In context: Fallout 76 launched with the tagline, “Our future begins.” The reason was, according to the lore, Vault 76 was the first vault to open. As such, players are thrust into a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland populated with the only things to have survived the nuclear holocaust outside the vaults — namely robots and mutant creatures.
Having no other human NPCs might have sounded good in development meetings, but it did not go over so well with fans. It equated to just another failure in a series of bad calls that would be the Fallout 76 release.
Despite fumbling through the beta, PR nightmares over merchandise, and the overall negative reception of the game Bethesda took a page out of Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky post-release playbook and said, “We won’t give up. We’ll fix this.” So far the fixes have not done much to maintain anything but a feeble but committed playerbase.
During its pre-E3 press event this weekend, Bethesda said that it was gearing up for its next big update for Fallout 76 called “Wastelanders,” which it claims will “fundamentally change the game.” The main change will be the addition of human NPCs.
"Nuclear Winter is taking Appalachia by Storm with the arrival of Patch 10. Gather your squad to compete in this all-new last-team-standing Battle Royale mode for Fallout 76. "
Since Fallout 76 is an on-going game, Bethesda used that to its advantage to change the lore in real time. A year has passed, and other NPC dwellers will show up in the Appalachia area bringing with them a new main quest, dialog choices with consequences, and new weapons and gear.
Wastelanders is not due out until the fall, but before that Bethesda will add a Battle Royale mode to the game. The 52-player free-for-all is called "Nuclear Winter." How Bethesda plans to make the BR mode relevant in an already over-saturated market is unclear, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Bethesda is letting players have a sneak peek at the battle royale mode from June 10-17. This trial is not just for the Nuclear Winter portion, but for the full game. Once the sneak peek concludes, players can choose to purchase Fallout 76 at a 50-percent discount.
The free trial is open to all Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC users. See the Nuclear Winter website for more details and to download the demo.