♫♪Country roads... take me home... to the place... where I belong!♪♫
This week the Fallout 76 Beta opened for all players who pre-ordered the latest sure-to-be hit from Bethesda. It brings mixed results, but ultimately a great take on the Fallout universe.
First off, every character in the game is controlled by another person. So this means there are no merchants to sell to, no crazy hermits handing out quests, and no mighty Brotherhood of Steel forcing you to confront questions about morality and ethics. The world truly feels empty, even with other players populating the Appalachian Wastes. Initially players were skeptical about bringing Fallout online because it is so rooted in single player experiences. Those worries practically evaporate the further you venture from the starting Vault. There's always the option to team up with people, and having a helping hand during combat situations is great, but if you want to play the game alone, go right ahead.
The other weird thing in the Fallout 76 Beta is its questing structure. Since there are no human NPCs to interact with, every quest is done through Holotapes read on your PipBoy, or through world events that pop up at various intervals. These world events are where Fallout 76 shines. Everyone in the area is given the same quest, and there is a mad rush towards objectives, leading players to help each other out to accomplish the same goal. Once these quests are done, you are left to your own devices. You can team up with your new friends or go your separate ways.
Ultimately, the Fallout 76 Beta shows that a multiplayer Fallout has potential, but the game won't suffer if you want to go it alone. There was a slight snafu with the PC version deleting everyone's pre-loaded beta, a major hiccup in some circles, but once you boot up the game it will be hard to put it down. There is always something to do, a new corner of the map to check out, and with others playing alongside you, new friends to be made. Who knew the apocalypse could be this fun?!