“Country roads, take me home...”
May 30, 2018 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Fallout 76 [YouTube][Teaser Trailer] “The teaser trailer, embedded above, includes scenes set inside a relatively well-maintained fallout shelter. The vault looks decked out for a party, with balloons and confetti all over. A sign says that the occasion is called “Reclamation Day.” A Pip-Boy makes an appearance during the teaser, but there’s a conspicuous lack of weapons of any kind. The entire setting looks extremely domestic, set inside a child’s bedroom and a family living space.” [via: Polygon]

• Bethesda Teases ‘Fallout’ News With Hours Long Livestream [Variety]
Bethesda Game Studios tweeted an image of the series’s iconic test-pattern startup screen at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, along with the hashtag #PleaseStandBy. The developer’s publisher, Bethesda, then took to a live Twitch stream featuring a static Pip-Boy bobblehead, blue and yellow balloons, and a hand puppet to build anticipation while their audience grew to upwards of 148,000 viewers.”
• Fallout 76: What We Know So Far [Gamespot]
“Bethesda has confirmed Fallout 76 is being released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, there's no word about a Nintendo Switch release, which didn't seem out of the question after the Skyrim re-release made it to that platform. That could always be coming later, but for the time being, it's only coming to those three platforms. Bethesda Game Studios, the Maryland-based developer responsible for the Elder Scrolls series and both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, is at work on the game. It's possible other Bethesda studios are also working on the project, but BGS is the only one confirmed in the extremely brief fact sheet shared with the press.”
• Fallout 76 May Take Place In 2102, The Earliest In The Franchise Yet [Cultured Vultures]
“Look slightly closer, however, and you will notice some text on the Pip-Boy. Look slightly closer, however, and you will notice some text on the Pip-Boy. Unless this is a weird celebration of Nelly’s Dilemma reaching number 1 on its 100th anniversary, this is almost certainly the timeframe in which Fallout 76 will take place. If this is correct, Fallout 76 will take place at the earliest point in the Fallout franchise to date. For reference, Fallout 1 is 2161, Fallout 2 is 2241, Fallout 3 is 2277, Fallout: New Vegas is 2281 and Fallout 4 is 2287. This falls in line with what we little we know about Vault 76 from its references in prior Fallout games. The lore dictates that Vault 76 would open twenty years after the apocalypse of 2077, so with it being five years off its “opening date”, the inhabitants of Vault 76 may already be out in the world or something may have gone terribly wrong.”
posted by Fizz (193 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh, I'm still only about 1/4 of the way through FO4. I really am the slowest gamer ever.
posted by octothorpe at 8:21 AM on May 30, 2018


octothorpe, you're not alone. I'm pretty much at the same place you are and it's now been so long since I booted it up on m PC that I might just have to restart the damn thing to get a fresh run going.

This looks interesting though. I like the clean look of it all. It'd be nice change of pace to be in this universe when it isn't all shitty and destroyed.
posted by Fizz at 8:23 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


This is great! Now we can find a way to work Star Swirl the Bearded and the other Pillars of Equestria into the Fallout: Equestria fanon!
posted by SPrintF at 8:24 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Though I realize that sort of defeats the purpose of a Fallout Shelter. It's about survival AFTER the nuclear blast. Still, I love that clean aesthetic. You know like the first 10 minutes of FO4. I kind of just want to be in that future and walk around and exist.
posted by Fizz at 8:25 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


This being Fallout though, it's entirely possible that the not-destroyed scene we are seeing is just going to be yanked away from us after the first five minutes, dumping the player unceremoniously into an apocalyptic hellscape.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:25 AM on May 30, 2018 [12 favorites]


I don't want a MMORPG, I do want multiplayer. I feel like that's probably asking a lot at this point but if there's a Battle Royale feature then I'm probably out.

I really didn't love FO4, neither the crafting nor the base building scratched my itch really, but that could just be the fact that I don't have the gaming bandwidth that I had in ye olde days. Here's hoping it's one of the good ones.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:25 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, every Bethesda game ever would have been improved 100% by the addition of muliplayer co-op.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:27 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


On the one hand, I can't trust Bethesda after FO4, WV is east of the Mississippi, and the Black Isle people weren't involved. On the other hand, this is non-urban and number 6 in a franchise that follows Star Trek Movie Quality Oscillation*.

*As opposed to the Hank Williams Talent Generational Leapfrog.
posted by The Gaffer at 8:28 AM on May 30, 2018


Yeah, every Bethesda game ever would have been improved 100% by the addition of muliplayer co-op.

You could try doing what I did, and pretend Preston is your annoying do-gooder kid brother who constantly needs you to hold his hand to solve the slightest problem that might arise, under threat of telling Mom.
posted by Mayor West at 8:30 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


This being Fallout though, it's entirely possible that the not-destroyed scene we are seeing is just going to be yanked away from us after the first five minutes, dumping the player unceremoniously into an apocalyptic hellscape.

I know and I don't want that to happen. I mean it'd be a tough game to make, but I'd love a pre-nuclear fallout disaster style game. Where we're watching shit go bad in the laboratories and the government is making terrible decision and oh shit, this is basically Half-Life that I'm describing. So Fallout 76: Halflife. JUST TAKE MY FUCKING MONEY.
posted by Fizz at 8:30 AM on May 30, 2018 [15 favorites]


Strongly think we'll be seeing mp or coop based on Jason Schreier's tweet. This better not be PUBG or some other battle royale type game in a FO setting though.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jasonschreier/status/1001832458164285442

Given how Elder Scrolls Online turned out, I'd be totally happy with a FO MMO, but I'm wondering if this will be some GAAS type game like the Division.

Questions: Will player characters be voiced? Did Avallone consult given that he's no longer working at Obsidian?
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:31 AM on May 30, 2018


I will NOPE the fuck right out if this has even the vague stink of Battle Royale. Because fuck that tired ass genre, we don't need it in every god damn game.

