Fallout‘s first foray into the tumultuous waters of multiplayer gaming is set to be among the highlights on the year. However, how well will Fallout 76 do in comparison to established multiplayer survival games of the ilk of Rust, Conan Exiles, and 7 Days To Die? Early indications suggest it may have enough going for it to cause quite a stir. Here are five reasons why Fallout 76 may rival established Multiplayer survival games.
Perk Cards and Personalization
In very much the same way you’d pick stats for a character in an RPG as you level up, Fallout 76 allows you to assign points to S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, i.e. strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck. Buffering these stats are perk cards, vignetted playing cards adorned with vault boy playing out scenes that relate to the cards’ bonus. For example, take the Iron Fist card, which grant 20% more damage when using a punching attack with a 5% chance to stagger your opponent, has vault boy bare chested with a fisticuffs mustache. That’s not all, the cards are interchangeable regardless of level. Your base stats can therefore be boosted and fine tuned depending on your play style thanks to the cards.
The Fallout Name
Having a successful franchise give credence to your attempt at a survival game is a handy entry in any developer’s portfolio. Bethesda can rely heavily on the established Fallout brand to not only guarantee sales, but keep players coming back. There’s also a rich lore to delve into with future content updates, gifting Bethesda another nifty string to its bow. Furthermore, the very fact that the game exists within the Fallout universe will attract Fallout devotees and survival buffs in equal measure. If past Fallout titles are anything to go by, we can fully expect 76 to be drenched in the same post-apocalyptic, sombre primer. Add to that a cluster of quests, events, environmental features, and stories very much adorned with the same veneer.
Base Building, Camps, and Public Workshops
Base building forms a big part of Fallout 76’s main game play loop, borrowing heavily from Fallout 4 and the workshop concept. Once players leave the vault, they can lay down a camp to establish a base in the location of their choosing and build up as elaborately as they wish. The ability to move the base is where things get interesting. Via the pip-boy, you can simply transport the base to a new location, with an associated cost of course. Furthermore, Bethesda have included public workshops scattered throughout the world, which are essentially points of interest often populated by roaming enemies, but give access to best resources in the game. These workshops will turn into focal points in how a server’s story develops, and the location of disputes as opposing groups vie for the resources required to progress. With these, the game already has an overarching goal to guide players forward, something many survival games often fail to implement or do so in a clumsy manner.
One of the biggest gripes with multiplayer survival games is how volatile PvP engagements can be. We’re talking about those players that squirm around the map, simply hunting for their next pray. Though Fallout 76 will be all about gunning down opponents for control of the map, engagement isn’t quite as straightforward. Firing on an enemy will only result in a small drain on their health, that is until they fire back, at which point the scuffle turns into a full blown fight and full damage stats apply. Giving those who want to avoid a PvP exchange or simply want to progress before getting involved, this engagement mechanic is a small revolution in how online gaming could work moving forward.
Bethesda’s Triple A Backing
Let’s not beat around the bush; most multiplayer games are more often than not a cesspit of bugs and latency issues, even years down the line as developers desperately try to juggle plugging gaping performance deficiencies and provide new content. With Fallout 76, it would be naive not to expect teething issues, especially because we are dealing with a Bethesda game. Conversely, because we are dealing with a Bethesda game, there are a significant amount of resources at the developer’s disposal to fix and improve the game quickly and efficiently. A survival game can live or die on how quickly issues are resolved, putting Fallout 76 in good stead in terms of projected longevity.