Please keep in mind that the following is just my layman's opinion. I am not an industry expert, game critic or journalist. I'm just a longtime fan offering my two cents.
I first tried this game on an Xbox One and as a long time Fallout fan (my username is taken from Fallout 2) it left me with a bad impression for several reasons. I've always known I'm no good at playing shooters with controllers. Time and time again I've tried and failed with many games. I did play Fallout 4 on a PS4 without issue, but as a VATS user the time slowing mechanic helped me a lot. Maybe that's what drove me to try it on Xbox, plus my PC at the time was pretty wimpy and I wanted to use my shiny new Xbox One X. This whole thing was my bad.
On the other hand, it didn't help that the game was riddled with bugs when it came out. Server connectivity issues, glitchy enemy behavior and the like. Plus, the whole canvas bag and rum affair didn't help Bethesda's image and the game suffered for it even if gameplay wasn't affected by those issues.
After finally upgrading my PC I decided to give it another go figuring that by now most of the game breaking bugs would be fixed. I got a pretty good deal on a Tricentennial Edition (around $25 including shipping)
So, after all that preamble, here are my thoughts: Don't think of it as Fallout Online. This is a Fallout themed online game but don't go expecting Fallout 4 or New Vegas online. This is a GOOD online game, mind you. There are some glitches but none game breaking and the ones I've found are very minor. There's fighting, looting, crafting and survivor style food and drink mechanics. If you don't like this kind of game, you won't like FO76 no matter how much you like Fallout.
I think that's the main issue with all the disappointed people lamenting that there are no (human) NPC and perhaps Bethesda could have done a better job managing these expectations. Fallout fans are used to having multiple options and decisions with actual consequences. You won't get the equivalent of blowing up Megaton here for example or solving a crisis thru diplomacy. It is a multiplayer game after all.
Maybe this should have benn handled like they did Elder Scrolls Online. Everybody went into that game knowing full well that it was an MMO first and foremost with an ES theme. Nobody (or at least not very many) played it thinking it was Skyrim Online and 5 years later it seems to be doing well.
If you can accept the game for what it really is, you can certainly have fun with it. If you don't like online multiplayer games, you might not enjoy this game. You can play solo, but there are no private servers (yet) and while I haven't encountered any griefers, opening the map and seeing that most of the other dots are high 80's or triple digits can give you pause and sometimes break immersion.
For instance, I was following the overseer quests and I'm listening to a recording where she laments the death of the world she knew and the horrors she has encountered when suddenly there's a series of explosions outside the building. Thinking I might be under attack I approach the door to check and it's two 80+ players apparently playing with grenades or farming something (never knew what).
In another instance, I was sneaking thru the airport (I like to play stealth characters) picking off scorched for a distance when some dude in power armor just passes by without a care in the world. Stops by a crafting station, climbs off the PA, does something, climbs back in and moves on. That's when I changed my mindset. I'm not the lone wanderer sole survivor of previous Fallout games. There are others in this world. Some will be my enemies, some will be my allies. Right now, I'm still exploring (love exploring open worlds) and learning the lore and I've even come to like the new VATS but I'm also striving to grow until I can either stand up to them or stand alongside them.
If you are still undecided, there are several videos on YouTube where you can see the first couple of hours of gameplay. That could help you make up your mind as to whether this is the game for you without spoiling too much.
Hope this help somebody and sorry for the wall of text.
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