*makes old man grumpy noises*
posted by Fizz at 8:33 AM on May 30, 2018 [20 favorites]


Also, this just makes me want to go back and replay Fallout 3 because damn was that a fun game.
posted by Fizz at 8:34 AM on May 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


Reminded me instantly of Interstate '76, which was (for it's time) a brilliant piece of atmosphere wrapped around basic gameplay. I could probably draw a straight line from that game to this trailer, and it would run right through the middle of Kentucky Route Zero atmospherically.
posted by davejay at 8:35 AM on May 30, 2018 [13 favorites]


I was just about to make a joke about this game being a secret crossover with Interstate '76. A Fallout driving game in the early stages of the post apocalypse could actually be pretty cool, though I highly doubt this will be that.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:39 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


A Fallout driving game? I would only want to play as War Boys, eternally shiny and chrome.

New Vegas was the best 3D Fallout, but I am skeptical this will approach those heights.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:50 AM on May 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


It would be great to have drivable vehicles in Fallout.
posted by octothorpe at 8:53 AM on May 30, 2018


New Vegas was the best 3D Fallout,

Does it still hold up well? This sentiment is forever being expressed to me. But I've just not bothered to purchase or load it up myself. Can it play easily without a lot of jumping through hoops to set it up on a modern gaming PC? I know sometimes older games are a bitch to set up through Windows 10. I'm intrigued.
posted by Fizz at 8:53 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I played through FO:NV only about three years ago and it ran great at the time.
posted by octothorpe at 8:54 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


Does it still hold up well? This sentiment is forever being expressed to me. But I've just not bothered to purchase or load it up myself. Can it play easily without a lot of jumping through hoops to set it up on a modern gaming PC? I know sometimes older games are a bitch to set up through Windows 10. I'm intrigued.

NV lets you hang out with your dog and snipe fascists while you hike through a national park. I'm not sure what else a person could want.

It installs just fine, btw, and the DLC are great.
posted by The Gaffer at 8:55 AM on May 30, 2018 [13 favorites]


Hmm, maybe I'll find it on the next Steam Sale and pick it up.
posted by Fizz at 8:56 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I... knew as soon as the stream went up that I really needed to not get my hopes up, but if it's multiplayer this is basically the end of the road for me. Fallout was one of my core gaming experiences for so, so many years and there's no way I can picture them making this a thing I can play, because I can't play Fallout without VATS and even Fallout 4 had altered it so far that it was just solidly not fun. I wonder sometimes if I was just like... the only person who didn't want Fallout to be a shooter in the first place? It is so hard to watch a property I've been with since the very beginning turn itself into something I can't engage with.
posted by Sequence at 8:56 AM on May 30, 2018 [14 favorites]


It is so hard to watch a property I've been with since the very beginning turn itself into something I can't engage with.

I know exactly how you feel. Maybe it's just that I'm aging into an older player who likes certain things in a very certain way (which is what so much of being older seems to be, and fighting against being an asshole for wanting these things).

But let's hold out and see. You never know, we might be surprised. Fallout Shelter mobile was really fun and a great distraction.
posted by Fizz at 8:59 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ugh, I'm still only about 1/4 of the way through FO4. I really am the slowest gamer ever.

I'm with you. I have probably close to 400 hours in FO4 and still haven't completed the main quest. New Vegas, on the other hand, is probably closer to 1000 hours and I still haven't seen all the ending slides.

On preview -- Fizz: New Vegas runs just fine as long as you install the 4 GB patch and a few other community developed patches that help with stability. I can PM you some links after work if you want to check it out.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:01 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is the use of the song "Take Me Home, Country Roads" a meta reference to the fact that seemingly every other movie from last year used that song in its soundtrack?
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:03 AM on May 30, 2018


I wonder sometimes if I was just like... the only person who didn't want Fallout to be a shooter in the first place?

I played Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics. Then I tried Fallout 3, but never got into it.

So, I just walked away.
posted by FJT at 9:03 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


My money is on this essentially being "Fallout Shelter 2."

Why do you think they wasted all that time putting base building elements in Fallout 4 that added basically nothing to the game?

We know the game is online, we know its set in a vault that is just opening into the wasteland, we know that the date makes it pre-Super Mutants and pre-Deathclaws, so what I'm expecting is more a city/settlement building sim with online elements.

That's my two cents, since it's "taking the series in a whole new direction" and I honestly think this is going to help firmly kill the Fallout brand.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:03 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


You could try doing what I did, and pretend Preston is your annoying do-gooder kid brother who constantly needs you to hold his hand to solve the slightest problem that might arise, under threat of telling Mom.

“General, another settlement has sent word that they need our help”
“Shut up Brandon”
. . .
“I’ll mark it on your map”
posted by bibliowench at 9:05 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


So, I just walked away.

I see what you did there.

Also, god I would kill for Obsidian to just fucking finish Black Isle's Van Buren... (I know, I know, NV stole the plot anyway. I mean the one made in the traditional style.)
posted by deadaluspark at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's hard to imagine it not having some flavor of multiplayer, but I think it is possible to do it in a way that is either (A) optional or (B) lightly integrated such that it doesn't change the experience too much. I actually really liked the settlement building mechanics in Fallout 4, and just wished they were a little more robust, honestly, and I think you could build that into shelter management in a really fun and interesting way.

Also, considering the West Virginia-ness of the trailer, I'll be really disappointed if there isn't some kind of Final Pam easter egg.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:08 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I really hope this is a New Vegas-style game, full new story in the old engine. That'd be fabulous. I'd be happy if they expanded the base building part and made it have an online component somehow, maybe a little like how Shadow of War's multiplayer works. (Asynchronously; you basically assault the bases other players create.)

A Fallout driving game?

Oh Autoduel from 1985, by Origin! It was basically Car Wars the Computer Game.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on May 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


I really hope this is a New Vegas-style game, full new story in the old engine.

