This is just an opinion, feel free to dispute or discuss anything here!
As well, this may seem droning at the start but it takes a bit of explaining to get my point across. TLDR at the bottom but it makes more sense with the while post in context.
Fallout, it’s always been something I loved. The oddly upbeat sense or harrowing disparity is something only Fallout has brought me. I started with Fallout 4 after seeing my friend fighting ghouls thinking “ooh a zombie game?” and quickly buying it because I didn’t have the sense to do any research.
I end up on the vault platform, seeing the eruption of nuclear fire upon the horizon in awe. It was a roller coaster of action and emotions as I played through until the fight with Kellogg. After that came Fallout 3, loved the simplicity and fun of it before getting FNV and falling in love with the whole thing. Domino effect, push came to shove and I own all the games now (except BOS, ew)
Fallout one and two remind me of the tabletop games I loved and I couldn’t get enough of the story.
Tactics was there on those days when I just wanted to have some fun one man army-ing across the game with a whole pile of companions.
Fallout 3 was innovative and gave me that feeling of misery in the pale green glow, the bodies, the fighting, the flawed people and the intricate wasteland; I loved it.
FNV has that hard to get sense of fun in the rogue like tendency of just exploding my problems away, wether dynamite in the bison Steve or the bombing on the dam, it was the best thing I’ve played in as long as I can remember!
Fallout 4 was quite a journey, exploring every inch of such a well put together world full of people who feel very real, you fight for a cause that decides the fate of the world around you and I’ve never felt like I had when seeing the BOS arrive the first time, teleporting inside the institute the first time or the odd nostalgia of Megaton and the divide as I destroyed the institute.
Here’s where Fallout 76 comes in. I’ve only ever heard miserable things about it yet I can’t say why but I still bought it. It began way back a month or two before the battle Royale game mode was added (forget the name -_-). I left the vault into a brave new world, expecting to see some poor soul wanting me to save his wife from raiders or something but I stepped out to the sun in my eyes in an empty world. I picked up a few weapons and wandered down a path for a while, left perplexed and slightly humbled by the world around me.
After two hours I was in Flatwoods with the responders quest. I never knew why but I just felt a somber tone like a heavy fog over everything, it was desolate, lonely. I loved it. I would set up my camp, collecting and storing food items, scraps and weapons as I built a little home for myself. I played long days building and thriving, I had a three story house with all the amenities! I didn’t feel like an errand boy anymore as fallout usually does, this felt impactful. I wandered through forests and marshes in the late hours of the night, seeing massive structures and mountains on the horizon thinking “someday, I’ll be there someday soon”.
Time goes by and I’m camped in an elevated shack near the peak of the ash heap, a slick leather jacket, jeans, gas mask and cowboy hat was my signature; a shotgun welding renegade type is how I played. I fought among the ash and fires, beating back the scorch plague as I learned more and progressed.
Time later goes by and I’m skipping through the toxic valley cutting down mirelirks among others, marching through the vast savage divide fighting the ever present plague and getting a fear of these flying beasts instilled within me.
More onwards I’m at the end, camped in the cranberry bog, full hot rod flames T-60 and a Gatling gun, bring the fight to the scorchbeast queen.
It was an amazing journey, from a nice walk through the forest, to a frightful encounter in the barren divide, to a methodical and stealthy crawl through the bogs of the mire, to the fire and radiation of the apocalyptic fight with the queen. It’s the best game I’ve probably ever played.
Then came the NPCs
I step out and hear of a treasure, go to some restaurant, do a thing, kill some guy, do another thing and then I just… stopped. I couldn’t enjoy it. It didn’t feel the same. The forest wasn’t a somber yet hopeful environment filled with a bit of easy adventure and fun, it was like some tutorial area, I couldn’t stand it. I tried to play but it felt like a crappier off brand Fallout 4. It became grindy and super in your face about paying too much money for something inconsequential.
I don’t want to constantly go after etc raider, I loved talking with robots and following a proper trail of holotapes and notes. It ruined the atmosphere and without the atmosphere it was just “pay way too much for way too little as you mindlessly grind for something you’ll only ever use to mindlessly grind even more because there’s really nothing more for you”.
This is the end of the road, I passed out my legendary shotgun collection to new players, passed on my outfit to one particularly enthusiastic newbie, took one last tour of it all and since then never touched the game. I like what it used to be but I can’t go on with what’s here now.
TLDR: Loved the atmosphere of solitude, destitute survival and piecing together the past, hate that it’s all turned into just a cash grab subscription service full of shallow NPCs with no real accomplishment nor fun anymore.
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