I try to keep an open mind about games. I appreciate reviews (and I certainly align more with some reviewers than others), but I like to experience games for myself before forming a solid opinion.
Last week, I watched around four hours of gameplay from Fallout 76.
It concerned me.
I love the setting and the atmosphere. I love the concept of the game. However, the execution of the experience concerns me enough that I cancelled my pre-order, something I almost never do.
Never mind that there are no NPCs (that aren’t other players), never mind that you can be attacked by other players at any time, never mind all the other concerns, the game looks like it runs poorly, even with little going on onscreen.
In an online multiplayer game where there will likely be several people onscreen at once (as well as any number of enemies), that poor technical performance worries me.
The game appeared empty and not just in appropriate post-apocalyptic fashion. There are dead people everywhere but you just left the vault; who are those people and how did they get to those places before you? I know within the realm of the game you have to loot people/places/things, but why not omit the first and leave the latter?
I like the idea that lore is there to be found, but it would seem much of it was in the form of audio files. I have nothing against audio files, but in a game where you are presumably playing with friends and chatting in a party, what guarantee is there you will even hear that audio?
I like games where you can seemingly create your own narrative. I enjoy emerging experiences. But in watching all those hours of gameplay, what I saw was an empty game, on many fronts. It felt like the aftertaste of a more robust meal already available elsewhere.
Maybe I’m wrong; I’ve never actually played the game myself. Honestly? I hope I’m wrong; I always want games to succeed.
Yesterday Bethesda released a statement which (I’m paraphrasing) basically said the beta’s going to be a bumpy ride: brace yourselves.
Bethesda games are well known for their glitches and jank, but this statement seemed to indicate there might be an exceptional amount of it (again, in the beta).
The game releases in about three weeks. That’s not a lot of time to fix major issues currently present in the beta build. That concerns me about the “finished” retail product people will be paying money for in less than a month.
All the signs were pointing me toward cancelling my pre-order. I’ve been trying to exercise more frugality in general and this seemed like the kind of game that time will only improve. I’d far rather pick it up on sale down the road when the major kinks have been ironed out, than be an unwilling beta tester for the first year of issues.
How do you feel about Fallout 76 based on what you’ve seen/heard/read? Will you be picking it up at launch?
Also, have you ever cancelled a pre-order before due to concerns about the game, itself? If so, which game/s?