would rather just watch something rather than trying to actually play with this mod installed. And if you have some time to play with it yourself… well, don’t say you weren’t properly warned. You knew what to expect.
The reason you won’t be able to play Fallout 76 with your friends on consoles is because of Sony, according to Bethesda studio director Todd Howard. A recent interview with a German site had Howard claiming that while Bethesda would like to do cross-platform play, “Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.” Bethesda declined to elaborate on the statement when asked for further clarification by Polygon.
Cross-platforming issues have been in the news quite a bit recently, with Fortnite’s launch on Nintendo Switch being coupled with the surprising lack of cross-platform play for PlayStation 4 players. The last statement from the company was that it was “looking into possibilities,” so it remains to be seen both whether or not those possibilities will bear fruit and whether or not they’ll be resolved in time for everyone to enjoy Fallout 76 together.
We’re not allowed to forget about Fallout 76 for even an instant, apparently: Bethsoft has posted up the epic Welcome to West Virginia video that it showed during its presentation at E3, essentially offering a tour of the area the company has picked for the multiplayer entry in the franchise.
“All-new graphics, lighting and landscape technology brings to life six distinct West Virginia regions. Watch Welcome to West Virginia, featured during the Bethesda E3 Showcase, to get a look at the newest location in Fallout. From the forests of Appalachia to the noxious crimson expanses of the Cranberry Bog, each region offers its own risks and rewards. Post-nuclear America has never looked so beautiful!”
You’re getting a glimpse of the bunker, the map, and the rolling hills of post-apocalyptic Appalachia. There’s a look at some concept art and some spooky local baddies too. Enjoy!
Oh, Crowfall, you really looked like you were going to make it to soft launch this year. But it’s not happening; the studio has outright said that soft launch is just not going to be doable before the end of the year, because it’s more important to get the game to the right place. A shame, but on the plus side, we can find out more about the day/night cycle. That’s… similar?
It’s really not. Let’s move on to other beta news.
And that’s everything, but you know, we do have a list of things in testing down below. Is something missing? Has something jumped phases? Do let us know down in the comments below, we always appreciate it.
We’ve finished rolling out all of our E3 2018 content this year, save a few last stragglers coming this weekend, so now we’ve chosen our favorites out of what we got to see in person and from afar. Read on, then vote for your own best-in-show!
Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?
“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”
Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”
One of the perks of pre-ordering Fallout 76 is that you’ll be automatically included in the pool of B.E.T.A. testers. However, life is not always equal or fair, and as such, Xbox One players will be the very first to get their hands on this survival sandbox MMO before their PC and PlayStation 4 friends. In fact Xbone players can pre-download it right now.
Speaking of perks, PCGamesN has a look at how the character customization system will work through stats and special traits. According to the site, all perks and skills are tied to collectable cards, and you will only be allowed to have a certain number of perk cards active at any given time. Perk cards also can be shared within your party as group-wide buffs.
Meanwhile, Bethesda continues to try to answer questions about the Fallout 76’s mechanics, including stealth, player C.A.M.P.s, and the integration of stories and quests.
With the recent revelation that Bethesda’s Fallout 76 is going to be an online multiplayer survival game, players who have been hoping for a Fallout MMO finally have something to anticipate. Sure, it’s not a proper MMORPG, but it’s all we could ask for in this day and age, right?
Actually, Fallout 76 isn’t the first time that the Fallout series was heading for online shenanigans, nor is it the closest concept to a pure MMO. Years ago, an attempt was made by the original creators of the Fallout series to bring an online game to the community, but this effort was stymied by Bethesda and a mess of legal issues.
For those who look back at the Interplay era of Fallout with deep fondness, the thought of the canceled Fallout Online project is a sore wound that continues to cause pain whenever prodded. Which is, I guess, what I’ll be doing today as we look at what Fallout Online was going to be — and why it never came to be.
You know how sometimes, when nosy press asks you a question with no good answer, you’re better off shutting up? And when they don’t ask you about a tricky subject, you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to run into it head-on?
Nintendo didn’t get that memo at E3, apparently, as during an interview with Bloomberg, it broke ranks with more diplomatic game studios to basically defend lockboxes and lootboxes.
“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap,” Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime told the publication (via GIbiz), in answer to a broad softball question about digital revenue.
At this year’s E3, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said team behind The Division 2 tried to learn “everything” from The Division to help make the sequel better. As he reminded me, the original game’s final DLC was especially meaty in terms of PvE content and PvP balance, but it’s the first impressions of the game that mattered most: The initial Dark Zone iteration is still what gamers remember best, and that’s not necessarily a compliment. I myself was not impressed with the original demo back in 2015.
But based on my preview of The Division 2 at this year’s E3, I can say that Gerighty’s team obviously learned quite a bit – and absolutely improved on the original.
Player choice and random map elements are the key to the meat of Skull and Bones’ replayability said Ubisoft at this week’s E3 2018. The studio made a concerted effort to show how its upcoming multiplayer pirate title wasn’t just PvP and nothing but.
In fact, the big reveal this week was the Hunting Grounds, which sounds more PvE than PvP. These special areas will be modified by “fortunes” set before players head toward them. When there, player crews will take on various quests while also having the freedom to simply explore and hunt boats. One such quest was to hunt down an NPC bounty hunter with another player.
“You log in and decide where in the world you want to go, which factions you want to take on, whether you want to do it by yourself or call your friends, or meet new friends within the world. All of those things are based on your own objectives,” said Creative Director Justin Farren.
The studio confirmed that it will be pushing out Skull and Bones some time next year. In any case, we have several videos from Ubisoft’s E3 showing after the break, so dig in!