Over the weekend, due to the generosity of one of my most frequent gaming partners, I was able to play the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A.
I was game to try the beta even though I’d cancelled my Fallout 76 pre-order a while ago. I’m always curious to experience a game for myself, and after playing the beta, I have mixed feelings. Let’s start with the good!
The atmosphere is fantastic. I love the day/night, dynamic weather, I love the locations, the architecture, and the aesthetic. The game greatly appeals to the collector in me. How many times did I collect forks from mailboxes?
So many times.
I love the photo mode. The game, when viewed at a distance, is gorgeous. The perpetual autumn is ripe for a gaming landscape. So many times I would stop just to take a screenshot. The lighting effects were lovely, and many times I would stop to stare at the foliage.
The game doesn’t run particularly well. For a game releasing in such short order, there was far more than the usual Bethesda jank. Several times I thought the game had locked up when really it was down to zero frames per second (I was playing on a PS4 Pro). Some of the textures were straight up last gen. I walked into one area and the pop-in was so bad, I actually timed that it took over a full minute for the textures to load. The area wasn’t particularly large or full of foliage or buildings, and there were no enemies on screen. That was a concern. And it wasn’t the only time. Here’s a screenshot of that area:
The controls are floaty at best, and I wish there had been a way to turn off the head bob. The gunplay is more of a suggestion and less of a precision action. To be fair, I don’t think I ever used VATS. If I’m able to get back in before the end of the beta, I will be sure to try that out.
The next thing, and this is specific to me, concerns me most: this is the kind of game I could get lost in and do absolutely nothing I am supposed to do. Multiple times while playing with my friend, I was so sidetracked by wandering around and searching things, that I neglected the mission/s at hand. He would tell me he was by the required item to progress, and I’d be off in some house, looking through someone’s refrigerator or taking their pillows. I never felt compelled to complete a quest, and I was often far away from my friend doing a whole lot of nothing other than collecting mailbox forks (and, seriously, who has ever put dining utensils in a mailbox?).
I actually enjoyed my time with Fallout 76, but then I always enjoy playing with the person I was playing with. I love the world and the atmosphere (atmosphere goes a long way with me), and I’d absolutely pick it up after it has gone on sale and some of the major kinks are worked out. Exploring Fallout 76 sounds like a fun way to unwind here and there.
It also made me want to finally play Fallout 4; I have the game and all the DLC, I just somehow never played it.
So, this week, since I’ve managed to break out of my rut (at least a little), I’m looking forward to playing something other than Destiny 2. Festival of the Lost hasn’t gripped me (I didn’t even finish getting all the masks), and I didn’t even feel badly giving up on completing everything. I’ve felt, more and more, like Destiny 2 has been bloated with busy work, and I’ve never been a fan of busy work.
I’d like to finally play Shape of the World (good god how many times have I said that now?), and either start in on Red Dead Redemption 2 or go back to Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
What will you be playing this week?
Please be safe out there, friends. Cheers. :)