Fallout 76 is a spin-off multiplayer open-world action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks on November 14, 2018. It serves as a "narrative prequel" to the entire Fallout franchise, taking place 25 years after the nuclear war that almost destroyed civilization.
Why It Sucks
- The game was built using Bethesda's severely outdated Creation Engine (which is based on the Gamebyro engine) which caused many of the problems mentioned below.
- The game not only suffered from a heavily rushed development but also is being handled by Bethesda's less experienced Austin division instead of the more established and experienced Dallas division. Like because they know how to make a fully functional but okay Multiplayer games (they were even in progress with a new Multiplayer game under the first same name with the BattleCry Studios LLC (former name), prior to becoming another new Bethesda named studio, along the game itself shelved), but didn't have the same pace of development as other divisions have.
- A ton of assets from Fallout 4 were copy-pasted into this game, including bugs and glitches which had been known about for years.
- The game's graphics are even more outdated, to the point that even Fallout 4 looked better.
- During the game's pre-release early access stage (known as the B.E.T.A. despite fulfilling none of the normal functions of a beta), a bug in the Bethesda Launcher caused all of the game's files (which is approximately 50 gigabytes) to be completely wiped out from your hard drive, meaning that you had to download the B.E.T.A. again.
- The B.E.T.A. was also obviously just a publicity stunt, as it was far too close to the launch date for any issues that turned up in it to be fixed. Sure enough, the game launched in a state identical to the B.E.T.A. release, bugs and all.
- Because progress from the B.E.T.A. transferred directly to the actual game, those players who paid enough to get into it (which was only available on more expensive preorder packages) had an automatic leg-up on regular players. This would have been a huge problem if the PvP wasn't hopelessly broken, as covered later.
- The first patches were ridiculously large: each was bigger than the base game, and in total were over 100 gigabytes.
- No physical copies of the PC version have a proper disc. Instead, they have a piece of cardboard with a game code printed on it.
- The game is full of bugs and glitches, including some like the "damage bug" that has been known about since Skyrim.
- Another is enemies failing to load their animations and just floating around in the default pose, as seen here.
- Due to the glitchiness of the game, one player got permanent god mode, which may seem fun at first, but it basically made the game even easier than it already is. He was practically begging for death. This is because the player had negative health points, and characters only die when it's at zero.
- Adding literal insult to injury, during a presentation at E3 2018 director Todd Howard openly mocked people who claim that Skyrim and Fallout 4 are buggy, even though there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of videos on YouTube demonstrating game-breaking glitches from both of those games.
- The game's netcode is atrocious and anything too heavy will cause server-side problems that will at very least randomly boot players. One group of players set off three nukes at once and actually crashed the server they were on.
- The netcode is also very insecure, with one Reddit user finding out that editing the game's .ini file can result in you being able to phase through walls or find the IP address of every other player currently on the server.
- Obviously, the one thing that did work just fine on launch was the "Atomic Store" for overpriced microtransactions. While it is possible to earn the currency, "atoms," in-game, the rate is pathetically slow once all standard quests that give atoms are completed (working out at about $4 a week if the player completes all possible challenges) and the items are things that modders would have made for free in previous games.
- Many weapons and armor pieces in the game are locked behind a level cap (as per games like Borderlands), meaning you cannot use them unless you reach a high enough level. Given what a joyless slog leveling up in Fallout 76 is, this was not a good idea. At release, bosses could drop items thirty or more levels above the player's, though this was later patched to have a more reasonable level range. It is still not uncommon to encounter a suit of power armor and have to throw away most or all of its components (the frame is the only part not level-restricted) before the player can actually wear it.
- To add insult to injury, if you get booted from the game for any reason, your progress will not be saved, and you will have to redo any quests completed or re-obtain any items gathered since the last save.
- Some of the new creatures like the Wendigo, the Mothman and the Grafton Monster act very too much like fantasy and mythical creatures described by their real-life folklore counterparts.
- The Scorchbeasts in this game are literally just re-skinned Skyrim dragons, and some of the code for them is just copy-pasted from that game.
