Fallout 76 Makes Me Sad

Fallout with Friends (Picture Source: Newsweek)

I am desperate for supplies and low on health. I used my last stimpack in my last desperate attempt to find a fusion core for my power armor chassis. The super mutant hideout was nearly the end of me, but I managed to dispose of all of the green hulking beasts only to come away for a clipboard, coffee mug, and a little ammo. In an attempt to gain more experience and pick up a useful perk, I try to accomplish my next task in one of the main quest missions only to meet death at the scorched hands of a group of irradiated humans who used to be civilized people.

This series of events sums up how my time has been spent in Fallout 76. It is difficult, and offers little reward. Plain and simple, it ins’t much fun at all for me. That makes me sad because Bethesda’s Fallout games have been fund adventures that have provided hours of entertainment for me. Fallout 3 helped me remain sane during 2009 as I suffered through unemployment, and emotional distress. Fallout has always been a series that I depend on for story and adventure, but Fallout 76 has not delivered at all on that front.

Fallout 76 is Bethesda’s entry into the hybrid MMO style that has taken root in the last few years. On the outside looking in, Fallout 76 sounds like a great idea. Roaming the wasteland, surviving, traveling to interesting locals and running into a real human player from time to time. When you look closer at what the game is though, you find that this is not intended to be a single player experience. All too often during my time with the game I was surrounded by enemies, and couldn’t hold my own against them. Throw in the numerous bugs and glitches, and I had a horrible time with the game. I was trying to fight as a monk style character. Just using my fists to do the talking. All that sounds great until you run into an issues where none of my punches landed while the enemy pumped me full of bullets with pin point accuracy. A horrible experience indeed….

So it is as if the game is whispering to you, “You really should play with a group of friends”, and that is really irritating to me. I want options with my games. I want to choose if I will “go it alone” or join with friends on occasion. Fallout 76 forces me to feel as if I will not succeed if I try to play this game in single player. I did have some cool experiences where I was having a hard time with a pack of feral ghouls, but a generous adventurer in much more advanced gear came and saved my bacon. Moments like that almost made me a believer in Fallout 76. I really want to love Fallout 76. It is the best looking Fallout to date, and I love the Virginia setting. It is also really cool working a mission and running across a helpful fellow survivor. One of my first interactions with another player was someone donating to me since I was new to the game. Sad to say though, these little positive experiences are overshadowed by a lot of negative experiences.

Games like this makes me sad because this seems to be the way games are made now. “Lets release an unfinished product, and then improve based off of the crying and yelling online.” We are paying for unfinished “test” products and then promised the experience we desire with future patches and/or updates. This Fall we will see the release of NPCs in Fallout 76, but will it be enough to save this game? Will it be enough to bring the “Fallout experience” back to us? I have my doubts, but I will keep hope alive.