Like any self-respecting nerd who lacks the ability to respect himself in any way whatsoever, I've been a gigantic Fallout fan since the original Fallout shareware title released in the mid-90s, Fallout: A Big Fucking Rock Sitting In the Middle of a Field That You Somehow Must Figure out How to Maneuver Around Without Falling Into a Pit or Falling Off the Map. I embraced nearly every aspect of the its unique and creative universe, one which presented multiple moral choices in every scenario, such as allowing your party members to drink water, or to refuse and watch them all die of thirst like the idiots they were.
So when the latest Fallout game was announced by that one guy who is sure to lose his job shortly, I couldn't have possibly been more excited. I pre-ordered roughly 800 of those stupid novelty limited edition power armor helmets, and although their steep price placed me several million dollars in debt, I felt confident in my decision to let the entire world know I am a man who routinely makes absolutely terrible choices in nearly all facets of life.
Unfortunately, the shine and luster of Fallout 76 began to slowly erode around the 800-hour mark of play. Now I don't want to turn off any prospective buyers or Fallout fans, but Fallout 76 seems to possess a myriad of questionable decisions that, at best, can hamper certain quests, and at worst, hamper absolutely everything else. Instead of simply reviewing this game and giving it an X out of Y score, I've chosen to list a small number of bugs and poor game design decisions encountered during my exhaustive trip through the wasteland. If your heart is set on purchasing this game, please do not allow this article to persuade you against it; I merely want to prepare the casual gamer for what lies ahead.
A Comprehensive List of all Fallout 76 Features / Bugs / Questionable Design Decisions
Fallout 76 was based off the highly successful Fallout 4, a title which critics and fans alike unquestionably loved but agreed contained one single flaw: the atrocious NPC voice acting and dialogue. Bethesda listened to their fans, and during the nine-week development of Fallout 76, ingeniously solved this issue by completely removing all NPCs and voice acting. But worry not; all NPCs have been replaced by better, infinitely more fun things! Like instead of walking into a store and trading goods with a shopkeep, Fallout 76 allows you to walk into a store and trade goods with the floor as you immediately die from an exploding trap.
What about those colorful NPC companions you might pick up along the way in previous games such as Fallout New Vegas? Don't worry, dear readers, as Bethesda addressed this issue as well: they've all been replaced by a potted cactus which does not move and you cannot pick up, as it is part of the world geometry. Now that's what I call thinking outside the box! The cactus box, that is! And yes, I am fully aware that statement makes no sense, but neither does anything else in this game, so there's something to be said regarding consistency here. This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
If you were to run down a busy urban street shrieking "what is your favorite part of Fallout 4???," crowds of people would instantly shout back "why the atrociously dull junk collection and crafting system of course, you fucking asshole." Then you would be added to the local police's sex offender list. Nothing screams "fun" quite like scrounging around for several thousand pounds of broken fans and toasters, which you can then bring back to your base and craft them into a rifle scope which does, at most, one extra damage point, assuming you physically throw your fan toaster scope directly at the enemy's head, and the enemy happens to be a crippled child who foolishly forgot to wear his foam helmet.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Bethesda has decided to double down on this clever crafting system by overhauling it with 700% more junk to collect and exciting, new, unique craftable items that can only be experienced in the amazing world of Fallout 76! For example, you can make a top hat. I can't think of anything else, but I swear to update this article If I ever do.
The dynamic and creative world of Fallout 76 has been populated with vicious enemies the likes of which you have never seen or imagined, even during fevers or wet dreams! For example, there are robots. Also there are bigger and smaller robots. Maybe there's a dragon too, who knows. This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
Being a MMO, Fallout 76 places your character on a server with up to 22 other real life characters. Dividing the size of the game's map by the maximum amount of potential players, I have calculated there is slightly more than a 0.0000000000000000006% chance of ever spotting another actual human being, in either the game or your basement. If you do encounter another player, the odds fortunately jump to a whopping 84% when determining the probability of that individual referring to you as a "faggot nigger" once approaching within earshot of them.
The PVP system is a first-of-its kind, one that has never been seen before in any game ever, primarily because it's stupid as fuck and makes no sense and lacks any point whatsoever. In order to initiate a PVP challenge, you must first engage in a precise series of 83 different character emotes, in the exact proper order, a process which can consume several hours at the least. If the character you're targeting is still in the area and hasn't logged off, fallen asleep, or died of old age, you must then throw your handkerchief at them and say "bully to you, cur." Speaking through your gaming headset often causes this phrase to sound like "burfy toot ooker," which is a highly problematic racial slur that will cause you to be permanently banned from every game ever, so try to be careful.