- V.A.T.S. makes a return, but, unlike its previous counterparts, it runs in real-time instead of slowing down or freezing time. Besides, you can no longer target a specific part of an enemy's body while using it without unlocking a perk.
- The game gets repetitive and boring very quickly.
- The quests you'll get are nothing but "Collect X Object." or "Kill X monsters.".
- Prior to E3 2019 with the “Wastelanders” DLC announcement, there was absolutely no living passive humanoid NPCs (humans, civilized ghouls, and more super mutants) to interact with or receive mission quests from. Instead, all quests were given by robots or computer terminals.
- The Main "Story" (the Overseer's adventure-centric) questline that the game offers for the Lore-driven players, is literally a big Fetch quest that doesn't offer much different from the side quests within the game.
- Since there's no ending or even monologue like almost all Fallout games, after the "Main Story" questline is done due to it being a multiplayer game and is the first Fallout game which is that way, unlike all the other Fallout games (including Brotherhood of Steel of all things). It gives a sense that nothing changes, regardless of your actions, because again since it's a multiplayer based game, it has to keep restarting its servers... thus all the progress you made is completely pointless.
- Some locations aren't noteworthy to visit despite having a map four times bigger than Fallout 4.
- The only story or lore for that matter, you'll get is from audio logs found scattered throughout the game or bits and pieces of text from terminals scattered about in the game.
- Lore for majority all the locations, unlike the previous games of series, always (in)directly connected with how the characters die to forced the lack of passive NPCs narrative by they become another Scorched victim, flooded by a fictionalized dam disaster, committed suicide to please by their cult, just to name a few; while they're few that aren't fatal ended-related, was either mediocre or bad like the mysterious "magical" Piano in a abandoned church named Haven Church at The Mire region, and there one note (which is randomly appears only nighttime in-game) saying in a terrible colluded way from a "player" POV that the Piano making music by its own, despite the possible hint that those vines have something to do this.
- The game's story is equally absurd. You and your friends are doing nothing, but cleaning up the mess left behind by the nuclear war, hence the large amounts of object collecting missions. Much like with Destiny, No Man's Sky, and Sea of Thieves, the developers tried to explain away the near-total lack of storyline or player goals by claiming that the idea was for players to create their own stories for their characters and "make their own fun", excuses commonly used by "service" games to justify the lack of content.
- Along the 'Scorched Plague' concept/gameplay or plot excuse in general, looks definitely like an oblivious afterthought during early development to heavily justifying the lack of NPCs, despite paying voice actors to voice all the deceased and unseen characters in the final game by audio logs. Which made this just terribly lazy excuse instead to not make hundreds of workable passive NPCs for a Multiplayer online game.
- The game uses a card system in order to get perks and unique skills and weapons. While this doesn't actually require microtransactions, it's a fair bet while the game was in development.
- There is also no way to re-spec a character, ever, meaning that the player can end up completely screwing themselves over if they fail to spec up certain stats before reaching the point where no further perks can be assigned.
- The cards also come with chewing gum that the character can consume. The jokes on the wrappers are mostly cheesy and unfunny. A few of the jokes also try to be dark while also trying not to be dark, making them feel overly politically correct for what they're trying to be.
- Most of the enemies you'll find are Scorched humans who turned into what are essentially semi-intelligent zombies (like feral ghouls but with lobotomites' remaining skills from Old World Blues DLC) with green crystal shards because of the Scorched Plague.
- Speaking of enemies, they have terrible AI, as they often do not attack the player, or even acknowledge their presence.
- The game has a 24-player limit per server because it wants to feel post-apocalyptic and having lots of players in a map would ruin it. However, past games had lots of NPCs in smaller maps without harming this atmosphere, so there's no excuse to have a bigger player limit.
- At release the voice chat lacked a basic push-to-talk option. This meant having a microphone plugged in resulted in all speech and background noise automatically being transmitted to nearby players, and the only way to disable it was to disable the microphone manually or unplug it. Push-to-talk was eventually patched a month or so after release.
- The multiplayer aspect is heavily flawed. Adding to the low player limit, there's little to no reason to cooperate since the difficulty is really low and there are no bonus rewards that incentivize it.
