Status Report: Week 45 (B.E.T.A.)

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 negatives:

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.

Anyway.

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. :)

8 replies »

  1. I’m nost sure what to think about F76 but I have so many other games still to play that I can wait for it to gather a consensus (and hopefully a bit more technical stability).

    For me this week it looks to be RDR2, AC Origins, Diablo III, Tetris Effect, and eventually Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. F76 doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest (mainly because I don’t enjoy modern Fallout or Bethesda games generally!) but it’s been interesting to read the varying responses to the beta — some positive, some negative.

    The thing you describe about getting lost in the game world is, I think, the game working as intended — Bethesda games are often designed in that way. However, I’m not entirely sure it’s a great idea to have that aspect of open-world gameplay incorporated into something with a multiplayer bent — as you experienced, one’s desire to explore and investigate the mundane and the random is very much at odds with any sort of quest-based structure the game might offer, particularly if said quests rely on cooperation between team members.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the final game ends up and whether there will be enough of a dedicated playerbase to make it viable. No easy way of predicting that right now — but I think Bethesda has a bit of work to do!

    Anyway, my gaming time this week will be continuing with Project Zero 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (which I’m hoping to get finished by the end of the week so I can write about it), complemented by some Warriors Orochi and Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely experienced both the positive and negative, yet I’m still wanting to play more.

      I think your assessments are correct and I’m interested to see how Bethesda tweaks it between now and, say, six months from now.

      I hope you enjoy whatever you play!

      Liked by 1 person

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