It has been made clear by multiple journalists that anyone waiting for a full fledged single player RPG is going to be sorely disappointed. Stop getting your hopes up now.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:12 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Also, I remember hanging around old Fallout fan sites like No Mutants Allowed. There was so much anger at Bethesda back then for daring to make a 3D Fallout. And the fanbase already disliked Tactics for essentially being a non-Fallout game remade to fit into the the Fallout world.

It was cool back then to say how much 3D couldn't capture Fallout, how it would make the game become a Quake clone with stimpaks being picked up by walking over them.
posted by FJT at 9:12 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I know it will never happen, but what I really long for is a return to the roots of the series--an actual RPG, with turn-based combat bolted on because it's not the only path through the game. Want to play as a low-intelligence brawler wielding a board-with-a-nail-in-it? Go for it, and watch as all the conversations in the game rearrange themselves to suit your monosyllabic vocabulary, with wastelanders alternately taking pity on you or ruthlessly exploiting your obvious deficiencies. Want to snipe your foes from the rooftops and play as a ruthless human trafficker-cum-merchant-of-death? Crank up that Perception score and watch as the world reacts to you with fear and loathing. Want to play through the main quest line without ever firing a shot, through a combination of mercantilism, speech checks, and stealth? Also totally possible.

In a pinch, I'd also settle for the inclusion of a few more throwaway Monty Python jokes.
posted by Mayor West at 9:14 AM on May 30, 2018 [10 favorites]


We know the game is online, we know its set in a vault that is just opening into the wasteland, we know that the date makes it pre-Super Mutants and pre-Deathclaws, so what I'm expecting is more a city/settlement building sim with online elements.

That's my two cents, since it's "taking the series in a whole new direction" and I honestly think this is going to help firmly kill the Fallout brand.


I have only ever played the original Fallout because I am a wuss about real-time combat, but: am I alone in thinking this is potentially an awesome idea? A post-apocalypse MMO where you have to choose whether to help rebuild society or tear it down could be amazing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:14 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm still down with New Vegas as the best Fallout ever. Clunky gameplay these days, but it had a solid story, the companion characters were great, and in particular they did an excellent job of holding the game to its themes and genres. Part western, part crime noir revenge story, part war story. So good.

I only wish Fallout games had more actual rock'n'roll. As soon as I heard The Wanderer in FO4 I got super excited, but that's as far as the rock went.

"Reclamation Day" would seem to imply we get first crack at all the loot before it gets scavenged over. And I'm with others in hoping for anything but a player-versus-player shooter. God no, not that. I'm trying to get into Overwatch and while I love the character designs the lack of an actual story is killing my interest.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:16 AM on May 30, 2018


daedaluspark you say "multiple journalists": who else other than Jason Schreier? He's being coy and not very helpful, would love a better source.

(This multiplayer speculation / concern has dominated every discussion of the new game I've seen so far. I think Bethesda hasn't handled the hype building very well, they really need to set the right expectations from the beginning.)
posted by Nelson at 9:17 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Let's also not forget some of the brilliant conventions of the original series.

It was harangued by "Family" oriented groups because in the original game, you could kill children.

What they failed to realize though, was that it was actually a game mechanic. Because, if you DID kill a child? Boy howdy, the ENTIRE wasteland would turn on you. Because children truly are the only future in a desolate wasteland, and killing a child in a world like that is much more damning. I always thought that was pure brilliance.

These days I can empty a full clip into a child's face and they stare at me, smiling. It's fucking stupid, and it just reminds people they are in a GAME. I mean, isn't being a child killer part of playing a ROLE?

Thanks Bethesda, for taking the R out of my PG.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:17 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I was really hesitant about going 3d, but honestly it wasn't the 3dness of it, it was the whole shift to gameplay that went with it. And for awhile they were really cognizant that they were having to win over old players, so they were clearly trying to keep stuff playable for us, and the result of that worked very well. But they're not trying anymore. I didn't find Fallout 4 fun. I thought I at least would like the settlement stuff, but it just didn't even feel like the same game series, which at least Fallout 3 and NV had kind of maintained. I already have games to play if I want to build stuff--that wasn't what I wanted out of Fallout.

I think the Fallout brand is going to be just fine, because there is clearly a new generation of players who've only ever known it as a shooter. They don't need to change for my sake. But I do need to get used to this weird new world where I'm a person who doesn't like Fallout games, when for so long they were instantly "shut up and take my money" territory. It's so strange to see the aesthetic and story getting applied to something that doesn't even appeal to the same sort of gamer as the original.
posted by Sequence at 9:18 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Well, there's also this, which was posted to reddit before the big reveal:

https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/8n7i4o/bethesda_is_announcing_fallout_vault_76/

It's gonna be a game surrounding the base building element.

Screenshot and thank me later.


I had guessed base building elements, and then this guy came in, dropped the sauce before it was actually released, and I'm going to say that my guess is pretty likely.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:20 AM on May 30, 2018


Chatting with my co-workers in our Gaming Slack channel and if it does end up being a 'Battle Royale' multiplayer shooter, it's basically going to be RUST with Fallout skinning layered on top. And that's just boring and dull to me. That genre is so clogged and I personally do not care for it, but it seems to generate revenue and I guess that's what Bethesda is hunting for.
posted by Fizz at 9:22 AM on May 30, 2018


The base building stuff in FO4 bored me to tears, it's big reason why I haven't played through.
posted by octothorpe at 9:23 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


If they're going to make a scrapping simulator, they can at least implement a stolen shopping cart.
posted by The Gaffer at 9:27 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


From the teaser trailer:

"For when the fighting has stopped, and the fallout has cleared, you must rebuild..."

Sure sounds like its focusing on base building elements to me, just from the teaser trailer alone.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:27 AM on May 30, 2018


VATS could be implemented effectively I think, just don't let the players use it so often that it becomes annoying. Give it a solid recharge time, and also put both players into VATS mode anytime one of them activates it. I'm not envisioning this as being anything more than a 2-player game, so I think that would work. I've just always wanted to play Fallout and Elder Scrolls games with a buddy.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:30 AM on May 30, 2018


Also, I remember hanging around old Fallout fan sites like No Mutants Allowed.

