Come And Help Create Fallout’s First Online Experience
Bethesda Softworks shocked the games industry with a surprise announcement of Fallout 76. As a spin-off from the traditional numbered series, Fallout 76 will play host to the series’ first online multiplayer experience; but does that mean single player fans should be weary of Bethesda’s upcoming title?
Turning more than a few heads upon announcement, Bethesda seems to be taking a huge risk on bringing in their first online Fallout experience in storied prequel, Fallout 76. An experience, mind you, that requires the player to play only in multiplayer lobbies. This is a huge step away from their traditionally single player only experiences, as well as raises a few eyebrows from those who remember their “Save Single Player” campaign that started less than a year ago.
Bethesda Provides Something Special For Single Player Enthusiasts
While discussing the topics between single player and multiplayer games, the biggest argument from the solo side is losing immersion due to over-crowded lobbies and online griefers who only finds joy in making others miserable. While both of these are solid arguments when backing the single player appreciation, Fallout 76 might be able to avoid these two overly annoying aspects of multiplayer action.
One common misconception of what Bethesda plans to tackle within Fallout 76 is the feeling of isolation surviving amongst a seemingly sprawling playground set in West Virginia. Many reluctant fans see Fallout 76 as trying to portray an MMO experience hazardously filled with hundreds of trigger squeezing enthusiasts looking to end every player that crosses their path. However, Bethesda has openly stated that Fallout 76 isn’t as massive in player count as most other open world survival games.
Players within Fallout 76 will dive into a world that’s said to be four times larger than the Commonwealth found in Fallout 4, but only inhabiting “dozens” of real-time players. This surely entails a game that’s less focused on player interactions (unless, of course, you’re choosing to tackle the wastes with friends in co-op), and more focused on the unique experience of scavenging, building and discovering a world hardly unscathed by the same bombs that sent much of civilization into underground vaults. Now, twenty-five years after the war, players will uncover and build what longtime fans know and love about the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout.
And while the slim player count added to the traditional single player universe may contribute to many hesitant fans concerns for Fallout 76, what comes with many popular online multiplayer games featuring PvP elements, most notably online griefing, seems to be creating even more resistance. Millions of players around the world have grown adapt to enveloping themselves within a Bethesda world only worried about the AI enemies carefully dropped into place by the development team. Adding griefing players or other online nuisances can most certainly disrupt an otherwise immersive experience; but how likely are we to run across these particular players in Fallout 76?
Oh, The Griefers
We all know they exist, especially if you’ve played games like Grand Theft Auto Online, Destiny or Sea of Thieves, but to what extent? Games like Fallout or The Elder Scrolls typically attract a specific type of player, those mostly tempted by the single player experience, while games like the above mention online experiences cater to players of all types. With this thought, players in Fallout 76 will most likely come across fellow single player enthusiasts much more commonly than those diving in just to cause other players problems and distress. And when a rare occurrence of one player coming across another online player within Fallout 76, the chances of one being a griefer seems significantly lower than if you were trotting around San Andreas or sailing the open seas.
Many also assume that since nuclear silos are making an appearance for the first time in Fallout history, that these griefers will do nothing but make life in Fallout 76 nothing more than temperamental and frustrating for fellow players. While the overall objective to launching these powerful warheads will in fact add an incredible challenge to the massive map, the launch codes to activate the nukes aren’t exactly easy to come by. Players will more than likely need to reach end-game status in order alter the map using activated nuclear silos, as well as work with others in cooperating teamwork rather than a slew of single players mindlessly heaving nukes at one another.
What’s more is the actual end result of launching these devastating attacks upon the wasteland of West Virginia. As stated by Bethesda Softworks director, Todd Howard, these nukes are activated to increase the challenge in a specific area by adding new enemies and radiation, but also adds additional rare loot for an increased reward. The nuke feature is more about adding more content to the experience once players have reached incredibly high levels, rather than continuous onslaughts of nuclear devastation.
And let’s be honest, the majority of griefers in today’s gaming community largely consists of a much younger generation of gamers. These particular age groups don’t typically flock to Bethesda style games, but rather have their fun harassing players in GTA Online, Call of Duty, or even Rocket League. The Bethesda crowd enjoys the studios games because of the stories, immersive worlds and deep player progression; not because of the easily accessible destructive weapons, insane customizable vehicles or constant run-ins with unsuspecting online players – which can all be found in some of the most griefed-out games today.
Keeping Our Fingers Crossed
While Fallout 76 has made monumental waves – both positive and negative – within the community, it’s normal for fans of a single player franchise to question the outcome once it hits the multiplayer spectrum. With so many gamers having experienced the trials of trying to cope with online bullying, griefing, or whatever you call it, witnessing one of the most cherished open world, single player experiences make a turn toward this particular style of gameplay can seem a bit off-putting and daunting. However, if/when you run across another player in the Fallout 76 universe, chances are they may end up being a single player enthusiast much like yourself hoping to enjoy their time within the apocalyptic wasteland of West Virginia.
There’s still a lot to be uncovered about the upcoming release of Fallout 76, but let’s not write the game off as just another multiplayer, shared world experience. There’s a lot Bethesda has to offer with this online experience, and as a single player developing team first, chances are it will be just as appealing to the single player crowd as it will the multiplayer realm.
Fallout 76 releases on November 14th, 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC with a beta opening up sometime in the near future.