A full 13 days before E3, Bethesda dropped a teaser trailer for a new Fallout game. We all knew it was coming, Bethesda is reportedly working on 9 different titles at the moment, but the early teaser and trailer gave fans a lot to chew on. With our appetites sufficiently whetted, we were treated to a nearly 20-minute-long gameplay introduction by Todd Howard during Bethesda’s E3 conference.
Some background on Fallout
Fallout has a long history, with the first game coming out in 1997, developed by Black Isle Studios. As the name suggests, all of the games take place after a nuclear war (The Great War of 2077) has destroyed the world in an alternate history where scientists focused on vacuum tubes and atomic physics and were locked into a world with the aesthetics of the 1950s despite it being the 22nd century.
Vault-Tec is an enterprising company that developed fallout shelters for people to take refuge in and await Reclamation Day when vaults would be opened, and people could start rebuilding. In every game, you play as a Vault Dweller turned adventurer and have to explore a world that’s been ravaged by radiation and blast damage and is teeming with environmental dangers and threats from mutant animals and humans. Fallout 4 had a base building mechanic that was met with mixed reviews but it seems to be sticking around for the next title so let’s jump into Fallout 76.
What do we know?
Well, pre-E3, we could guess a few things from the trailers. The first thing we know was easily surmised from the teaser, in which John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” plays in the background, telling us that the game is set in post-fallout West Virginia. Second, we know that it’s Reclamation Day, thanks to the large banner hanging in the vault’s main promenade and the party decorations scattered around.
This means that Fallout 76 is a prequel to the rest of the series, which all take place between 60 and 210 years after Recelmation Day. Todd Howard confirmed these during Bethesda’s E3 conference and brought along some more in-game footage to share showing off a few new mutated creatures that were inspired by the local legends and folklore of West Virginia such as a giant sloth.
Todd also confirmed the fan theories that Fallout 76 is going to be an MMO (massively multiplayer online). It’s going to be entirely online, and there will be a ton of options for every play style. You can amass a collection of items and travel as a trade caravan, you could join a group of raiders, or you can just explore and hunt mutated creatures. There will be PvP (player vs. player), but the system won’t be a free for all looting festival. The combat will be live, but if you die, your opponent cannot loot your items from your body, and there will be limits in place so you can’t be griefed or harassed by stronger players.
When you sign in, there isn’t a server to select. Instead, you’ll just be dropped into an instance that isn’t too full. Of course, you’ll also be able to play with your friends should you choose, and there are plenty of incentives to get social. There are mechanics specifically geared toward interacting with others from emotes to playing instruments. It will also be easier to protect your settlements (which you craft and build yourself) from attacks by raiders and creatures.
When can we expect it?
Pre-orders are already open, which guarantee a spot in the beta should you go for it, and, as usual, come in three different forms. First, there is the standard edition for $60, which just includes the base game. Then there is the Tricentennial edition for $80, which consists of some extra in-game items like armor, weapons, outfits, and a special emote. Finally, we have the Power edition, which will run you around $200 and includes a real-life wearable T-51 power suit helmet with a working voice modulator and headlamp, a West Tek bushel bag, a large map of the game that glows in the dark with 24 figurines to place on said map, the in-game items from the Tricentennial edition, and a steel game case. Talk about a lot of bonuses!
In typical Bethesda fashion, we can expect Fallout 76 on November 14, 2018. There will also be a beta beforehand, but no release date for that has been announced yet. Unlike The Elder Scrolls Online (the MMO version of Bethesda’s other popular franchise), the development of Fallout 76 seems to be staying mostly in-house, and, hopefully, that means it’ll have a stronger beta and launch than ESO. Bethesda is pretty good at learning from the past, so I feel pretty confident about this one.
YouTube: Fallout 76 – You Will Emerge! Introduction to Multiplayer Gameplay Video
YouTube: Fallout 76 – A New American Dream! An Intro to C.A.M.P. Gameplay Video
YouTube: Fallout 76 – Official E3 Trailer
Photo credit: All used images have been provided by Bethesda for press usage.