How many NMA die-hards do you think wound up being dyed-in-the-wool Gaters? Like, 90%, definitely. That place was toxic af, and I'm really glad the popular and critical success of Fallout 3 took them down a few pegs.

Then again, the lazy cynicism of New Vegas' writing caused all the other gaming edgelords to latch onto it as THE ONE TRUE AND ONLY FALLOUT, so maybe they just mutated.

Anyway, more onto the real topic, I would note that the choice not to call this Fallout 5 is obviously deliberate. Partly to signal that this isn't going to be like the other ones, but to me it also clearly signals that Bethesda still plans to do a more traditional Fallout 5 someday. Just not yet.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:30 AM on May 30, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've just always wanted to play Fallout and Elder Scrolls games with a buddy.

Once again, so sad Black Isle never finished Van Buren, which had co-op planned from the get-go.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:30 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


The only person I know that is still playing Fallout 4 is playing it for many hours a week to build up and expand their settlements. There is definitely an audience for that sort of thing.
posted by davejay at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


The base building stuff in FO4 bored me to tears, it's big reason why I haven't played through.

Me too. I couldn't even get the walls of my houses to connect half the time!

I still played through the game -- FWIW, you can pretty much ignore the building bits. The main quest was kinda meh, though. As with pretty much all the modern FO games (including NV), I didn't find the last act particularly satisfying. Something deeply artificial about the way they always set up the "Now It's Time to Choose Your Faction" thing.
posted by cudzoo at 9:36 AM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm fighting myself so hard to avoid getting excited. The first Fallout game I ever played was New Vegas, and I fell in LOVE. The aesthetic, the gameplay, the sense of adventure, danger, exploration, and freedom -- seriously an amazing game. Then I played Fallout 3 and was slightly disappointed. Then I played Fallout 4 and was very disappointed. Fallout 76 is going to disappoint me. I know it is. And yet I want to play it so badly.

What is wrong with me?? Please be good, Fallout 76. I'm begging you.
posted by dbx at 9:39 AM on May 30, 2018


Something deeply artificial about the way they always set up the "Now It's Time to Choose Your Faction" thing.

I do wonder if Obsidian would have found a better way to do that if they'd had time to properly finish the game. The end of the game absolutely is the most boring and least interesting part. So much good buildup for such a meh ending. Still somehow better than Fallout 3's ending where I have to choose to die from radiation when I've got fucking Fawkes right next to me, but somehow it's impossible for him to go in instead of me.

But in all real honesty none of them have had a real solid ending since the original, which still gives me chills.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:40 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Maybe it could be good. Dragon Quest: Builders is more fun than I expected, despite being Minecraft with a DQ bolted on.

Punch trees with a Shotgun Fist to acquire more wood.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:45 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


One piece of info that might give us a clue about what kind of game Fallout 76 could be is that Bethesda's Austin studio is working on it, in addition to their main Bethesda Game Studios office in Maryland.

Bethesda Game Studios Austin was, up until this year, known as Battlecry Studios, and they were working on a melee-oriented hero shooter called Battlecry. This game, if you recall it.

That doesn't mean Fallout 76 is necessarily a 5v5 hero shooter -- actually, I'd be shocked, given how many hero shooters have bit the dust in Overwatch's wake -- but some variety of multiplayer shooter could fit with what we know. If that's what the game is, then I think personally I'd prefer more of a 4-player co-op setup, which could easily be made to fit with a story where the players are residents of Vault 76 fighting to defend their little beachhead of civilization. Left 4 Fallout or Mutantide, take your pick. (Or maybe it's Falloutnite: Save the Wasteland.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:57 AM on May 30, 2018


I'd love a pre-nuclear fallout disaster style game.

First time I saw the opening of FO4 with the TV newscaster talking somberly about the war starting, I got chills and flashbacks to my Cold War childhood. I would totally adore an experience that captured the dread without necessarily taking the narratively “easy” way out of nuclear apocalypse.

How would a game portray living with that real-life horror of impending annihilation without it happening in the first 15 mins?
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:00 AM on May 30, 2018


How would a game portray living with that real-life horror of impending annihilation without it happening in the first 15 mins?

I don't know, but The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask pulled it off somehow.

Maybe it all comes down to that fucking creepy moon and how close it gets by the end of the 3rd day.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:02 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Interstate '76 was back in my professional game reviewing days. What an amazing, gorgeous, funny, perfect game that was. It was just such a piece of nostalgia.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:05 AM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


the lazy cynicism of New Vegas' writing

I understand each of these words, but in sequence I have no idea what you mean. New Vegas didn't strike me as cynical or lazy at all.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2018 [10 favorites]


It's a high pitched sound
Hot rubber eternally pressing against a blackened pavement
A wheel is forever
A car is infinity times four

posted by lmfsilva at 10:12 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Base-building and multiplayer is not what I come to that world for. I can do both, better, in other games.

I come to Fallout for a laughable amount of diegetic storytelling (oh look two skeletons in a bed with a gun next to them), an at-times-interesting-but-mostly-mediocre single player experience, and some fairly good side quests and characters.
posted by graventy at 10:17 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


How would a game portray living with that real-life horror of impending annihilation without it happening in the first 15 mins?

Watching things sort of break down and crackle on the fringes of society. Things look just pretty enough that something is off, something is kind of dirty around the edges. I think it'd be fascinating to see this pretty fallout shelter start to go to hell in real time because of the actions of those higher up powers who control things and shape the society. It could definitely be done and be weird. But it'd be a risk and not sure if Bethesda is willing to do that on such an important and profitable IP.
posted by Fizz at 10:18 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


How would a game portray living with that real-life horror of impending annihilation without it happening in the first 15 mins?

Final Fantasy VI had the heroes lose and the world end in the middle of the game. Of course, your characters were all seasoned fighters by that point.
posted by FJT at 10:18 AM on May 30, 2018


In Far Cry 5 you thwart a doomsday cult, in a setting where all the non-cultists are also furiously prepping for Armageddon.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:21 AM on May 30, 2018


Except that Far Cry 5 completely fails to make it seem "doomsday"-ish until literally the last mission in the game.

