Controversy 76

Ben Valentine, Writer

Much like its predecessor, Fallout 76 is controversial. Fallout is a franchise spanning 20 years of amazing games, but for every amazing title, it seems like we get 2 mediocre ones. Fallout 76 continues this trend with another mediocre, half-baked title in the franchise. Fallout 4 seems like a near godsend in comparison, even with its lazy writing and half-baked gameplay elements.

76 is surrounded by countless controversies and has overall put a stain on the integrity of Bethesda as a company. When the beta was announced, thousands flocked to put in their limited hours only to be met with disappointment. Fallout 76 was a mess from the start. Disregarding intentional gameplay choices,  for now, 76 was plagued with glitches and a lack of features from the start. An unstable framerate, constant crashing, and numerous bugs, 76 did not make a good impression on the consumers Bethesda had promised to please. Within weeks, 76 had already lost much of its hype, and the game wasn’t even officially out yet. The numerous bugs and framerate issues were promised to be fixed by launch, and what small sliver of player base left was left in eager waiting.

Once the game was officially released, things soured even further. The game was still plagued with issues, with some even being new. However, things were only beginning the ramp up. Controversies surrounding the promotion for the game began to come to the public eye, beginning with what is colloquially known as bag-gate. Bethesda had promised a fancy canvas bag to contain a power-armor helmet, and upon players receiving their special edition of the game, we learned that Bethesda had gone back on their promise and instead included a cheap nylon bag. While many would not be bothered by this, the fact that Bethesda had gone back on their word prompted widespread outrage and eventual lawsuits towards the company. Fans and casuals alike had been burned, and all eyes were on Bethesda. In response, Bethesda gave their players 500 credits for their micro currency shop–the equivalent of five U.S. dollars. Suffice it to say, the outrage only increased, until Bethesda promised to ship out the proper bags in several months time.

While the controversies began to calm down following this, many were turned off the game permanently. The game itself was still mediocre at best–even after several months of fixes, the player-base had dropped to a mere fraction of what it once was, and most turned their anger towards Bioware’s Anthem. Fallout 76 is nothing special, nothing remarkable gameplay wise. It features standard looter-shooter gameplay with half-baked survival and crafting elements incorporated, all taking place in a pretty but overall empty world. The hit-detection is broken, the servers still crash often, and many things that brought people to the series in the first place are completely thrown aside. Many have lost hope, and I, for one, personally hope Bethesda doesn’t continue this pattern of mediocre, dumbed down games. Bethesda has published some of the most well-regarded and beloved games of all time, and to see them go the way of EA is discouraging to many. Let’s just hope this trend doesn’t continue into the future.