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THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF TODD: A POST-MORTEM ANALYSIS OF FALLOUT 76
Recently, I’ve been walking around ground zero. I don’t mean the epicenter of a nuclear blast in Fallout 76’s Appalachia, I’m talking about the online Fallout community. People everywhere aren’t just disappointed (like a vocal group of fans were with Fallout 4), they are ANGRY. Maybe rightfully so; Fallout 76 is, to say the least, pretty underwhelming by Bethesda Game Studios’ standards. On the other hand, the reception to this game has actually been quite overwhelming, but not in a good way. Fallout 76 has gotten a legitimately awful reception by almost every conceivable measure. Sales are down over 80% compared to Fallout 4’s first week numbers, and Fallout 76’s metascore is hovering in the 50’s (with even lower user scores). So this begs the question, how did we wind up here? How did this disaster happen to the once...
(Disclaimer: I was invited to play the game on an unfinished (not final) build for a few hours during the recent Xbox Stress Test. NDA prevented me from sharing my impressions until now with the release of the B.E.T.A)
After watching a couple hours or so combined of footage from multiple youtubers/outlets, my hype for Fallout 76 had all but died. The game looked like a janky mess (even by Bethesda standards), and it just seemed like a pointless, disjointed murderfest with painfully mediocre online mechanics and a beyond weird looking real time VATS mechanic. After playing I can confirm that VATS is still weird, but overall the footage shown by those youtubers did not do Fallout 76 and its very atmospheric world justice.
My adventure started off, of course, in Vault 76 itself. After creating my character with the same system used in Fallout 4...