Fallout 76 Review (PS4)

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Rich reviews Fallout 76 for the PS4.

I have played every Fallout game Bethesda have ever made. Way back in 1997 I was blown away by Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game. I was hooked on the series. With the exceptional Fallout 3, I didn’t think the series could get any better. Fallout 4 was enjoyable, especially with the added build system. What I’m trying to say is, I love this franchise and I like that the series has evolved over time. But when they announced that Fallout 76 would be a multiplayer game, I was a little nervous.

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With any Bethesda game, you expect bugs. It’s kind of part of the package, but it has never reached the stage where I was unwilling to play the game because of them. But that’s where I am after 20+ hours of gameplay. I know there is an update now that is set to fix a lot of the issues, but I feel a little burned out. It’s been a slog to progress through this game with so many frustrating bugs.

Fallout 76 works well when playing with friends, but I have a certain way I like to play these games, so unless you play with people who have a similar or complimenting style, it can get frustrating. I’m the kind of gamer who wants to read all the logs, explore everything and totally immerse myself in the story. Some of my friends just want to run and gun, so usually leaving me behind and then I’m on catch up. So it could go either way depending on who you play with.

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The base building in Fallout 4 was enjoyable enough, so you’d think it would be the same in Fallout 76. Yet they’ve managed to make it worse. The same goes for the VATS system. Basically, all the good things the games have featured over the years has somehow gone backwards. I don’t understand how this happened. It seemed so easy to just copy or tweak things from the previous game. But it all comes unstuck and is very messy to navigate. This, along with the bugs, makes playing the game a real chore rather than playing and enjoying it.

The lack of NPCs really hurts the game, there were many occasions when i was playing solo when it just felt like a walking simulator, due to the lack of other players around. I was simply walking around and it just felt very isolated and lonely. Yes they have rationalised it in the narrative as you being one of ‘the first ones’, so from a story aspect it makes sense, it just makes playing the game by yourself a bit pointless. Add to this the repetitive quests, you can soon find yourself tiring of the game very quickly.

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While I have been very negative throughout the review, the only positive I can cling to is the hope that the game will be fixed and they will make some changes like other MMOs have done. Sometimes a game can be a totally different beast a year on after release, and that is what I’m hoping for with this game. There is a great game in here somewhere, it’s just a shame that it’s not here already.

Fallout 76 is a buggy, at times infuriating game that suffers from a lack of NPCs and stuttering graphics. Everything the series has done well over the years has taken a giant leap backwards. I hate to say it, but in it’s current state it is not worth the price tag.

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