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Fallout 76 Review

"An Empty Wasteland"

Campaign

I really tried to like Fallout 76, I put in the hours and kept pushing in hopes that something more exciting would happen as I progressed. This truly is just an empty wasteland where you wander around aimlessly for hours listening to audio tapes. It isn't up to the expectations I have for the franchise and it's disappointing. Even my most favorite aspect of the last game which was Settlement building has been toned down in this one.

I quite like the franchise and have enjoyed the narratives they've set up in the past, that aspect just feels as though it's been left aside for this entry. In the past you'd go out with a primary mission and get lost in side quests from various characters or chance encounters. Here, there's nothing like that as you wander around in an empty and lonely place occasionally getting killed by another real player. You fight the same enemies, and the missions really don't seem to have any point to them. It's rather depressing to be honest. It's not bad enough that the core game doesn't have a point, this is also a very broken experience which will be covered under gameplay.
Fallout 76 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot
This is an expansive world with many buildings and there are exciting group events. These large scale scenarios welcome players to travel and work together, they're actually great. I really feel they need to focus on this, or really add more of a conflict through factions perhaps. At this point, the game just has you walk around exploring which is great and all. It just becomes a lonely time and even with a friend it still feels like a walking simulator. There's not a whole lot to this and while the world has a large scale with lots of random content, to access it you need to really push through so many boring and ultimately pointless walking from point to point adventures.

Gameplay

The Xbox One X enhanced Fallout 76 actually looks really great, the visuals are cleaner and less desolate in comparison to the core fourth game. It's very much the same sort of setup, with the addition of other players and the subtraction of regular NPCs. Everything you face in this game is an enemy, whether that's a real person or just the creatures. Most of the time you fight the Scorched, or some Ghouls and this felt repetitive. I killed so many Scorched that I'm just tired of them, there's no variation there.
Fallout 76 Camp Screenshot
You can find special creatures that are a tad more scary the more you explore, but you need to actively seek them. The inventory feels similar to the past titles and it works well from your Pip-Boy. There are a wide range of items to collect from the environment and these help with your Camp. Prior to diving into that I will mention there's a store that has items you can buy with real money or with earned points from gameplay. These are challenges and grant an alright amount of the in-game currency (Atoms), it feels as though this aspect has replaced the mods for consoles. Now to go back on course, these camps are like toned down settlements where you build a small base to use out there in the world. Throw in useful workbenches, add some flavor with decorative items and be sure to protect it from the common enemies that walk in over time.

Most of the items in here are locked, you need to randomly walk around to come across blueprints for the stuff, it's somewhat annoying to do so. You can build some neat things and it works well for the most part. When it comes to the gameplay this title has problems. Every single enemy I come across as pathing issues, they often are caught on things or slide without their legs moving. I've had enemies caught in walls, some being able to shoot through said walls or even through the floor.

No line of sight, but they know where you are. With the various problems, they also move strangely and twitch around which I find very weird. The enemies are also very simple and try to mostly just run or shoot randomly at you. I've also had a number of disconnects from the servers causing me to lose my special Workbench areas that you battle for and it can be frustrating. These are just some of the bugs I've come across while playing, they seem very apparent in this release as opposed to past Fallout titles.
Fallout 76 Wasteland walk Screenshot

The Conclusion

Fallout 76 is not up to the standards set by past entries and it provides what feels like an empty, lonely wasteland. This is one seriously minimal experience that has been stripped of the exciting narratives of the past. While the last titles might not have had the most important or intense of main story lines, the narrative gets built through the experiences you have while meeting the characters out there. This place is just devoid of life and filled with holotapes to listen to as you walk around without a purpose. It feels like a larger series of fetch quests with enemies thrown into the middle of it.

I always wanted a multiplayer type Fallout game; or even one with coop and now that it's here, they certainly didn't pull it off correctly. I love being able to play with others, we just don't have anything to do together. I played with a long time fan of the franchise from which I know this series from and we just walked down a road without a purpose for who knows how long. It was nice to see them, we just didn't have anything to do in this. I see potential in this game being average over time based on what they add to it, though right now it's not in a good state. The world is large and there is a lot to see out there. It just doesn't have much of a purpose aside from pure exploration and listening to the exciting adventures of others.

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Fallout 76 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by 47

Rating Overall: 5.5

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner
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