Couldn't even finish that garbage.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:28 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Like you're living this happy life in your shelter, things are new and everything works, but some government looking guy in a suit keeps showing up and asking you specific questions about whether you like the new home you bought. Your shelter kid and partner start behaving oddly. A scientist also drops by and keeps pushing certain medication for your family. You've mistakenly signed a contract and are obligated to get health services through this company.

Now that I think about it, it'd be more horror and less survival. God, I want this game so much.
posted by Fizz at 10:33 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


Fizz, you could go so much farther. If it's a doomsday scenario, is it another country threatening us, as in the war between China and the US in 2077 in Fallout canon? If it is, gosh, you could do so much with citizens of your city ratting each other out, subjects you can't talk about, people talking in code, "loose lips sink ships" type stuff.

Think Papers, Please mixed with "settlement" management and RPG elements (like bring back fucking speech checks), where a lot of the "social breakdown" is literally social breakdown. As the game progresses, riots and terrorism become more common and random. Or where someone gets you to trust them, and you talk about a "taboo" subject, and they out you to the settlement, and suddenly everyone in the neighborhood won't talk to you.

Like perhaps later in the game you are going to the supermarket to get food and suddenly you're in the middle of a riot where people are looting the entire store and you have to make choices to either be selfish and hoarde as much as you can for yourself (which might involve assaulting, perhaps even killing, others, to accomplish), or to only take a little and try to make sure others get some, too. Taking more means you'll have more for yourself, but more likely to have neighbors break in to steal things in the night or violently attack your home, and taking less means you'll struggle harder to survive, but your community will do more to protect you.

If only Bethesda could be arsed to take some fucking risks.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:38 AM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


deadaluspark, we need to just write this fucking game and find an angel investor and make it happen, cuz fuck, I love your ideas so damn much!! :D
posted by Fizz at 10:44 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


As it stands, the Fallout 4 settlement building process is not that attractive to me. I loved the game, 634 hours played, all that jazz, but my settlements barely hit 'utilitarian'. But I like the idea of Bethesda polishing it up and making it shine for this game, so that it is so much better in Fallout 5 / Elder Scrolls 6.

The big question for me is 'is is massively-mutiplayer'. If so, the griefers will win and I'm not touching that thing with a barge pole made from a few forks, broken toilets, and a dirty lawn flamingo. If it is aimed at smaller groups, and possibly single-player, I might give it a go.
posted by YAMWAK at 10:49 AM on May 30, 2018


So I’m just going to note hints of the American Tricentennial and the fact that the song they used is from 1971, and wonder if this will be the Fallout that starts to drop the 1950s as an aesthetic for everything. When the series started, it was firmly rooted in the culture most players’ Boomer parents had grown up in; now that’s getting to be their grandparents or even great-grandparents.

In related news, my gen-x self is feeling profoundly old.
posted by egypturnash at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Aw, I was hoping for an all-vault game, with rambling warrens of vault dwellers, sectors lost to mad science experiments resulting in ghouls, deathclaws, and Super Mutants, vast underground caverns simulating the great outdoors, entire sectors just abandoned or never inhabited, crazed Overseers waging war on one another, and maybe an end-game scene of emerging from the vault to gaze upon a wilderness devoid of signs of human habitation. West Virginia . . . well, I live less than 10 miles from WV, it surrounds me on three sides (north, east, west), so it kinda lacks the element of exotic remoteness. Still, good news that they're making another one, I liked the last 3.
posted by Blackanvil at 10:51 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


It is so hard to watch a property I've been with since the very beginning turn itself into something I can't engage with.

This. I actually loved New Vegas as well as the old games, despite the FPS, because the world felt right. Fallout 3 did not. Fallout 4 did not. The Bethesda writers and designers never really 'got' the Fallout universe in my opinion. Getting Avellone in won't fix that - he was always more aligned with the more jokey, almost lulzy side of things, which was never my favoured side of the whole thing.

If Bethesda would just contract Obsidian for another game in their engine, I'd be happy, but it won't happen - Bethesda are too invested in their version of Fallout (and it's commercially successful) and Obsidian have moved on to other things (and would likely be loathe to work with Bethesda again, having not come out of New Vegas with an awful lot of money).
posted by Dysk at 10:52 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Lulzy is an excellent word for Avellone's style, yes.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:55 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Vault 76 has always been a bit of a thing for fans. I'm interested to see what they do with it.

However, if it's solely based around the town management mechanic from FO4, I will nope the fuck out. It was so half-assed and uninteresting. I generally liked the game but the fact that one of the main story pivotal missions requires you to deal with that was beyond infuriating.

Also, multiplayer? Really? Because I want "P33lord69696xxxx" roaming the wasteland to teabag my corpse. Yeah, that's what's going to improve the atmosphere, here.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:57 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


I understand each of these words, but in sequence I have no idea what you mean. New Vegas didn't strike me as cynical or lazy at all.

Does anyone else remember talking to Caesar in FONV and all of sudden he's explaining Hegelian dialectic? That was pretty dope.

I have a few jumbled thoughts:

Too much micromanagement in FO4. Previously, the only thing you had to micromanage was your skill point distribution, but in removing skill points entirely, you all of sudden had to micromanage your weapons and your armor. Which means you had to micromanage the junk materials in your inventory to make sure you can add a little bit more armor to a chest piece. When everything that is lootable is potentially needed, you get analysis paralysis, another thing to manage. Micromanaging multiple settlements became tedious and I hope they learn from the Sim Settlements Mod for FO4 to make it more macro. Or just radically redesign it or get rid of it.

Check out Fallout 3 is Garbage (2016), by HBomberguy and Fallout 3 is Better Than You Think (2018), by Many A True Nerd, Fallout 4 Analysis (2015) and Fallout 4 - One Year Later (2017) both by Joseph Anderson. If those links are wrong, just search for them. All are valuable sources of analysis for Bethesda's major Fallout releases.

