By: Jerad Karasek
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is an exciting event for the gaming community, as hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers from the video game industry present upcoming products. Over a hundred new games and services were announced by major companies like Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, and more from June 9 to June 12.
Fans of the post-apocalyptic role-playing Fallout game series were surprised when Bethesda Softworks revealed a gameplay trailer and a release date for Fallout 76. Set to release in November of this year, Fallout 76 is Bethesda’s first attempt at creating an open-world multiplayer game. Fallout games have traditionally only been single-player role-playing games, so Bethesda is taking a risk in favor of a new experience.
Bethesda’s Todd Howard hosted the panel for Bethesda’s E3 event on June 10, and explained the new system implementations and direction the company is going with the Fallout series. “We always start with the world, and this time it features all new rendering, lighting, and landscape technology. It allows us to have 16 times the detail and even view distance weather systems across the map.” he said. “Like many of you, we have always wanted to see what our style of game could be with multiplayer. So many of us talk about experiences in our games, but we’ve never experienced them together.” he said.
Fallout 76 will act as a prequel to previous Fallout games and will be set in West Virginia. Locations in the game will be pulled from actual sites throughout the state, and the map is four times larger than in Fallout 4. There are no non-player characters (NPCs) other than robots. Many new, mutated creatures will also be included. Building bases is going to be a large part of the game, and there’s even the option of using a nuke on other player’s bases.
For those who prefer the single-player role-playing style that has been so ingrained into previous Fallout games, this new direction can be a disappointment. This is a major cause of concern for the fan base, especially since the conference had no talk of story progression, character dialogue, or cross-platform play. However, the game will still be able to be played solo, and beloved mechanics like quests and V.A.T.S. mode (aim assistance) will still be major components of the game.
If Fallout 76 is anything like previous iterations of multiplayer open-world survival games, like Rust and DayZ, the potential for success is high. This newer genre of video games has grown significantly in popularity over the past decade. As with previous iterations of the genre, Fallout 76 will feature beta access to receive feedback from players and fix any issues and bugs with the game along the way. It will be a closed beta that requires a pre-order of the game in order to participate.