Fallout 76 debuted in mid-November 2018 and almost instantly became the most hated game of the year. In the months following the release, scandals were abundant, and the game seemed cursed. A year and a half later, there's still many people who wish this game had never happened, but the fact of the matter is that it's still developed, still making money.
The Internet courts have pronounced the sentence – all the players lacking the taste, honor, dignity and common sense who are still playing Fallout 76 and (o horror!) having fun are guilty! The proposed punishment is resurrecting witch-hunting practices, with burning at the stakes and all that, in case of players who continually spend money in the game, filling the pockets of a ruthless corporation.
As an Internet parias, an owner of a collectors' edition of the latest Fallout and a subscriber of Fallout 1st, I shall try to explain why I dared falling in love with Fallout 76 in the first place.
FALLOUT 76 ON STEAM
- On April 20, 2020 11:00 am, played by 11,398 people
- Peak in the last 24 hours – 22,095 concurrent players
I remember I was very skeptical about Fallout 3 moving into the third dimension, when that decision was announced. When, after a long delay, I finally finished the decent Fallout 3 and the phenomenal Fallout: New Vegas on one fell swoop, I breathed a sigh of relief – it was still the same Fallout, only modernized.
And what is the single element, universal across all Fallout games? It's the atmosphere. The American dream of the 1950s was brutally smothered by the atomic holocaust. I had a great time in the world of Fallout 4 because all the elements worked perfectly together – the cartoonish, idealized American suburbs, characters suspended at the intersect of two realities, acting as if the bombs were never dropped. Plus the soundtrack – the classics from Diamond City Station accompanying us the extermination of hordes of ghouls for some reason make for quite a memorable experience.
Fallout 76 is actually Fallout 4.5 – the map is bigger, there's more mutants and optional multiplayer. The atmosphere makes the story even more compelling – in retrospect (after the release of the Wastelanders expansion), I'm convinced that giving up humanoid NPCs was a great decision. Especially because every time we learned about the robotic nature of encountered independent characters at the very end of a given chain of tasks, when we were almost certain that we had finally met a man of flesh and blood. Such a vibrant world is begging to be explored, which brings me no another point.