According to Fallout 76 developers, Bethesda’s ongoing updates have improved the online-centric title so much that it deserves a second chance.
Because of how drastically Fallout 76 has changed since its late 2018 launch, Design Director Mark Tucker and Lead Producer Jeff Gardiner hope fans will give the beleaguered online title another chance. Even before its due date rolled around, Fallout 76 struggled to earn the confidence of Fallout faithful. The online-only gameplay options sat at the nexus of the disdain, but so, too, did the lack of a focused narrative and NPCs.
Several major updates have turned the tide in this respect, however, with March 2019’s Wild Appalachia serving as the first of the bunch. A little over a year later, Bethesda Game Studios deployed Wastelanders, the third significant content drop that added NPCs, a storyline with choices and consequences, and a few fresh features. Wastelanders marked a turning point for Fallout 76, but developers still had quite a long road to travel. And it seems the team has navigated its myriad obstacles fairly well, evidenced by the other five content updates that have gone live since NPCs entered the post-apocalyptic fray. With Steel Reign now out in the wild, Bethesda believes now is the perfect time for lapsed players to the wasteland.
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Discussing Steel Reign with Newsweek, Design Director Mark Tucker addressed the issues that long plagued Fallout 76, noting that Bethesda took all fan feedback to heart. He told the publication, “we listened to the feedback of ‘this doesn’t feel like a Fallout game’ [and] since launch, we have made significant changes.” Thus, Fallout 76 should no longer feel like a husk of its namesake, thanks to dozens of transformative content releases. “This is now a very story-driven game,” Tucker added. “You’re gonna have some great interactions with NPCs and some interesting choices. There’s a lot of deep storytelling going on.” Lead Producer Jeff Gardiner chimed in next: “If you are a story fan, or a traditional RPG fan like I am myself, there is a lot [now] for you to come and explore. So please jump in and give us a shot.”
By most accounts, Fallout 76 is now a much better experience than what Bethesda offered on day one. The Fallout title took a while to reach this point, but its trajectory over the last few years has been interesting to watch in real time. With more content scheduled to drop in the future, reason suggests such forward momentum won’t soon come to a halt.
Fallout 76’s ninth major update, Worlds are Changing, remains on track for a fall 2021 release. The developers most notably plan on evolving private worlds and further expanding upon Daily Operations. Another update, Tales from the Stars, drops this winter and should pack in a new seasonal event and legendary gear.
Fallout 76 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms.
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