Massive changes have come to Bethesda’s Fallout 76, an online wasteland that’s been under scrutiny ever since it launched in 2018. Then, it was seen as a game with an identity problem – what is it exactly, and who is it for? Fallout fans and players sure do like the setting, but the gameplay on offer was lacking any polish to qualify it as a top tier online survival MMO. So two years later, is Fallout 76 better and worth playing? Here’s some thoughts.
Wastelanders Brings More Fun
The biggest change and addition to Fallout 76 in recent times is the free Wastelanders expansion, which introduces NPC characters. No longer is Appalachia a boring zone with the same old events and other players. Now, there’s NPCs to interact with, become allies and have them set up shop in your C.A.M.P and more. It adds more story content too, with the dialogue options with these characters giving the game a proper Fallout single player RPG feel that was missing at launch, and it’s added a single player dimension to the Fallout 76 which it badly needed for those who like to play solo.
Steam Launch Did The Trick
Fallout 76 also launched on Steam this year to coincide with the big Wastelanders expansion launch, and had a free-trial period which saw world populations increase all over the place, for the better. Why? It brought out the community, and I saw older veterans helping out new Vault 76-ers who were just starting their adventures and it’s the best thing to happen to the game.
The new blood has also been jumping into Nuclear Winter, the game’s spin-off battle royale mode and as a returning player, I’m finding the mode fun although bugs from when it launched still lingers. However, new progression mechanics like Daily and Weekly challenges which rewards CAPS have made it more rewarding to venture into the mode, even if you didn’t like PvP because CAPS as rewards for minor things like taking 5 photos in the photo mode is easy to do.
More Convenience At A Price
While somewhat controversial, I must admit that Fallout 76’s Fallout 1 membership is excellent for convenience. For a bout 15USD a month, you get a few perks as a subscriber. The biggest one is of course, the Junk stash, which is a separate container from your original Stash. What it does is, it collects and breaks down all the Junk you have and it has no weight limit. This clears up a ton of space in your original stash.
The portable CAMP you get is also fantastic, which lets you place down a mini CAMP anywhere in the Appalachia outside of major locations, for free, and it has a cooking station, sleeping bag, a banjo and both your stashes too. It’s handy, and has saved my butt numerous times since using it. The membership also gives you access to your own private world where you can invite up to seven other friends, and that’s fun since no one has to fight for resources or workshops.
So Is Fallout 76 Worth Playing in 2020?
I’m going to say yes, but only because the roadmap ahead for the rest of the year looks promising. Bethesda will be introducing seasons, a free progressive feature that gives all players rewards for simply playing the game, in addition to many more convenience, cosmetics and other events coming our way. Currently, there’s still plenty of bugs that needs to be squashed, like item duping and other exploits which has seen player vendors suffer the consequences with the system being down, which sucks. But overall, Fallout 76 is definitely a much better game now than it was back at launch.