I think a Fallout game that takes place off the beaten path (perhaps a place nowhere near a bomb hit), but still having to deal with the fallout (get it? i made a funny :P) of those weapons would be fascinating, like Fallout: Smoky Mountains (think East Tennessee from Knoxville to the Tricities area of Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport). Enclave base at Bristol Motor Speedway would be dope as hell.

On one hand, if FO76 is an origin story of the Enclave, that would be kinda cool. On the other hand, it will be probably be sloppily done or too heavy handed.

Bring back skill points and skill checks. Or, if you're sticking to no skill points and all perks, then there needs to be perk checks in dialog (maybe Nerd Rage gives you an intimidation speech option when below 25% health) or throughout the world environment (maybe Armor/Weapon crafting perks works as a general repair perk too).

Combat in FO4 was too smooth. Add in some serious weapon recoil / reload time / aim-down-sight delay. Combat perks that reduce those would be more interesting than the dumb "improve damage by x%" perks. If you have no skills or perks for missile launchers, I wanna see my character get knocked on his or her ass by the recoil of shooting one.

Reward exploration like in FO3. Have fun or interesting places off of the paths of the quest lines.

It doesn't need to only be single player, but it must have a single player option.
posted by Groundhog Week at 11:05 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I hope it's called vault 76 because it's 76 square kilometers. A city sized vault it would take days to cross with a million people in it, designed to last generations. A completely closed system underground city and all the drama that would arise from that.

it will be Fallout shelter with micropayments tho
posted by adept256 at 11:08 AM on May 30, 2018


it will be Fallout shelter with micropayments tho

Fallout Shelter already has microtransactions, though? So it'll just be Fallout Shelter again.
posted by Dysk at 11:14 AM on May 30, 2018


Fallout Shelter already has microtransactions, though? So it'll just be Fallout Shelter again.

Except 3D and costs $60
posted by deadaluspark at 11:16 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Check out Fallout 3 is Garbage (2016), by HBomberguy

Despite the presentation, this video is actually quite good, and captures a lot of my criticisms. HBomberguy isn't the most charismatic or least annoying person to listen to, though.
posted by Dysk at 11:16 AM on May 30, 2018


Fallout Shelter already has microtransactions, though? So it'll just be Fallout Shelter again.

Except 3D and costs $60


And like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim available on PC, Xbox, PS4, Switch, Mobile, Samsung Fridge, VR, and soon your toaster.
posted by Fizz at 11:19 AM on May 30, 2018


Also, re: the lazy cynicism of Fallout: NV, I think the whole "but Ceasars Legion would actually be creating a better world than the NCR because they're adapting to the needs of the wasteland, so nevermind all the slavery, misogyny, homophobia and murder." was pretty lazily cynical, and yet that was what they were planning to aim for if they had completed the game. It felt more like it was people vaguely familiar with philosophy trying to be edgy and interesting. Like here's a vague moral dilemma, because both sides are bad in similar ways. Okay, great, that's really not all that interesting, in the end, to me. Or, at the very least, not interesting in the way it ended up being presented. I'm not saying it's not possible, but rather that NV failed to do it for me.

Having Ceasar drop Hegel like its hot did not take away from that perception for me.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:24 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yes, daedaluspark, that's exactly what I was referring to. That whole "what if the bad guys... are good actually???" thing that sounds deep when you're thirteen.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:33 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


With the caveat that I never played through the "side with the Legion" stuff, because why the fuck would you do that: I didn't get the notion that the Legion was somehow a better choice, or that the game really wanted to make that argument. The game makes the reasonable distinction that people don't wake up in the morning and say, "You know what? I'm gonna be the villain today!"

Bad guys don't generally think they're bad. And yeah, the game gives you the option to be the bad guy, but I never saw anything to legitimize that choice. You still see plenty of their monster bullshit. And I don't see putting the choice of being good or bad in the player's hands as lazy or cynical.

To be honest, I have bigger problems with the "choices" in Far Cry 5: you're presented with an enemy that tortures and murders, who literally crucifies people on the roadside, and so you can either fight them and bring the leader to justice, or you can let the leader go, because...why? Because unspecified prophecy from the bad guy's mouth with no real narrative connection between him and the consequences he warns about?

New Vegas gives you a spectrum of choices to be good or bad, with narrative follow-through on all of them. Games like Far Cry 5 give you false choices with doom and/or hypocrisy at every turn because...well, because whoever wrote the companion quests and side-content stuff was all aces, but the main narrative dude apparently just wants to be edgy and doesn't care if it makes any sense.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:34 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Just like in the real world, monsters justify themselves. The point wasn't meant to be "Caesar is right", it was meant to be "People support violent, authoritarian regimes, and let's look at why they do that". The trader you can talk to at The Fort likes the Legion because Legion territory is safe to travel for him and he doesn't imagine the horrific violence of the Legion being aimed at him. That's a far cry from "the Legion and the NCR are the same".
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:44 AM on May 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


Oh, and there's also the whole "LOL PROSTITUTES" deal.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:45 AM on May 30, 2018


With the caveat that I never played through the "side with the Legion" stuff, because why the fuck would you do that: I didn't get the notion that the Legion was somehow a better choice, or that the game really wanted to make that argument. The game makes the reasonable distinction that people don't wake up in the morning and say, "You know what? I'm gonna be the villain today!"

Well, part of the reason it isn't dished up as readily as it might be is because the game was rushed. It was supposed to be about twice the size, and you were supposedly supposed to spend as much time in Legion territory on the other side of the Hoover Dam as in NCR territory. A lot of that portion of the story is what got cut, which leaves things like Caesar talking about the Hegelian dialectic, but we're left with "why's the bad guy talking like he knows shit," because it never got much deeper than that.

Perhaps they could have succeeded in making it work with all that extra content, because they could have gotten a lot more in depth with what they were trying to say. Also, in respect to that, Pope Guilty, I think that's a fair characterization, but I think tobascodagama and I are saying that in our playthrough's and readings of it, it felt a lot more shallow than that in practice.

