The Fallout series has made the leap online with Fallout 76 and it is an ambitious attempt to take the franchise in a new direction. Set as a resident of Vault 76, players will craft a character and be amongt the first to venture into the Post-Apocalyptic world set in the Virginia wilderness as they attempt to help rebuild a new society.
Along the way players will encounter all manner of mutated creatures and threats that have zero qualms about tearing a player to pieces or bringing an arsenal of weapons to take down players.
Anyone who has played any of the series will know that gathering, trading, and crafting is essential to survival as being able to buy, repair, and exchange weapons and armor is essential as they will break and need to be upgraded frequently.
This is always a trick for some players such as myself as I never know what to fully prioritize when I encounter scrap and can quickly become overburdened. This makes for some very tough choices as player movement will be very restricted and players will be unable to Fast Travel to previously explored areas of the map.
There is also the matter of needing to ensure that an adequate supply of food, beverages, and medicines are available to restore health as in a radiated area; even stopping for lunch can cause potential damage and mutations to happen.
There are numerous weapons available to players from crude Pipe Guns to more advanced energy weapons and machine guns and knives. I have found that Melee weapons such as an Axe or a Sledgehammer can do wonders as they do pack a solid punch but are slow and unyielding.
The map is extremely vast and filled with many areas to explore from old towns to hotels, shops, a mall, an airport, train stations, and pretty much anything else you would expect in a typical community.
One of the biggest issues in the game is the numerous bugs which hampered the game at launch. Bethesda has worked to fix them through several patches but issues still remain as I write this so players will have to understand that this is part of the game and being addressed but they will likely encounter issues along the way.
The game has taken a considerable amount of abuse for the state of the game at launch and while I freely admit there are issues; I have had a lot of fun playing the game and have logged a considerable amount of time in it. Despite the frustrations; I have been drawn back to the game time and again to play more. Players I have encountered have been generally helpful and friendly and the game has not become an open Free For All as the Bounty systems in place make it less appealing for players to pick off inexperienced players who are out minding their own business. Some higher-level players have been very generous in passing and have initiated trades to give me High-Level weapons even though I was not able to use them until I reached a higher level.
There are various Pop-Up events that happen where players can get some nice rewards and slipping into your Power Armor to take down a pack of Scorchers is always a fun experience.
In many ways this is one of the hardest reviews I have had to write as I can see how some people can be disappointed with the game and will take serious issues with the bugs and general direction. I also see the fun in the game and the progress being made with the updates and enjoy the game despite the issues. If you are patient and temper your expectations with the understanding that the game players have now is not the game they will have several months down the road, then Fallout 76 may be the escapist game you are looking for.
3.5 stars out of 5.