I have been playing Fallout 76 since it was first released during BETA and have continued to play the game steadily since November.  Now there have been some early reviews of the game out with a lot of backlash and hate being spread out there.  Some points may be valid, like the issue with the bag’s, but I believe most of the reviews out there were posted way to early and some reviewers did not give the game a chance.  Now that I have spent some real-time playing the game, I am ready to give my insights.

The game plays very much like its predecessors so if you have been a fan of the Fallout series, the controls will be familiar.  You will ease very quickly with no real issues.  The biggest change is VATS.  Those who have played Fallout will be used to the game going into a “slow motion” effect when entering vats, but in Fallout 76 this does not happen.  I heard complaints about this feature, but I welcomed it as all VATS does here is give you an auto-aim feature with a percentage chance to hit.  This works great on smaller creatures like bloatflies and fast-moving molerats.  I like to play sneaky snipers, and I say again, based on previous gameplay all works the same.  Scopes work well and the sneaking system warns you when your hidden, cautioned or detected.

I did not experience as many glitches that have been reported over time.  I had one quest stop working but after a server reset it was back up and running with no further issues.  I had noticed some mob issues, mostly scorched holding shotguns sideways, but this didn’t bother me.  Graphical glitches like this were not game breaking and I know over time, these issues will be fixed and addressed.

This is a survival and explorers game.  If you just follow the quests and not explore the sites around you, your enjoyment of the game will diminish.  People complained they couldn’t find Stimpaks or RadAway, but if you explore sites on your way to your next quest your sure to find more items and salvage than you can carry.  As a survival game, if you played Fallout New Vegas or Fallout 4 on survival mode, Fallout 76 is easy.  The survival modes in past games were much harder than you have here in Fallout 76.  Survival games are supposed to add an element of danger and Fallout 76 does that with little issue to its playability.

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The graphics are excellent and the sounds are great.  It is important to listen to your surroundings as you may hear the ghoul wandering in the distance, or the buzz of the bloatfly though you may not be able to see it yet.  In my opinion, the graphics in Fallout 76 are crisper and clearer then Fallout 4.  The shading and lighting are also much better than its predecessors.

There have been complaints that the game does not have a story or a very weak one.  Their have also been complaints about there being no NPC’s.  I go back to exploring because if you do not explore sites, you miss letters, journals, and computers with logs from people who populated the area.  They all, mostly, link back to The Scorched.  Without giving too much away the story is basic, people have been turned into these scorched beasts akin to semi-intelligent ghouls and you have to learn about this disease and find out how to stop it.  You learn those who populated West Virginia were also trying to combat the epidemic and it appears they failed.  Now you, and everyone else who left Vault 76 have to learn to survive and protect themselves from the Scorched threat.  There is a good story here, you just have to read and pay attention.

I hope to see what Bethesda has in store for the game in terms of re-playability.  They boat that in the future they will have faction based PvP combat and other vaults will open.  You can find a few vaults in the game that you can not enter.  I hope with expansions they open these vaults, add some NPC’s and add to the story and depth of the West Virginia Wasteland.  As long as future content is well thought out, people will come back to play.  I will come back to play.

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I have never been much of a builder in games, but I know it is important to many gamers.  The CAMP system has a few glitches, but as you unlock items to build, creating your own home is actually fun.  You can create elaborate homes with useful amenities like crafting stations, farms for food, and water purifiers to help you survive.

PvP is interesting as it requires you to retaliate against your opponent.  If someone shoots you, the level of damage is heavily reduced, though if you shoot back, all parties do full damage.  Not many have tried to outright attack me and grief. Most players are actually helpful and enjoy giving out free items and assisting with quests.

My overall opinion of the game is simple, I love it.  I have a few friends I play with from time to time and we always have a great time exploring the wasteland, finding new places to explore, and completing quests along the way.  I recommend the game to anyone who enjoys the Fallout universe, survival based games, and first person shooters.  Bethesda has done a good job in listening to the community and has been making some good quality of life adjustments and trying to be open about the future of the game.  This is good and I hope the game continues for a long time.

 

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