At this point you must grab your most powerful weapon and attack your target with it. Regardless of your weapon's statistics, you will end up doing 1 HP damage or less. Then an air raid siren goes off, alerting everybody within a 20 mile radius of your character, that you are preparing to engage in PVP combat. Successfully murdering your target will reward you with riches and rare treasures beyond your wildest dreams, such as six bottle caps or a ketchup bottle (but NEVER both). Then a deathclaw will spawn directly above your character's head, falling from the sky and killing you instantly. This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
The plot, crafted by some of the gaming industry's most talented and skilled writers, can be best summarized as, "something happened to something else and somebody has to either stop it or not." Due to the lack of speaking NPCs, all clues must be obtaining by listening to holo-tapes (tapes made out of holos) or by reading pieces of paper scattered throughout the wasteland because, as everybody knows, paper is the least flammable object in the world.
Interacting with these items often leads to sidequests, written in the style of "I have hidden my super secret really powerful gun in the gas station up north... I sure hope nobody finds it! Or reads this note! Which I wrote for absolutely no beneficial reason!" to "collect 60 bone remains from Quelboars in the Barrens. Bring them back and dump them all into a chute and you will be rewarded with a t-shirt that says 'I'M BORED AS FUCK' and lacks any capability of reducing damage taken." This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
The VATS system has been completely overhauled with a new and exciting targeting system which is not only highly useless, but remarkably obnoxious as well. Your character can use VATS 2.0 to aim for an enemy's head, thereby inflicting a potentially fatal dose of damage which could instantly murder the unholy dick out of them, assuming the following criteria are all met:
1) The enemy does not move, at all, ever.
2) The enemy is not stuck inside world geometry.
3) The enemy is fewer than two inches away.
4) The enemy has been programmed with AI that allows it to spontaneously die regardless of ever suffering damage.
5) Both you and your enemy are actually in a completely different game, one coded by a completely different company.
Have you ever wanted to create your own personal fortress to protect you from the harsh post-apocalyptic elements roaming the wasteland? Well tough shit, the best Fallout 76 has to offer is gluing tons of aluminum siding together so you can attempt to hide a locker cabinet containing 600 bottles of glue inside. Roving gangs of evil NPCs and evil racist PCs will occasionally stumble upon your fortress of solitude and immediately attempt to destroy it because fuck, there's nothing else to do in this piece of shit. The most successful way to defend your structure is by adding and fortifying its defenses, but it's much easier to simply quit the game and play something else more entertaining, like that game where you shove lit matchsticks up your asshole and see how many you can get inside before your parents find out and loudly exclaim, "oh no, not again."
Fallout 76's state-of-the-art graphics are powered by Bethesda's proprietary game engine, one which was originally created in 1983 to edit spreadsheets with punchcards. Many additions and changes have been added over the years, such as:
1) Support for spreadsheets that contain more than six entries.
2) Day / night cycles for spreadsheets.
3) Typing "Todd Howard is gay lmao" no longer results the program responding "ERROR."
4) Glue can now be stored in locker cabinets.
5) State of the art support for the color brown, which happens to be the only color supported, state of the art or otherwise.
Fallout 76 contains an exciting, sad, well written story and plot which was originally scrawled down on bar napkins during happy hour. I have no fucking clue what it is. Probably something about glue being placed into lockers.
Emphasizing flexibility, your character is allowed to join one of several dynamic factions, including:
* The Brotherhood of the Steel
* The Responders
* The Raiders
* The Mermaids
* The Warriors
* The Sticky Bandits
* Nedry from Jurassic Park
* The Who
Different quests and tasks will be assigned based on which group you join, as they are all dynamically created. For example, a player who joins the Brotherhood of the Steel may be tasked to hack a computer and protect it from a wave of enemies intent on its destruction. This quest completely changes if your character is a member of the Raiders, and instead of protecting the computer, you must break in and fuck it to death. This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
If all this wasn't enough, and it sure as fuck is, Bethesda has additionally promised several amazing updates in the future, perhaps even by the year 2183, which will add jaw-dropping new features like "different hair styles that you probably have to pay cash money for," and "an Easter egg where you can walk down a hallway and see John Romero's severed, bloody head impaled on a stick." Who knows, they could even add more wonderful and creative things that greatly build upon their already revolutionary game. I am, of course, just kidding, because this is Bethesda we're talking about here, and the only additional content they are capable of producing are game breaking bugs.
Please do not let this comprehensive list of features / bugs / questionable design decisions discourage you away from purchasing one of the most highly anticipated games in decades, at least according to Bethesda's Tom Howard, after he spent 14 straight hours drinking rum from a urinal inside a TGI Friday's. Fallout 76 is a game inhabiting an absolutely incredible position, one where its features and content can only improve over time, and I'm not just saying that because there's literally no possible way for it to currently become any worse.
This is what game developers refer to as "balancing gameplay."
Former Navy SEAL Jeff Caliber survived tier one special ops and is now studying creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. And fighting terrorists.
You gave yourself that bad haircut years ago. You're a smarter person now. More well-rounded as a human. This time you'll probably be able to cut your hair like a champ. This is a terrific idea!
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