- While the game's faction names are somewhat improving from Fallout 4's, however, the other faction names are still lazier or even badly sounded like the Cutthroats, Free States, Order of Mysteries, and Responders, as given majorly all these founders did live before the Great War, not after it as low-intellectual first-generation survivors. So, they should know better of getting good names of these factions, they founded after their styles.
- Griefing (trolling/harassing of other players) is incredibly easy:
- Since the level of monsters that spawn is determined by the highest-level player in the area, high-level players will often follow low-level players around, generating monsters at levels much too high for them to fight until they die so they can loot the corpse. Since this is not a PVP kill, it does not result in the high-level player becoming wanted.
- Following a nuclear explosion, an irradiated area is formed where extremely high-level monsters spawn, which is supposed to allow high-level players to raid the area for legendary equipment drops. Unfortunately, at launch, there was nothing to stop players nuking areas near Vault 76 and force new players to deal with endgame-level monsters until it was changed later so no nukes can drop in The Forest region.
- Prior to the addition of the PvP-focus 'Survival' mode in the Wild Appalachia DLC, the main game's basic PvP system was broken for many reasons:
- The PvP system is not "open" (i.e you can just start fights with players who have enabled PvP): instead, after you attack another player, they have to attack you back to commence the "duel." This could be seen as an idea one's mother would come up with to make sure everyone was having fun, and thus it robs the game of any sense of threat.
- It's worth mentioning that the game doesn't penalize disconnections in between duels.
- It favors the latter person too much since the PvP modifier doesn't wear off until they attack back. First of all, if they don't attack back, they almost won't get harmed if they run away. Second of all, they have all the time in the world to look at your gear and put on all of their gear (including a super-armor and their best weapon), since they will receive almost no damage from the attacker, and hit them back with all of the gear. Needless to say that the combat has little to no balance.
- The rewards are poor, so there's no real reason to PvP.
- Fall damage isn't affected by the modifier, so you can build a high place, invite someone there, break the floor beneath them so they fall to their death and finish them off.
- If a player somehow kills another player without entering PvP or does something really evil like accidentally melee the door of another player's toilet, they will become "wanted" on the server. This generally results in having a bunch of level 100+ players wearing power armor and dosed up to the eyeballs on chems fast-traveling to the player's position and murdering the hell of out them to collect the bounty. This is apparently supposed to prevent griefing, but since as noted above it actually doesn't, all it really means is you can accidentally summon a roving death squad.
- When you get to an area, you have the chance to get an event in which other players can help if they want to and have similar levels as you. However, the events are as uninteresting as the quests, and very rarely someone else will help, since almost everyone is a lone wolf.
- Clunky building system without mods. Plus, when you log out, other players will almost certainly dismantle anything you've built by the time you get back.
- The custom gun feature is more limited than Fallout 4's.
- For some strange reason, The Brotherhood of Steel appears here as a 'first' attempted local chapter, despite their presence in the game where they first appeared being felt non-canon, thus claiming that this game is a prequel to the Fallout franchise kinda artificial. They tried to explain this by claiming that the region belonged to former US soldiers who survived the Great War, with one of them–and also happen to be the leader of those surviving US soldiers–happens to be friends to the BoS founder, Roger Maxson. They have a functional radio broadcasting station and got contacted by Roger Maxson, even though he was located thousands of miles away. In reality, this is just because Bethesda is obsessed with the superficial aspects of the Fallout franchise (the Brotherhood, super mutants, etc), to the point that they can't make a game without them.
- On the subject of super mutants, they, of course, appear again, with another nonsensical excuse for the Forced Evolution Virus to be around so they can exist. And as usual in the Bethesda Fallout games, they are basically just post-apocalyptic green ogres.
- Along the feral ghouls also, of course, appear again with predominantly no justifiable reason as given its 25 years after the Great War happen, and ghoulification and later eventually becoming feral (depending each case, as seen in all the games until this point) takes longer spans of time as canonical lore implies, here they just instantly turned into feral ghouls for no reason, but forcing the lack of passive NPCs narrative, Bethesda is pushing at.
