I like when a game can surprise me and reel me in, despite all logic.
To that end I say, well played, Fallout 76, well played.
After watching four hours of gameplay, I was so UNsold on the game, I cancelled my pre-order.
Last week, when my friend offered me a beta code, I was almost going to pass when I thought, well heck, why not?
Something about the game has me thinking about it nearly constantly and wanting to play more of it. This doesn’t happen super often where I can’t stop thinking about a game, to the point I’ve been like MOAR PLZ.
Let’s look at this objectively:
The game has an incredible amount of jank and lack of polish for a full-priced retail title coming out a week from today. The systems can be overwhelming. The combat is clunky and dated. I have no idea what I was doing, other than collecting things, taking screenshots, and all but ignoring objectives.
But I can’t stop thinking about it.
It also has the most ridiculous beta I’ve ever been a part of.
Usually betas make it easy for people to try the game out. For Fallout 76, it’s active at weird times on weird days. Case in point, the beta was active yesterday for two hours only from 10am (PST), to noon. I was so excited to play it again, I made sure to stay awake, even though I’d only had two hours of sleep.
As I turned on my system, I didn’t see anything about an update file (my system is set to download all updates automatically). When I went to boot up the game at 10, it said there was an update file that I needed to download and install to be able to continue playing the beta.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I go into my downloads and, sure enough, there it was, but it showed the update file was nearly 40GB (!!!) and had an estimated five hour download time.
Difficult difficult lemon difficult.
Since I was tired anyway, I laid down and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up a while later, I saw the update finished downloading at 12:31, over half an hour after the beta ended.
I was really disappointed I didn’t get to play any more, and that the beta had such stupidly short hours to participate.
I started thinking about all the fun screenshots I’d taken in photo mode, then I started thinking about how cool the photo mode was, and how I was looking forward to messing around with it even more. The atmosphere of the world is one of my favorite things about the game, and I just wanted to get back in there and explore.
I have a feeling Fallout 76 will suck my time away, but I can’t wait to keep wandering around and finding forks and hopefully getting to play with nice people. I can’t wait to find stupid outfits to do that wandering in (do you like my fishing hat in the picture above?). I look forward to completely neglecting objectives so I can putter around and pick up really important things like boiled water and wrenches.
I’m telling you, I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m shaking my head as I write this because even I am baffled. But all I want to do is get back in there and keep looking around and figuring out the systems. I never once used VATS or built anything or made a camp.
Wasteland or bust.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever decided a game wasn’t for you, only to make a complete 180? If so, which game/s? I’d love to find out how a game won you over.