As I watch reviews, both player and press, roll in for Fallout 76 I get a distinct sense of déjà vu. I loved Auto Assault. I think I’m not alone there, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at press and player reception to Netdevil’s ill-fated car-driving MMORPG from the early 2000s.
In fact, on many occasions in my life, I’ve loved a game where the overwhelming sentiment seems to be the opposite. The most recent case of this is Bethesda’s Fallout 76 which is currently being lampooned for its bugs, lack of polish, and divergence from the series’ main NPC-related stories.
I look back at Fallout 3 and 4, and I’m wondering where the hatred for those games was, but then I realize that it was different because those were single-player offerings and the idea that Bethesda makes broken fun was OK because players could and would wind up fixing what was busted while Bethesda went about patching.
I also think the sentiment that “these games are broken, why do we give them a pass” has changed a lot in the time since FO4 and FO76. And that FO76 isn’t the kind of Fallout series fans wanted helps fuel this ire.
In any case, I’m having an absolutely blast with Fallout 76 – it’s a persistent online world with limited players per game, and I kind of dig that right now. My schedule doesn’t let me raid, or even schedule any sort of normal MMO-style group play, so a solo game where co-op happens naturally and randomly is perfect. Add to that the flair and universe of Bethesda’s Fallout games, and I’m happy.
I’m reminded of Elder Scrolls Online when it launched, and how rocky its road to mainstream acceptance and popularity was, and I hope FO76 can repeat that. Because while I’ll admit that FO76 needs a lot of fine-tuning the core concept and loop is solid, and there’s a whole lot to do. Like Zenimax, I hope Bethesda doesn’t give up on FO76 due to mixed reception, and instead keeps the passion for their idea strong and puts the effort into making it the best it can be.
What games do you enjoy/love/appreciate that no one else seems to?