Exploring the nuclear wasteland with friends

Caitlin Deerwester, News and Opinion Editor

On Nov. 14 Fallout 76, developed and released by Bethesda Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks, launched the latest Fallout game in the series of nine so far. It is set in the timeline as a prequel to the other games, this game is set in a fictionalized version of West Virginia called Appalachia including new monsters from West Virginian folklore.
Fallout 76 can be played based on what the player enjoys: building, creating armor and weapons, role-playing utilizing the new perk system, and the perfect amount of discovery and isolation in an apocalyptic world. I think it was the next logical addition to the series and I am excited for future updates that will only continue to improve the game.
As the first online multiplayer game Bethesda produced, Fallout 76 has received a lot of controversy from fans worried the game would lose the charm of the previous single-player RPG’s (role-playing game).
Yet, I appreciated the versatility the game gives players in many core aspects.
The quests create experiences that could easily be very different for many players based on where they explore, the quests they do, and the perks they give to their characters upon leveling up (of which there are many).
There are no NPC characters in the game, with quests being given through the environment with many focused on the retrieval of quest items that tell the story in audio logs and notes found all over the wasteland.
This has been a main complaint of the game; however, I enjoyed exploring and having the perspectives of random people told by the environment of the game because it made the vast size of the map feel utilized.
These quests were enhanced when I played with a friend. Instead of feeling alone in an empty apocalyptic world, playing together allowed the game to feel less empty and helped against enemies that seem to be geared towards fighting groups rather than solo players.
While the game is multiplayer it can easily be played solo, but I recommend playing with others occasionally to really get the full game experience
The new survival components add more depth to the idea of surviving in a wasteland which works well with the new camp base system. The base system allows for it to be completely portable at the relocation cost of caps (money). Having a base to set up and go to for sleep to heal and workbenches to create or scrap objects and buildings is very important to the overall gameplay.
To stay alive and keep stamina up players must eat or drink, while also avoiding raw meat and dirty water to prevent diseases and increased radiation.
I thoroughly enjoyed these survival aspects because they created more realism compared to previous games as well as promoting the idea that the world affects you, not just through battles with enemies.
For previous Fallout fans this game might not be for them especially if what was loved most was the NPC driven storylines of the past. Yet for people who enjoy exploration and survival it might be the next game to get.
I rate the game based on my gameplay of about 48 hours an 8/10.