- On the subject of super mutants, they, of course, appear again, with another nonsensical excuse for the Forced Evolution Virus to be around so they can exist. And as usual in the Bethesda Fallout games, they are basically just post-apocalyptic green ogres.
- If you do beat the final boss, there is no ending monologue as #17's additional information pointed out, you just.... continue playing like it never happened.
- The nuclear launch codes are not randomized as one might expect, instead, being fixed for one-week periods. This means players could simply look them up online and launch nukes at will, which they gleefully did.
- Clunky UI which has seen no improvements, and is now not only tedious but actually dangerous to navigate as the game does not pause when a player is looking at their inventory. A mod came out three days after the game's release that provided a far better UI sorted into categories.
- Extremely low carry limit and storage limits, meaning the player has to simply discard a lot of their loot. However, materials can stack almost infinitely, meaning it is not rare to encounter player stashes containing tens or even hundreds of thousands of units of material.
- On the other hand, when carrying power armor only the 10kg frame is counted as weighing anything, even if it has a full set of armor mounted on it. This means a player can wear a suit of power armor while having another entire suit in their inventory.
- On the subject of power armor, it is everywhere in the wasteland, even places where it makes absolutely no sense like in a farm outbuilding.
- When a Reddit user asked Bethesda for a refund after having enough with this game, the company immediately backed out of it. Bethesda points to some very odd language in their terms of service which implies that you can get a refund for a game only if you never installed it, which is unlikely to hold up in court and is beyond absurd. Even worse, some customers have reported receiving refunds after requesting them. This obviously led to a class action lawsuit over it.
- The game's premium merchandise was also subject to controversy with lashings of false advertising to boot; from the "Power Armor Edition" to the "Nuka Dark Rum". Has its own page.
- For some weird reason, every time your AP meter reaches zero, you'll lose a small chunk of your health.
- To make matters worse, one player had his AP meter depleting by itself without any reason.
- Nobody seems to be that bothered by the fact that a nuclear war just happened.
- A glitch in Bethesda's official website has leaked out the personal information of players' support tickets for the game, which includes names, addresses and, in the case of the canvas bag incident, credit card numbers.
- Patch 188.8.131.52, which was released on December 4, 2018, broke the combat mechanic completely by aggravating a bug that causes enemies to be immune to guns, meaning you can only kill them with melee weapons.
- Bethesda pulled off a Bungie in Patch 184.108.40.206, which deliberately nerfed a lot of features without the players' knowledge a la Destiny 2.
- In one of the more recent patches, Fallout 76 included holiday cosmetic items, including costumes and special emotes. However, the holiday emotes were simply .jpeg re-skins of the pre-existing emotes that have no effect whatsoever, and the costumes were released for around $20 a piece. Bethesda claimed these items were "on-sale", despite never being sold before and certainly not at the claimed $30 "normal" price point. The result isn't so much a discount as it is a promise of a later price hike.
- While it's reasonable for Bethesda to ban people for modifying Fallout 76 (a standard punishment for people modding always-online games, though this does bring up the issue of why you would inflict an always-online game on a series well-known for its modding community, or who cares about this in a game where PvP is pointless and broken) their banning appears to be done by bots, and the bot in question has such a propensity for false positives that people have been banned just for adjusting the screen. Even more deranged, players who are banned get a support message: “If you would like to appeal this account closure, we would be willing to accept an essay on ‘Why the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community,’ for our management team to review.” Because, you know, treating your already tiny userbase like they are naughty children isn't detrimental to an online community.
- Apparently, Bethesda completely lost the launch codes to the nukes once January 1, 2019, rang in. This means that the game is impossible to beat as no one can launch the nukes.
- Patch 1.0.5 introduces a bunch of new bugs and reintroduces bugs that were already patched. The most notable bugs returning being bobby pins weighing too much, and the ability to duplicate items.
- During E3 2019, a trailer was revealed for the new piece of free DLC titled "Wastelanders", which includes human NPCs (already a common staple of Bethesda games) as a selling point, and a completely unnecessary battle royale mode was also teased at the event to launch at a later date.
