Hearing someone cry for help amidst gunfire is possibly the most excited I’ve been in Fallout 76 since its release. Catching somebody else potentially facing death can really make you feel alive. While I never found who it was or what became of them, it shows just how much the game needed some proof of life beyond the tape recorded echoes and scratched note traces it had previously offered up.
The core of Fallout 76 still has numerous issues that need fixing – which I’ll get to – but adding in functioning non-playable characters is probably the most important and necessary update the game’s needed to make. The difference it creates is so huge that you have to wonder what the original thinking behind the NPC free launch was. Devoid of life beyond mutants, monsters and robots, the original game had a uniquely weird atmosphere best described as ‘bereft’. There are some good missions, and Appalachia is an interesting location to explore, but something about every single quest starting and stopping with messages from the dead creates a profoundly nihilistic experience. What’s it all for, really? When there’s no one left, trying to fix things feels like sweeping ashes around to different spots. There’s a whole meta head cannon for me about my character being literally the last man alive, trying to maintain unraveling sanity by completing whatever odd jobs he finds among the bodies in the face of endless solitude.
NPCs change that, having someone else there in the wasteland alongside you simply because having someone else there adds a layer of meaning to everything you do beyond aiming for better gear. There are ramifications and results that affect more than your loadout now. And, if nothing else, it’s just nice to have someone to talk to (the only person playing on my friends list is on a different format). There’s an astronaut you meet called Commander Daguerre after intercepting a distress call. Turns out she’s just come back from space but doesn’t realise she’s been in cryosleep for decades. The ‘what year is it?’ conversation you tiptoe around is, in the grand scheme of things, meaningless but also possibly one of the greatest moments I’ve had in the game. The simple act of sharing the place with another entity from it brings the world building into such sharp focus it almost hurts.
Come to yxmv and get cheap Fallout 76 Bottle Caps and Fallout 76 items. Fallout 76 is an online action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, part of the Fallout series. Released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 14, 2018, it is a prequel to previous series games. Fallout 76 is Bethesda Game Studios's first multiplayer game; players explore the open world, which has been torn apart by nuclear war, with others.
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