I’m not a big gamer, yet there are games that have marked me and the Fallout franchise is clearly one of them. I was 22 when the first Fallout came out (ouch!) and those first isometric 3D episodes were among my favorite games of all time. I played again 10-15 years after their release and found the same pleasure to travel this completely mad post-apocalyptic world . The arrival of Fallout 3 in 2008 was a disappointment for me, I had trouble getting used to the 3D fps type, the dialogues and the script were too nice, we could no longer do what we want. The franchise improved with Fallout 4 but the game was too nice / soft, what about this new episode called Fallout 76?
The official price of Fallout 76 is 59.99€ in box version, you can already (pre)order it on Amazon. If you’re not interested by a box version, it is possible to buy the game key for a much more interesting price (+/- 40€). I pre-ordered my copy for download from one of my suppliers for about 40€. Now I have to wait until mid-November before I can enjoy it.
When I’ll receive the game in mid-November, I will review the following:
– first impressions
– graphics / art direction
– atmosphere / universe
– Respect for the Fallout franchise
– material needed
If you want to know more about Fallout 76, ask your question in the comment section.
For those of you who don’t know Fallout yet, a little summary could help. Fallout is a post-apocalyptic game set in a land ravaged by nuclear war. This Earth, despite its similarities, is not quite the same as ours. Fallout’s universe began to diverge from ours after World War II when fear/paranoia of the Bomb prompted governments to take a different direction for their development. Nuclear energy plays a central role in everyday life, it is found in every home, even cars are powered by nuclear energy. The whole is bathed in a very retro style 50s in spite of the technological progress. This retro style can be found in the layout of houses, cars, everyday objects and also in the music that will punctuate the introductory scene of each Fallout episode. Fallout has a very specific universe, a strong DNA that defines its franchise.
What went wrong? From the 2050s onwards, a lack of resources began to be felt and wars broke out in several parts of the world, but Fallout’s universe focused mainly on the United States.
Fallout started as a role playing game and a turn based combat system. The first episodes were crude and violent, you had a complete freedom over your acts and if you screwed with the story, you would end up being screwed yourself. After Fallout 3, Fallout became a first person shooter with some role playing background but it’s clear that Bethesda wanted to reach a bigger audience without hurting anyone’s feeling. By doing this, they lost a bit the spirit of the game but the gloomy atmosphere was still there.
Here is a timeline of events that led the world to Fallout’s universe:
2050: first construction of shelters in a climate of tension and international paranoia.
2060: dissolution of Europe after a war with the Middle East, we return to individual countries
2066: China seizes Alaska for its natural resources
2076: the United States annex Canada and take over Alaska
October 23, 2077: that’s the key date in Fallout, that’s the day the button was pressed, we don’t know who or how, but the whole nuclear arsenal went through and put a brutal end to civilization. Everything happened very quickly, in two hours everything was destroyed. Those who had been selected for the shelters could not all join them, it is in the general panic that the gigantic doors of the shelters were closed.
Fallout 1 (1997):
The game takes place in 2166 in Southern California from shelter/vault number 13. The water filtration system is failing, the survival of the colony is at stake, the shelter must send someone outside to find something to repair it. Here we discover Fallout’s post-apocalypic universe for the first time, an arid and brutal world populated by strange creatures from pre-war animal mutation. Men survived radiation and reorganized, civilization was reborn in a new form.
Fallout 1 was really innovative in many ways because even though the game has a purpose, we have a form of free will where the choices we make influence what happens in the game. The game had several possible ends and censorship was not very present. The whole was pretty gory, the dialogues were excellent, the story was very well written, it was clearly not a teen game.
Fallout 2 (1998):
The game is set in 2241 where you play as a descendant of the one who came out of vault 13 in 2166. So you weren’t born in a shelter and you’re also going to be confronted with a series of events triggered in Fallout 1.
Fallout tactics: (released in 2001) while keeping the basics of the first two episodes, Fallout Tactics is as its name suggests a strategy game where we embody a team to evolve through several missions. The universe follows directly from the first two episodes.
Fallout 3 (2008):
Fallout has become a fps in a 3D universe. The story takes place in 2277 in a Washington devastated by the nuclear explosions of 2077. The hero is a teenager living in vault 101 who decides to leave the shelter to find his father who disappeared a few years ago. The post-apocalyptic universe in 3D is really nice but the dialogues are smoothed and the freedom of action is much less than in the previous episodes.
Fallout New Vegas: (2010):
The story takes place in 2281 in the vicinity of Las Vegas or in any case, in what remains of the city of the time. Many elements are directly inspired by Fallout 1 and 2. You play here the role of a messenger who gets shot during one of his missions, left for dead the hero will be saved in-extremis by a robot. Back on his feet, the hero will search for the man who tried to kill him and find himself involved in a story more epic than a simple murder in the middle of the desert.
Fallout 4 (2015):
The story takes place in 2287 in the Boston area, you are the only survivor of vault 111. Like Fallout 3, the narrative is based on a family drama that will lead the hero on an epic quest that will change the course of the region’s history. Fallout 4 introduces crafting to build homes, manage resources and have “life” outside the main quest.
Fallout 76: (November 2018)
This time the name of the game does not indicate the episode but the vault from which the main character will start. We also go back a bit in time, the story takes place in 2102 well before the first episode. This time we’re in West Virginia and we leave the desert for a greener landscape. New era, new decor and there will be a multiplayer mode for the first time.
I bought and finished all the episodes of Fallout, I only passed on DLC as I wasn’t very interested in them. I’m a fan of the first hour, I’ve spent many hours exploring this unique universe and although the series has lost some of its consistency since Fallout 3, the series is still one of my favorite games.
The Fallout series has never been a graphical reference, other games have always done better in that area. It’s the universe and the story that sets Fallout apart from most other FPS. I hope that this essential element will be present again in Fallout 76. The story announced by Bethesday seems closer to a survival mode like the first episodes. I hope that this inspiration will not stop there and that we will also find the free will and the absence of censorship of the first episodes.
Crafting will be back, I think it’s pretty cool because it allows you to enjoy the universe without having to follow a very particular plot. With Fallout 4, many players have embarked on pharonic constructions and what was badly missing was the multiplayer mode to share this experience, Fallout 76 will be the first Fallout multiplayer episode. I just hope it doesn’t get polluted by morons who ruin other people’s experience like in many other games. Bethesda seems to have thought about it, I’m curious to see how they’re going to handle this problem.
What are you waiting for? Share your expectations in the comments section below!