E3 is right around the corner and fans of Bethesda are steadfastly chomping at the bit to get every juicy detail about what kind of game Fallout 76 will become. Bethesda’s Sunday Showcase is closing in and wastelanders have a lot of wants, needs, and DON’T YOU DARES concerning their favorite dystopian adventure. However, for as excited as the fan base is right now, it’s also incredibly divided. With rumors of online elements cutting a pretty clear line between those who are excited for another romp and those who are convinced that Fallout 76 will be the death of the series.
After watching the PR stunt livestream for hours along with thousands of other fans the trailer for Fallout 76 dropped like an atom bomb (see what I did there?). Immediately I clicked through my Pip-Boy 3000 and went to Reddit like a lot of curious vault dwellers. In sharing my excitement for the upcoming title, I pre-ordered the game and got cut the heck down by Tunnel Snakes that hung me out to dry for being Bethesda loyalist scum and having the nerve to put my caps on the table before seeing live game play. Firstly, I didn’t know being loyalist scum was a thing! Secondly, all of you should have your subreddit flair set as little black rain clouds. So why do people like me decide to pre-order a game that they know nothing about especially when there’s a radiation storm in the forecast that many are predicting will be the end of all that we’ve come to love? Here are the top 3 reasons that I pre-ordered Fallout 76!
- War, war never changes…
… and I like that! I know that no matter what this game looks like, I’m going to play in this giant sandbox of a quirky universe and I want the stories locked away within. There’s no part of the Fallout lore that I don’t want to learn more about. As many fans have come to learn Vault 76 is one of the control Vaults in the universe. Meaning it’s experiment free and set to open 20 years after the war where as many other experimental Vaults were carefully crafted nightmares or set to never open at all (raise a glass to Vault 101). While nothing has been confirmed to date, there’s a high V.A.T.S. percentage that Fallout 76 will put us in the timeline not too long after the Great War. We may get to see world before it’s been thoroughly picked over, cars scattered along highways that still hold their non-rusted hues, or even new breeds of enemies that have managed to persevere through the fallout, but have yet to become unrecognizable in their new forms. There’s nothing that can scare me off from this title right now, because no matter what happens there will be a story that I’ll want to live through.
- Hipster Status – “I pre-ordered Fallout 76 before it was cool.”
No one likes to admit it, but we have all been That Guy. Some of you who have differing opinions about this article may be tempted to become That Guy in the comments! You’re at a party or a convention and someone talks about this game they really like. And you NEED them to know that you don’t just like that game, you LOVE it. You love it so much that you are the captain of the S.S. Hype Train and you welcome everyone aboard, as long as they know that they need to get on at the back because you were here first. Flop or not, pre-ordering Fallout 76 will either put you at the head of the “I told you so” table when the game is a hit, or let you blame the hype and shake your fist at Bethesda for a scathing betrayal if it’s a flop. Plus, if you pre-order on Amazon, as I did, you get that sweet early buyer discount and it will show up at your door launch day. Even if you’re being called out by “true fans” for buying before the full reveal, you can laugh your way to the bank when you have a few extra dollars to spend and they don’t. Because a lot of the people being grumps right now will still end up playing the game and they’re gonna be sad that they didn’t save the few dollars like you did.
- The Lone Wanderer – Now with friends!
I’m excited for this whiff of a multiplayer rumor that’s going around and I hope it’s real. I said it. I hope that Fallout 76 brings something fresh to the table. Do I want a Battle Royale game? No, I don’t, and I don’t see why fans are so afraid that we’re getting one and using hashtag #NotMyFallout to get their feelings out. Battle Royale titles are trendy. Bethesda has never been in the trendy business. They do their own thing and that’s what endears people to them. They’re world builders and narrative craftsmen who have lived within their universe for years. Do you really think that they’ll cash in on what’s hot right now just for some quick cash and undermine all the work they’ve put into Fallout up to this point if the game isn’t going to fit their brand? It’s just not likely. Does Battle Royale have potential as a mini game or add-on content? Maybe, but in my opinion, that’s the most you would see of it if you saw anything like that at all from them. I am however, very excited for some multiplayer action in whatever form it may come. Fans who are opposed to this have really latched on to the fact that the games are about The Lone Wanderer and that multiplayer in any form would undermine that. But would it really? When The Lone Wanderer has had dozens of AI companions over the years that aid us in battle? When settlements need to be fortified to defend against AI attacks and enemy factions? When there is ALWAYS another settlement that needs our help? There are plenty of spaces in the structure of Fallout 4 alone where a multiplayer-esque element could be inserted into the game without at all undermining the single player flag that Bethesda so proudly flies.
Even if I’m wrong and Fallout 76 becomes the first ever fully multiplayer Fallout game, is that really so bad? It would be the same universe only it would give you a different way to take part in it. Who knows, some of the naysayers may even find themselves liking it as soon as they stopped acting like a multiplayer element in a Fallout game was the start of an actual nuclear war! Do you think GTA V would’ve been as successful as it has been if Rockstar never gave the full range of depth to online play? Is the first Tomb Raider reboot any less of a success because it had a multiplayer that most of us actively try to forget about? I pre-ordered Fallout 76 because I have nothing to lose. You know what happens if the reveal hits on Sunday and I don’t like what I see? Nothing. I cancel it and wait until the game comes out or goes on sale down the line. So before you start judging your fellow raiders and scavengers for pre-ordering Fallout 76 right out the gate, remember to be kind to one another. We all have our reasons for doing things, but the wasteland is a harsh enough place without all of us fighting to claim our opinion is top dog.
It’s not a Battle Royale game after all.