Fallout 76 fails at launch, but will it ever become a great game?


TechSpot Editor
Staff member

There was disappointment when it was revealed that the next entry in the Fallout series was going to have a multiplayer focus, rather than featuring a single-player campaign that the other games are known for. But as the likes of Fortnite, Overwatch, and PUBG remain so popular, perhaps Fallout 76 could emulate this success? No, it turns out. Far from it.

There was some initial hype around Fallout 76, and the ‘West Virginia’ trailer helped heighten that excitement. But the warning signs were there when we saw a lukewarm response to the game’s beta. Yet even that wouldn’t have prepared Bethesda for what's become their worst-reviewed game since Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, which came out in 2006.

Reviewers have complained about the lack of NPCs, the aging engine, the weak main plot, and an overall experience that can feel more like a monotonous chore than fun. There are also an absolute ton of bugs that make the game even less enjoyable. All of which has resulted in a Metacritic score of 50, and even worse user ratings – one player tried to get a refund from Gamestop and trashed the place when they only offered him store credit, though John Carpenter doesn’t mind its problems.

With an 80 percent drop in retail sales compared to Fallout 4, Fallout 76 has already had its price temporarily reduced – down 33 percent to $40 – less than two weeks after launch.

So, what does the future hold for Fallout 76? Most of the critical reviews do point out that there are some enjoyable elements, and Bethesda has promised a ton of updates to address the bugs and try to improve the overall experience, but will it be enough? The company will doubtlessly hope it can copy No Man’s Sky, which was lambasted on release following months of hype, but July’s ‘Next’ update morphed it into the game people had been expecting at launch, driving NMS to the top of the Steam charts almost 2 years after it arrived. It remains to be seen, however, whether Fallout 76 will finally become a great and popular game in 2020.

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TS Evangelist
The fallout franchise has completely lost it's way with fallout 76. Bethesda should have never omitted the single player campain in the first place.
I disagree. This isn't Fallout 5, it's just a side project like Fallout Shelter (which I didn't play either). If they mess up F5, then I'll start agreeing with the doom and gloom.

If anything, it should tell Bethesda (and other devs) what doesn't work.
Maybe they'll even make it up to us by adding decent co-op in F5 ;)
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Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
I give them credit for trying but it was very ambitious. The engine is a big problem. Their QA is a big problem. The release price is a big problem. Having very low polish and charging AAA retail prices is not smart to me.
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TS Evangelist
The Fallout games are beyond my ability to remember. I liked New Vegas but took a break and forgot everything


TS Evangelist
The fallout franchise has completely lost it's way with fallout 76. Bethesda should have never omitted the single player campain in the first place.
Fallout Online was in the works nearly 10 years ago and got sabotaged by a copyright battle. You almost ended up partying against supermutants well before FO4 came out.


TS Addict
Well I am only two or three hours into the Game, but I like it, even it is a bit buggy. I think it helps that I have a small group of friends to roam around with, this makes things a bit more interesting. I Also found a "Mistress of Mystery" Side quest? Which is basically a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" style story.

There was another Mansion too where on the roof there were two bodies in a death embrace, holding each other to live out thier final moments after the fallout happened. It really pulled on my heart strings especial because I was listening to the Classical radio station at the time (Which is pretty amazing too).

So yeah, I am looking forward to getting home tonight to play some more.

Roy Mepham

TS Rookie
Unfortunately I thought that Fallout 4 was a dud. Fallout '76 is a butchered version of Fallout that deserves to be left on the shelves.


TS Enthusiast
If you play the game not expecting a fallout game (which you should by now, literally everyone is saying its not a traditional fallout experience) it's fun. I look at it as questing through WoW's first few zones, because of that I'm having a good time.
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TS Enthusiast
Well to be honest I played the game in the beta as well as the initial release. It does have alot of bugs but there is hope it will turn for the better. Maby they can get more content and make the game more interesting down the road. Until then ill stick with playing Destiny 2


TechSpot Paladin
Forced online connection to play and the emptiness you get from expecting other players to fill the void left by removing NPCs made this a no-go for me.
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TechSpot Chancellor
I'm a Fallout junkie (you should see my man cave with all my Fallout artwork and collectibles), but saw the warning flags on 76 and stayed away.

Fallout is a single-player series with a ton of lore generated from NPC interaction and great writing, period. You take that away and hope online players will make up for it is a recipe for disaster. Then you have the bugs, old game engine, non-availability on Steam, etc. and all you can do is walk away wondering what the hell Bethesda was thinking.