Is The Fallout Franchise Going In The Wrong Direction?

E3 from a gamer’s point of view

Fallout 76
Rumor has it the much-anticipated Fallout 76 will be online-only. (Photo source: Facebook)

Last week, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) hosted Bethesda Game Studios’ annual press conference in Los Angeles. However, this year’s conference had a different mood to it: anxiety.

The reason I say anxiety is because Bethesda Game Studios is the developer of my favorite video game franchise, Fallout. I’m not the only one who felt anxious about the press conference either. Fallout is an award-winning video game franchise because of its strong single player story and immersive gameplay.

Rumors had been flying around on the Internet since May 30, when the game was officially announced that it would be online only. Anger at the rumors ensued as Fallout is not meant to be an online game; it is known for its story and when there is a multiplayer part of a game that means there isn’t much of a story to tell in single player.

The game is called Fallout 76 and you play as one of the first people to emerge from Vault 76 in West Virginia after being in there for 25 years due to the nuclear apocalypse that occurred in the year of 2077.

To be fair, this all does sound great, but I do not know that much about West Virginia and usually in all of the Fallout games, the setting is hundreds of years after the bombs dropped so I’m curious to see what the Fallout universe would look like just after 25 years. In Fallout 4, you emerge from Vault 111, 200 years later.

Fallout 76 will not feature non-playable characters (NPC), which means that you no longer will have companions such as Dogmeat from Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 or merchants to buy armor or weapons from.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I now have to worry about the unfriendly gamer that is 20 levels higher than me who will just shoot me onsite to the point where I cannot progress in the story, which is very frustrating even though Bethesda Game Studios’ game director Todd Howard said there will be no “griefing,” a term used to describe the people who will just annoy you for no reason. However, I was doing some thinking, that’s what a post-apocalyptic world would be like, survival of the fittest as Charles Darwin preached.
Howard did say during the conference that they would work on Fallout 76 years even after its release, which reminds me of another online game they made, The Elder Scrolls Online, which they are still adding content to even four years after its release.

The Elder Scrolls Online is based off of their Elder Scrolls games and I firmly believe that this is not the end of dedicated single player Fallout games because if you think about it, Fallout 4 isn’t old; it was released in 2015 and even though it may seem like the franchise is shifting towards online only, it isn’t. Bethesda Game Studios is making Fallout 76 their version of The Elder Scrolls Online to keep us Fallout fans at bay while they develop the next installment in the Fallout franchise because at the end of the Bethesda conference, The Elder Scrolls VI was teased.

However, Fallout 76 could change the entire philosophy of Bethesda Game Studios and The Elder Scrolls VI could end up being online only, but let’s not think that way because Howard said that The Elder Scrolls VI is only in preproduction and they don’t even have gameplay yet because they’re working on Starfield, which is their next big release.
While I was watching the press conference, I was talking to a couple of my friends, Randall Taylor and Jordan Tyner, the latter, who is a longtime Fallout fan, was not so happy with what he saw from Bethesda Game Studios.

“It looks interesting, but I’m disappointed that it is geared more towards multiplayer,” Tyner said.

Taylor who is not a huge fan of the Fallout franchise was still confused by the game’s logic.
“What confuses me is why the heck would you make a game a prequel but not have a single player campaign?” Taylor said.

All in all, I do not believe the Fallout franchise is going in the wrong direction. I just think that Fallout 76 is being released to keep us busy because we most likely will not see another Fallout game for at least five years.

Myles Goldman
Myles Goldman is a writer with Anton Media Group.

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