- The battle royale mode (titled "Nuclear Winter") was also given a "B.E.T.A" trial for a week, meant to test the game and draw up community support. This, however, appears to have backfired, as the trial was rampant with cheaters, servers were unreliable, many weapons and armors were overpowered (especially Power Armor, which essentially means you win the match if you find it), and gameplay did not have much variety beyond the base game, other than make the open-world map small.
- The music, like previous Fallout games, is nice to listen to thanks to Inon Zur composing.
- The actual selection of enemies is varied, even if some are horribly overused.
- Enough the Scorched is a badly made generic enemy, it maybe take inspirations from AGW DLC enemies like Lobotomites as mentioned, Ghost People, and Marked Men from each DLC.
- The armor system has improved over Fallout 4, now it allows you to wear armor over every outfit.
- Item durability from Fallout 3 & Fallout: New Vegas has returned since it was missing in Fallout 4.
- A good selection of licensed songs to listen to, like previous installments.
- Copilot's cover of "Take Me Home, County Roads" is also nice to listen to.
- Their update DLCs are free to download as promised, without horridly paying them.
- As mentioned in #33, This was the ever first truly vocal appearance of the Brotherhood of Steel founder, Roger Maxson, as mentioned throughout the series, along using him as a background character for few audio-logs. Spite being regardlessly misused to justified the Appalachia Brotherhood of Steel existence in the game.
- While mention in #33, unlike the bad explanations of the appearances of the series' iconic elements like the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave (or a technically breakaway faction of it) reason to appear in this game actually makes lot sense, due of the real-world connections like their headquarters' is based on The Greenbrier hotel and its bunker. But too bad, as they were the main background antagonist due of their only previous human leader, Thomas Eckhart, was a reactionary narcissistic moron to led his group to collapse leaving their AI MODUS as a artificial sole member and new leader all within 3-4 years in live span, and the main indirectly (not deliberately like previous games) reason why the Scorched Plague exist.
- They have some settle nods to other Fallout games, without being too bastardized from the lore like the rest of the game did. For example, the Pip-Boy 2000 Mark VI is a nod to Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 that other regions are using rather than the East Coast variants using the 2.0 version.
- Despite the unnecessary Battle Royale mode, that mode was surprisingly majorly functional and mostly playable for a short-time in E3 2019 conference.
- Depending on an optimistic view; Thankfully, as being a long-overdue feature of lack of Human NPCs will be added in Fall 2019 in the Wastelanders DLC.
- Along the way, AGW's dialog style system will be used in the same near-future DLC, due for few reasons including fan service and since the playable characters are voiceless again in a Multiplayer game, make obliviously both gameplay and plot sense.
Fallout 76 got negative to mixed reception from critics, but an overwhelmingly negative to even nearly poor reception from the audience and is considered to be the final nail (for non-toxic loyal long-time fans or new fans for the company and its games) of Bethesda's reputation. It was also a huge flop, selling less than Fallout 4.
On Metacritic, the Xbox One version has a critic rating of 49/100 ("generally unfavorable reviews"), the PS4 version 53/100 ("mixed or average reviews") and the PC version 52/100 (also "mixed or average reviews").
Angry Joe gave the game a 3/10 for the PC version, and a 2/10 for console versions because the performance is worse on them. During the review, Joe called out Todd Howard for his blatant lies about the game. He would later list this game as number 1 in his top 10 most disappointing games of 2018 video, and number 2 (behind only The Quiet Man) in his top 10 worst games of 2018 video, making it the first time in years he ever put a game on two lists the same year. Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb has gone on record in saying that "no one on staff wants to play any more of this video game", and that the site would not be publishing a full review of the game due to the internal team not wanting to play enough of the game to justify making a review.
This game has even taken the spot as the worst Fallout game in the franchise from Brotherhood of Steel, who was made by Interplay themselves, never see a game studio to beat that record.
It was recently reported that sales of Fallout 76 were so bad that some German game retailers were literally giving away free copies of the game with purchases of hard drives, consoles and controllers.
A Fallout 76 player with 900 hours of playtime was banned for having "too much ammo", according to Bethesda.
In 2019 Todd Howard had an interview were he casually admitted that Bethesda knew Fallout 76 was an unfinished buggy game that would flop and released it not caring about its quality because they could fix it later.