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Okey-dokey! Let’s Play Fallout 76!

I loved the Fallout show on Amazon Prime so much that it left me with a giant Fallout-shaped void that needed to be filled. I initially thought of playing Fallout 4 again because of the next gen update, but every time I think about having to deal with Preston Garvey (and another settlement that needs my help), all I want to do is run far, far away.

It’s bad enough that I get helplessly distracted in these types of games that I never finish them. The thought of coming back into Fallout 4 knowing I’ll spend the majority of my time fixing settlements isn’t too appealing. And replaying even older games doesn’t excite me as much as the graphics are just far too outdated for me to really appreciate them.

So… Fallout 76, then!

I never played it when it first launched, probably due to a combination of negative reviews and my then disdain for multiplayer games. Thanks to the show, a lot of my friends started gaining interest in the game, so I thought it would be the perfect time to try it out. It would also be nice to see how much the game has improved since launch, as more recent reviews convinced me it’s in a decent enough state. Plus, it was on sale.

Like many games that offer character customization, I spent the first 30 minutes or so customizing my avatar, Lucy Diamonds. She was inspired by Lucy McLean (whom I absolutely adored) with a bit of a Beatles twist to it. For the next couple of hours after that I tweaked settings, familiarized myself with the controls and menus, and claimed all the free stuff in the Atomic Shop. I also decided to spring for a Fallout 1st membership, as it came with the ability to play on Custom Worlds and Private Servers, for the times when I’m not feeling very social.

I managed to exit the vault, get my bearings, and make my way towards “The Wayward.” All the while, I desperately fought the urge to ignore the main quest and just go wherever I wanted, like I did in all the other Fallout titles.

Unlike Lucy McLean, I at least have some familiarity with the wasteland, and experience with enough survival games to have some idea of what to do first. My first impression: so far, so good. Feels very much like a Fallout game, excellent voice acting, decent graphics, pretty much the same look and feel as the games I loved before.

It didn’t take me long to remember basic things like hacking terminals and sneaking around everywhere so I wouldn’t get ganged up on by a bunch of feral ghouls.

I spent the next hour familiarizing myself with the C.A.M.P. system. It was as fiddly as I remembered Fallout 4’s building tools were, but I got the hang of it eventually and built myself a small shack near The Wayward.

I also spent some time getting to know my companion, Del, which I’m not exactly sure how I got but the build menu let me place his pack down so I had a Brotherhood of Steel guard, I guess. I wasn’t entirely sure if he was supposed to follow me around. He ended up bugging out, I think, because after a few convos he became inaccessible for further interaction. And that was where the good old Bethesda bugs started to show: Del practically slid away from view at one point in the conversation that I had to shift my view to face towards him.

Twelve hours in, I found myself a little… unexcited for my next session. I wasn’t sure if it was the lack of an emotional hook at the start to help me feel invested, or if my gaming preferences have just shifted since Fallout 4 came out.

Don’t get me wrong: the game is decent in its current state, and I will likely continue playing it just to immerse myself in the Fallout world. But I do find that nothing is really pushing me to log on daily and really ‘get things done’ in the game.

I still enjoy the game, and I’m sure I will enjoy it even more when I manage to schedule time to play it with friends. To fill the void until the next major Fallout title comes out (or season 2 of the series), Fallout 76 is a serviceable game, and still worth looking into—if only to help you cope with long development times that ultimately, I’m sure, will still launch with a flurry of bugs and glitches that I’ve come to expect from Bethesda titles. Something that the show, thankfully, lacks.

Fallout 76 is out on almost everything except for the Switch.