Also, playing the bad guy can be quite rewarding when done correctly, but it has to work, storywise.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:48 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


I mean, I don't even think New Vegas is bad. It's a really good game that I played a lot of. The Boomers and the plant vault were cool. It's just extremely overrated by bad people who like it for bad reasons.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:48 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think Honest Hearts did a much better job of exploring the "meaning" of Caesar and the Legion than the main game did.
posted by Dysk at 11:50 AM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


Bad guys don't generally think they're bad. And yeah, the game gives you the option to be the bad guy, but I never saw anything to legitimize that choice. You still see plenty of their monster bullshit. And I don't see putting the choice of being good or bad in the player's hands as lazy or cynical.

That. There's definitely some lazy cynicism at work in players seeing the Legion as better than the NCR, but that's not particularly supported by the text of the game itself, and it wasn't, I think, the writer's intent, either.

From an interview with Chris Avellone:
[W]e did want to include a Legion companion, Ulysses, who would be tolerant of Legion behavior and provide an internal perspective on it, but he got moved to the DLCs as an antagonist. My feelings on the Legion were summed up both with him, and also in a conversation tangent with Rose of Sharon Cassidy, where she inadvertently peppers her anger at the Legion with a slow, grudging respect for some of the other benefits they bring when they conquer an area (protecting caravans, uniting tribes, keeping the peace). In many ways, the Legion is better adapted for the wastes than many of the other factions [but] I always felt that Caesar’s goals were going to die once he ran out of lands to conquer — he had a war machine, and once it stopped rolling, the other societal problems his faction had at their core would surface and they would tear themselves apart… or simply decay until they became the prey of someone else.
'It looks great to the people it benefits' is how tyrannies stay in power. 'It's a horrific war machine predicated on exploiting divisions between people that concentrates power in an unfair and unsustainable way' is...not praise. It's an apt picture of how tyrannies operate.

If you play the Lonesome Road DLC, Ulysses -- who was supposed to be part of what the expanded Legion path would have been -- is quite critical of the Legion: he thinks the Legion went down a violent, non-sustainable, non-equitable path. It's really doubtful, given what they did do with the DLC, that the original scope of the game would have ended up portraying the Legion in a better light. Honest Hearts also expands a bit on why the Legion would be appealing to anyone (and also why the Legion's appeal is misplaced).

I think it's fair to say that the portrayal of the Legion in the base game could be better stated all around, in that it fronts a bunch of Obvious Signs Of Evil (eg, slavery, murder, village-burning, etc), and lets them speak for themselves; and then let's Caesar mount a defense of its actions that are, structurally, refuted by the NCR and not by the player* -- which turns it into a kind of 'both sides' situation in terms of the game's design, even if that wasn't purposeful; the deeper criticisms got shunted over to the DLCs. The base game did a lot of showing and not quite enough telling.

*I mean: you can refute Ceasar's arguments, as a player, by punching him in the face, but there's not , IIRC, a way to verbally refute him in a meaningful way that wins him over or wins his supporters over.
posted by cjelli at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


In terms of bad guys vs. good guys, FNV seemed to imply that no matter how much the Legion might create order, with the death of one man (Caesar), it would fall apart in under a year. I'm not writing this as a defense of his 13 year old philosophy, but more that it seems that his philosophy is intended to be seen as immature and lacking. The faction system was a call back to FO2, which I liked. FO4 tried for that and failed miserably.

I did do a single pro-Legion playthough, but mostly for the various achievements. Also, the other three factions have essentially the same missions in the end game, the Legion offers some more interesting ones. I find it interesting that the Legion play-through is available to a female character, given their attitude towards women.

On the topic of the actual new game, if it's a MMO, I'm out. Part of what I like about the Fallout games is that my decisions and actions have an impact. Not all of them do this well, but in all of them, the things that I do define the story. I recognize that this is not particularly realistic, but it is something that I really enjoy about these games. My beef with MMOs is that you still go and do all the epic stuff that you do in a single player game, it's just that nothing changes. You go and you kill the great evil boss. Who is still in charge and threatening the world when you go back and kill him next week. Fallout does not need that. I suppose they could turn it into an EVE online type system, but that would get ugly quick and would definitely attract edgelords.

On preview, cjelli, I see what you're saying and agree that the Legion is given plenty of signs of "lol evil" without a chance to do much about it. If you kill ever single last non-slave person in the fort, you are unable to even suggest to the slaves that they leave, let alone have them decide to work for their own freedom in the even of the camp legionaries' death. It always slightly bothered me that they never bothered to take the time to write that dialogue.
posted by Hactar at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


The real significant part of multiplayer is how Bethesda is going to include that while also making your player character The Chosen One Who Is The Most Important Person.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Jason Schreier at Kotaku seems to believe that this is going to be a survival game a la Rust.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2018


I find it interesting that the Legion play-through is available to a female character, given their attitude towards women.

It does lock you out of some of the stuff in the fort (no arena fighting) for example.

It always slightly bothered me that they never bothered to take the time to write that dialogue.

I suspect that's the sort of thing they would've done given me time. As it stands, basically everything directly relating to the Legion is kind of two-dimensional if it isn't outright absent, but that is largely a factor of putting the whole game together on somebody else's unfamiliar engine in a stupendously short time. I think it's less "didn't bother" and more "weren't able to".
posted by Dysk at 12:34 PM on May 30, 2018


ahh new vegas... i cant imagine anyone not choosing ncr!! i felt so damn (self) righteous rockin out to marty robbins in the wasteland, killing the wicked. (full disclosure: i work for the actual state of california irl...)
posted by wibari at 12:41 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


The real significant part of multiplayer is how Bethesda is going to include that while also making your player character The Chosen One Who Is The Most Important Person.

I suppose they could use the Oblivion main quest as a model, where you're basically an errand runner for the actual "chosen one". But there's a reason Oblivion is the most forgettable Elder Scrolls main game, and it's pretty much that.

