Finally detailed at Bethesda's E3 showcase, Fallout 76 is indeed a multiplayer survival game, confirming rumors surrounding the prequel's recent reveal.
Director of Bethesda Game Studios Todd Howard took the stage to explain the new direction for Fallout, addressing concerns from those expecting the usual singleplayer RPG the studio is known for.
Always online, new rendering technology
"Of course you can play this solo. You'll be who you want, exploring a huge world doing quests, experiencing a story, and leveling up," explained Howard. Don't expect much in the way of NPC character interactions though. While we can't exactly confirm it, Howard's langauge implies NPCs (besides our personal robot butlers) will be a no-show. "Open world. Survival. Every person, or character, is real."
So while we can expect a massive open world four times bigger than Fallout 4, it definitely won't be as civilized. However, there will be plenty of "real" characters to interact with. Just don't expect to run into them every few minutes. "You'll be in a world with dozens, not hundreds, not thousands of other players," said Howard.
We wouldn't expect to get along with everyone though. Some particular locations on the map will inspire fear and greed in the most gallant of players. "We love dynamic game systems," said Howard. "So we thought, why don’t we put multiple nuclear missile sites on the map, and then let all of you do whatever you want with them?"
What's a couple of nukes between neighbors? pic.twitter.com/tltGmYMkkLJune 11, 2018
The world will also feature six distinct regions with their own flora and fauna. Smell the roses and pet the local mutant dogs between nuclear obliteration panic attacks.
Fallout 76 is built using new tech, and it shows. "We always start with the world, and this time it features all new rendering, lighting, and landscape technology," said Howard. It's certainly looking better than the typical Gamebyro fare, but we'll wait until release to pass judgement.
New creatures inspired by local folklore
During a montage showing off the new West Virginia setting, Howard also teased a few new creatures we'll see. Among them were ghoulish toads and bugs, and a massive flying creature that might be familiar to those in the area.
"We even used the folklore of West Virginia to bring our Fallout versions [of monsters] to life," Howard said. So if you got a Mothman vibe from the big flying guy, you likely weren't off base.
Building is back, dedicated servers coming
Speaking of bases, the settlement building system is back, streamlined for multiplayer. You'll be able to build using tools similar to those in Fallout 4, but plopping down a house doesn't mean you're committing to the land. "You can build wherever you want. And you can pack up and move that wherever you want," said Howard. Early comparisons to Rust weren't totally inaccurate, but based on what we know so far, Fallout 76 will be much more player friendly.
Howard backs up the assertion: "People wonder if this is hardcore survival. I like to think of it, maybe, this is more softcore survival"
Player friendliness extends to the back-end too. The platform will feature 100% dedicated servers and an an incoming beta.
It's coming out this year
A release date was also announced, and it's pretty soon: November 14, 2018.
We'll be poring through everything Bethesda showed, collecting everything we know about Fallout 76 in one place.