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Fallout 76 'makes more sense than any Fallout game'

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  • Officer
    August 28, 2018

    I was trawling through some of the opinion pieces about Fallout 76 when I came upon an interesting blog on a site called 'PlayStation Lifestyle. The writer was expressing the view that, when you come to think about it, Fallout 76 'makes more sense than any Fallout game'.

    I'll cut and paste the meat of the article here, as I think it is worth thinking about

    The bombs have dropped, and the world has become an apocalyptic wasteland. Tainted by radiation from nuclear activity, nothing is as it was before, and in order to survive, a person must adapt to their surroundings. This is the premise of the Fallout series, in which the player takes on the role of a lone survivor in order to experience the game’s adventure. To date, the series has enjoyed both critical acclaim and commercial success and has become an iconic part of contemporary popular culture. However, the many strengths boasted by the Fallout series thus far are, in a sense, also its weaknesses in relation to the upcoming Fallout 76, for what better way to test humanity’s resolve post-apocalypse than to pit real people against each other in a multiplayer virtual war zone?

    In addition to Super Mutants and Radroaches, there have always been human enemies in Fallout. From stock NPCs known as Raiders to three-dimensional antagonists to entire factional institutions, there has been no shortage of examining humanity’s futile attempt to survive in the barren and defeated landscape of Fallout. However, these enemies are ultimately programmed to respond to the commands of artificial intelligence, meaning that their actions occur as the result of prewritten code, as opposed to immediate human input.

    This is not the case in Fallout 76, where every character serves as a medium through which the player can act vicariously. Any action undertaken by a character in-game at any given time is an immediate response to the command of a real person. Combine this with the survival and crafting mechanics recently revealed in Fallout 76’s C.A.M.P. trailer, and you’ve got a world in which the player must consciously play the part of an apocalypse survivor in order to survive. True, this was the case in previous installments of the franchise, but now the player must recognize that the actions undertaken by other characters similarly result from the input of other players. As a result, the choices made for the sake of survival stem from human ethics and choices, meaning that Fallout 76 is much more in line with ideating humanity’s response to a forced existence in a borderline inhospitable world on the verge of extinction.

    I think what this author has done is to put his finger on something that has been gnawing away at me since Fallout 76 was announced and immediately attracted such a barrage of negativity. Why are people so opposed to the idea that players can make their own stories, rather than pick their way through scripted questlines that have been written (sometimes badly) by Bethesda? Doesn't having complete freedom from scripted NPCs actually make roleplaying deeper - at least for those with the imagination to exploit that?

    Any thoughts?

  • Member
    August 28, 2018

    Huh, I never thought about it before. 

  • September 28, 2018

    I think I'm gonna make two characters, lead both a raider group and the West Coast regulations, and rule y'all. The bad part of giving players such freedom to make their own storylines and characters is that a PC will always be deadlier and more manipulative than an NPC; NPCs use guns and fight on a one-to-one basis and die when they are killed, while PCs use strategy and tactics and logistics and cheat like the cheating b***ards they are, and if killed, they come back five minutes later with landmines and sniper rifles. I can't wait to play that craziness.

  • October 9, 2018

    It's interesting to think about...I can't really pinpoint any issues myself, because the article kind of hits on all the reasons why I love the idea of Fallout: 76, but hmm, I love the point made by it regardless.