Fallout 76 was all the time lacking one thing. Sure, it had plenty of other problems — frustrating bugs and glitches, and vastly overpriced microtransactions — But what all the time stood out the most to me was how empty the world felt. The game’s post-apocalyptic rendition of West Virginia was overrun with supermutants, big mole rats, and other players. But other than the odd robotic, there were no actual characters to talk with. These conversations and connections are an enormous cause why I play Fallout in the first place, and their absence is a part of the rationale why I didn’t really click on with Fallout 76, regardless of spending many hours with it.
Final week, developer Bethesda released the game’s greatest update but, dubbed “Wastelanders.” The most notable change is that it adds NPCs back to the game — and whereas Fallout 76 still isn’t a proper Fallout game, the growth brings it a lot nearer.
To check the update, I began up a brand new character and ventured back into the wasteland. The final premise stays the same: you’re a newly emerged dweller of Vault 76, heading out right into a post-apocalyptic world for the primary time. Now, whenever you begin the game, there are two questlines. There’s the unique predominant story the place you observe a sequence of messages left by Vault 76’s overseer, primarily introducing you to the world and how one can survive. But as quickly as you emerge from the vault, you’ll also discover two people standing outdoors simply ready to speak to someone.
This new questline revolves round a rumored treasure in the vault, a rumor which has been reignited by you, a former resident, rising. What struck me most was how pure the expertise felt. The dialog you might have with the wastelanders is fairly basic — they offer you just a few particulars about the treasure and level you in the course of a bar the place you may study extra — but it surely’s precisely the factor you’d anticipate to occur in a Fallout game. Conversations work a lot as they do in an ordinary Fallout expertise: you might have a number of dialogue options and, Depending in your abilities, you may get away with sweet-talking or intimidating people to get what you need. Ultimately, you’ll should take care of warring factions that may power you to choose a facet.
Quests equally work a lot as they do in a typical Fallout game: someone asks you to do one thing, you exit into the world, discover a dangerous locale, and eventually gather an object or kill a baddie. The primary two predominant quests contain clearing out some close by raiders which can be inflicting hassle and rescuing a pair of hired guns lost in a mine. The beats stay the same, with plenty of shootouts, looting, and lore to uncover. But the brand new conversations add two predominant problems that assist change problems up (not less than compared to the base Fallout 76 expertise).
For one, there are now a number of methods to solve problems. Depending on the way you’ve allotted your talent factors, you may both speak the raiders into leaving or simply take out the chief and ship the remainder of the crew a terrifying message. It’s not an enormous vary of options, but it surely’s good that it exists. The NPCs also add a much-needed sense of calm to the expertise. Once I play Fallout 76, I’m continually on edge; irrespective of the place I’m, it looks like threats are all the time current — whether or not that’s a gang of feral ghouls attacking my tiny dwelling or human players trolling me for fun. But whenever you’re chatting with a ghoul voiced by Jason Mewes in a quaint little pub, that feeling goes away. It’s really a bit peaceable.
After all, what I’m describing here’s what followers would anticipate from a Fallout game. Fallout 76 still doesn’t precisely have a proper single-player-style campaign; the story, whereas fascinating, isn’t as deep or thrilling as what you’d discover in the principle games, and I’ve but to return across a personality that’s as endearing as a someone like Fallout 4’s Nick Valentine. The Wastelanders update does loads to make the game feel much less empty, but it surely’s still Fallout 76 at heart.
Maybe the most notable factor about the growth is that it’s utterly free. It won’t be value leaping in for newcomers, But when you’ve already performed Fallout 76, Wastelanders is an efficient excuse to return. Maybe it’s the various weeks caught indoors speaking, But I’ve found it soothing to wander across the wasteland, going for walks alongside ruined highways or alongside poisonous rivers whereas listening to The Seashore Boys and Billie Vacation. I’ve even stopped utilizing quick journey so I could make these walks final a bit longer. Lots of Fallout 76’s huge problems still persist after this update — But not less than now it’s rather less lonely.