Fallout 76: What You Need To Know
The next chapter of Bethesda's post-apocalyptic saga Fallout makes its arrival this week and sees the action taking place in a future America still heavily scarred by the effects of war. Not only that, Fallout 76 represents the first time a game in the Fallout series has been available as an online multiplayer.
So what else can we expect this time around? With the game arriving in stores on Wednesday (November 14th), here's everything you need to know about Fallout 76...
So what's the synopsis here?
Fallout 76 serves as a narrative prequel to the Fallout series and is set in 2102, 25 years after a nuclear war has turned the landscape of America into a devastated wasteland. The game begins in West Virginia where, as a member of the colony which has spent the last two and a half decades sheltered underground in Vault 76, you'll be tasked with re-populating a state ravaged by war and destruction. Built to house America's best and brightest minds, Vault 76 is a key part of the government's plan to re-colonise the country after the war is over and your journey begins on 'Reclamation Day' as the vault's inhabitants exit the shelter and emerge back into the world for the first time.
What's the gameplay like?
Quite a lot has changed in Fallout 76 as a result of the game's online nature, with perhaps the biggest shift being the fact that there's no single player campaign this time around. However, if the thought of sharing your post-apocalyptic wasteland with random strangers brings you out in a cold sweat, don't worry – Fallout 76 allows you enough space to interact as much or as little as you like with other players.
One reason for that is the sheer size of the game's world, which is four times the size of the one featured in Fallout 4 and takes its name from the Appalachia region that surrounds West Virginia and stretches across several other eastern US states. At launch, the game will only be available on public servers, which Bethesda says is necessary to determine their stability, but there are plans to introduce private servers in the near future should you wish to join up with just friends in Fallout 76.
That does of course mean that there is potential for other players to interfere with your game, but steps have been taken to mitigate the impact of griefing. For example, while other players can randomly shoot you, they' won't be able to deal out full damage unless you return fire, thereby initiating PvP. That doesn't mean they can't kill you, but it will make it much more difficult and if you are killed without fighting back, your killer will be branded a murderer and slapped with a bright red tag identifying them as such. You can also set the game to 'Pacifist Mode', but that won't really guarantee your safety as you can still be harmed, you just can't hurt anyone else.
Another change resulting from the multiplayer format is that there are no more NPCs other than robots, as all other surviving humans will be other players. Instead you can find your way through the story with the help of various memos, notes, holotapes and computers, all of which offer hints on how to proceed.
Any new features?
Fallout 76 reintroduces a modified version the V.A.T.S. system from Fallout 3, although the ability to target areas of (or items on) another player's body will happen in real time, doing away with the pause mechanic featured in its previous incarnation.
There are also some new modifications to the SPECIAL system, allowing players to spend skill points to enhance their ratings in one of the seven character attributes, offering players perks in the form of trading cards, which can also be merged to make even better perks.
The other additions and modifications this time around include an expansion on the settlements introduced in Fallout 4, meaning you can now build anywhere on the map, and a new photo mode which allows you to pose your character using various facial expressions and filters.
Can I see a trailer?
Of course, check out the one below...
Fallout 76 is available in hmv stores from Wednesday November 14th - you can also find it here in our online store.