Fallout 76 debuted last week when Bethesda ran an overnight livestream ending in the debut of the first trailer for the game. Unfortunately, that trailer didn’t tell us a thing about the game – other than that it existed.
Now, we have our first info to chew that tells us what we’re going to play, and a look at the game itself.
Fallout 76 is entirely online – but it’s not an MMO. When you log on, you’ll be placed into a smaller server of dozens. You can play the game solo, team up with strangers (or be horrifically murdered by them), or log in with friends. Creative director Todd Howard called Fallout 76 “softcore survival,” which sounds like it takes pages from games like Rust and Day Z without going after the brutal survival aspects of those games. For example, your character dying doesn’t mean you lose progression, so death doesn’t mean a bunch of time lost – it should be much friendlier to casual Fallout fans than a game like Rust.
If you watch the trailer above, you’ll notice the world doesn’t look quite so blown out as its predecessors. The game is set just a few decades after the Great War, so radiation hasn’t had as much time to seep into everything. Trees are still comparatively lush, and the world is more full of life. The team has also given an overhaul to the lighting and rendering systems running the game itself. It’s still Fallout 4‘s game engine, but game will have better lighting, further draw distances, and more interesting landscapes than any Fallout game to date. It’s also four times the size of Fallout 4, though it remains to be seen if that’s a problem with regard to scarcity of story content.
The land will start out full of life, but it might not end up that way. Building and destroying are both big parts of the game’s mechanics. You’ll be building settlements alone or with other players. Howard said during the presentation that you’ll be able to pack these bases up and move them, though, so you’re not stuck in one place if an area gets overcrowded. But the West Virginia countryside is dotted with abandoned missile silos that have their own equally abandoned missiles that are still in working order. If you’re clever enough to find the launch codes, you’ll be able to launch one and aim it wherever you like.
Bethesda is promising years of support for the game, starting with a beta test ahead of the game’s launch this fall.
If you’re totally head-over-heels for Fallout games, you might like the special edition hitting at release. You might already have the PipBoy from Fallout 4, but you can now add a power armor helmeto to your collection:
And with that, Howard announced a release date for the game: November 14, 2018.
If you’re craving Fallout but want to get your coop on, you won’t have to wait very long.