With the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A all but done and dusted, Bethesda is on the home stretch towards release on November 14. Yet, with so many things wrong, the game may be on a collision course with commercial and critical failure. Here are five reasons why Fallout 76 could be a spectacular failure.
For devoted Fallout fans, Bethesda bugs are prevalent enough that they’ve become part and parcel of the experience – an endearing facet of Bethesda’s unique take on vault emerging post-apocalyptic survival. For newer fans who are tempted by the multiplayer aspect of Fallout 76, these bugs may not go down so well. This is particularly apparent when one of the bugs that surfaced last week was inadvertently deleting the entire game from player systems and relaunching the file download. Worse still was the issue with higher frame rates resulting in faster movement speed or how open the game is to cheating and hacks. Though the B.E.T.A build is by no means final, with less than two weeks before release it can’t possibly be too far removed from the shipped version. It isn’t presumptuous to therefore suppose the final product will be riddled with bugs.
Lag during PvP combat during a beta isn’t the end of the world. It’s a stress test. Heck even Bethesda coined it the Break-It Early Test Application. The whole point was to push the servers to their limit in anticipation of full release. This is all well and good, but the beta also included severe lag for PvE events and even simply jaunting across the map from one place to another could be riddled with stutters and general jankiness. Fighting a mole rat teleporting from one location to the next, or altogether disappearing for a few seconds doesn’t bode well. Albeit this is Bethesda first true foray into multiplayer, but for a studio with near limitless resources and talented people at their disposal, surely nailing the networking side of the game was always and is a priority. The evidence suggests otherwise.
Am I Bored?
For the wonder of diving into a newly conjured Fallout world, Fallout 76 is a fairly empty place. The lack of NPCs is noticeable, detrimental even to fostering the vibe we’ve come to expect from a Fallout game. The fetch quest reigns supreme with various, loosely relevant reasons to run from one side of the map to pick up a seemingly randomized item or other such task. Fighting and gun mechanics are characteristically lacklustre, running the risk of affecting Fallout 76’s viability as a game appreciated for its longevity. Post-launch content is on its way and may flesh out the Fallout 76 universe in due time, but for a game on the cusp of release it feels altogether lacking in things to do, or at least in variety.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
As other triple A studios are busting out games challenging the status quo of visual and graphic capability (Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Cyberpunk 2077), Fallout 76 is piece for piece a pretty mediocre looking game. Instead of representing a leap forward from Fallout 4, Fallout 76 appears to recycle many assets with a few tweaks here and there, but not much else. Granted Bethesda games have never been the most compelling to look at, but fans are well within their rights to expect some form of progression. An ugly game doesn’t make it a bad one. Yet, alongside the other issues highlighted in our list, it doesn’t help matters.
Time Is Running Out
We come to the biggest hurdle obstructing Fallout 76 path to success. At its core, the concept is a phenomenal one; applying the Fallout formula to a multiplayer setting with all that this entails for PvP, world events, exploration, and foes to fight with is straight up mouthwateringly tantalizing. As the release date creeps ever closer, there’s a sense that Bethesda may miss the mark on this one. The classic problem of failing to effectively put into practice a great idea, over extending, and biting off more than one can chew. With so little time left to remedy such a long list of changes, fixes, and improvements, Fallout 76 is running out of time to live up to what it could be, or even should be. There just isn’t enough there for us to sink our teeth into and time is running out to ensure there is.