Home Technology Fallout 76 review: Buggier than a wet Saskatchewan summer

Fallout 76 review: Buggier than a wet Saskatchewan summer

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Fallout 76 moves Bethesda Softworks' popular post-nuclear apocalypse series into online multiplayer territory, with up to 16 players inhabiting each instance of its huge world.Bethseda Softworks

Score: 4.0/10 
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: November 14, 2018
ESRB: M

Fallout 76 is quickly becoming a cautionary tale in how not to make games.

In an attempt to capitalize on the growing popularity of online and cooperative play, Bethesda Game Studios opted to make the latest entry in its long-running and very popular series of post-nuclear apocalypse games an online multiplayer experience. “Fallout with friends” is what people were calling it (including me). This sparked instant hatred among fans who love dedicated single-player games and saw the move to online play as a betrayal. These players were never going to enjoy Fallout 76, no matter how it turned out — an early warning sign that the game was headed for trouble.

But the problem with Fallout 76 isn’t that there are other people in the world with you as you play. Servers limit the number of players in each instance of the game’s huge world — four times that of any previous Fallout — to just 16, and as a result I’ve rarely run across anyone else while playing. When I have stumbled upon someone else they’ve almost always behaved well, by which I mean we simply ignore each other (I’m just as uninterested in Fallout multiplayer as it seems most other players are). Worries that I would be relentlessly attacked by other players, or that they would relentlessly destroy any camps I built have proven for naught. The handful of times I have seen antagonizing players in my world — they’re handily marked on the map with a big red WANTED symbol, meaning that they’ve attacked another player — I’ve simply blocked them so they couldn’t see where I was.

Granted, online play does introduce some issues not present in solo games, such as the inability to play without an Internet connection, to pause the action, or to do nifty things like slow down time during combat. These are bummers, sure, but not deal breakers.

The real problem with Fallout 76 — and one that will prove an absolute deal breaker for many — is that it is buggier at launch than any other game I’ve ever played.

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