How would a game portray living with that real-life horror of impending annihilation without it happening in the first 15 mins?

Fallout: Trinity
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:47 PM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


ahh new vegas... i cant imagine anyone not choosing ncr!! i felt so damn (self) righteous rockin out to marty robbins in the wasteland, killing the wicked. (full disclosure: i work for the actual state of california irl...)

I always found teaming up with the rogue Securitron who had been hacked to be more intelligent the most satisfying ending.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:48 PM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I always found teaming up with the rogue Securitron who had been hacked to be more intelligent the most satisfying ending.

You mean YES MAN, only the best character in the entire freaking game (and technically the "neutral" option, since you side with "no one"), who was voiced by the fucking stellar Dave Foley.

I remember, back when I first played it, I didn't have access to the "cast list" and when I heard the voice, at first I couldn't place it, and then I was like, this guy, I like this guy.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:04 PM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


Holy shit how did I not know until now that Dave Foley voiced Yes Man? No wonder I liked him!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:07 PM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


ahh new vegas... i cant imagine anyone not choosing ncr!! i felt so damn (self) righteous rockin out to marty robbins in the wasteland, killing the wicked. (full disclosure: i work for the actual state of california irl...)

Kill House and rule New Vegas as benevolent monarch, keeping peace between factions that trust you and creating a safe and neutral place where different pro-social factions can meet and develop diplomatic bonds, laying the groundwork for a peaceful unification of the Mojave.

'Cause if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 1:12 PM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


But there's a reason Oblivion is the most forgettable Elder Scrolls main game, and it's pretty much that.

EXCUSE YOU!?! I love Oblivion. This is a hill I'm willing to die upon.
posted by Fizz at 1:13 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sure, if you really think one-person rule is the way to go, by all means take over New Vegas yourself. Or fall in with House and let him be in charge. Nothing says freedom and long-term stability like one-person rule.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:20 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Hmmm... On one hand, excited for more Fallout. On the other, if it's multiplayer online I won't be playing it.

I really just want to know when we're getting an Elder Scrolls VI.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:25 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I really just want to know when we're getting an Elder Scrolls VI.

From what I understand, Zenimax has made more money from Elder Scrolls Online than every other entry in the series combined. So we're probably not getting a single-player game from Bethesda for a very long time. Heck, I think we only got Fallout 4 because it was in development before they discovered the free-to-play market.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:40 PM on May 30, 2018


I really just want to know when we're getting an Elder Scrolls VI.

I honestly don't see it happening soon. They're still giving support to Elder Scrolls Online and I see so many stories that could be stand-alone games being turned into expansions for that universe/platform.
posted by Fizz at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2018


EXCUSE YOU!?! I love Oblivion. This is a hill I'm willing to die upon.

You know what? You're right. I literally forgot about Arena. So... second most forgettable?

(More seriously, here's the short version of my life with the Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall and Morrowind changed my opinion of RPGs. Daggerfall (bugs and all) was a revelatory open world, and I still love how big its ambitions were compared to the limitations of the time. Morrowind showed me that you could tell an interesting story in a game that wasn't on scripted rails, and could include lore and flavor text that really added to the experience. Skyrim was always just shy of an immersive experience for me, but was a fantastic world with interesting mechanics and monsters. Oblivion does have that incredible Thieves Guild storyline --which I will happily stipulate is one of the best things in any Elder Scrolls game-- but the rest of it doesn't get anywhere near that high, especially the main quest, and the ultimately sloggy, samey Oblivion gates and elven ruins.

That said, I'm pretty sure I logged over 100 hours in it, but that was before Steam telling me precisely how much of my life I'd spent on games so not sure.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2018


Or what FakeFreyja said. ^
posted by Fizz at 1:41 PM on May 30, 2018


Heck, I think we only got Fallout 4 because it was in development before they discovered the free-to-play market.

Fallout 4 was developed by Bethesda Game Studios, while TES Online was developed by ZeniMax Online Studios; both are subsidiaries of ZeniMax Media. I presume that we're not getting a new TES game for a while because they don't want to have the two studios stealing sales from each other, but also that we're prrrobably not getting a Fallout MMO anytime soon, either, for the same reason.

Given that this is jointly developed with Bethesda Game Studios Austin -- which has literally only worked on non-MMO multiplayer setups -- we're...probably getting a non-MMO multiplayer fallout.

Whether it's free-to-play or not is somewhat orthogonal to that -- ZeniMax has made a serious effort to monetize modding, so trying to monetize whatever 76 is feels painfully inevitable.
posted by cjelli at 1:56 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Kotaku is saying that it's going to be an online survival and base building game like Rust or Ark. I haven't played either of them, so I can't judge on that part. On the other hand, it's a type of MMO, so my dollars won't be going that way. Bethesda, Bioware, you were my last two great hopes. And now you've both gone over to the MMO market. I could cry, I really could.
posted by Hactar at 2:02 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Kotaku is saying that it's going to be an online survival and base building game like Rust or Ark.

If this is true....why though. Like we already have so many server-based always online survival games. We don't need another. Ugh.
posted by Fizz at 2:11 PM on May 30, 2018


I guess we know why. It's money that tends to drive these things. And taking risks is not something larger game corporations/companies are willing to do. It's just depressing to me, cuz they have so much to work with and they choose to cater to whatever is currently driving the most profit and right now it's online/battle-royale style games.
posted by Fizz at 2:29 PM on May 30, 2018


On the video: man that's some good clutter. ("Clutter" is what the Creation Kit calls all the set dressing.) I hope the game looks like that— even FO4 makes do with like six interactable elements per room.

Re FNV: the DLCs are brilliant; the main story slogs down into a contest between unlikeable factions. NCR/Caesar is like a choice between the right and the alt-right. (However, the option to seduce Benny and then kill him is too much fun to resist.)

I liked Oblivion more than Skyrim. It looks far crappier, sure. But everything off the main quest line is interesting. The Dark Brotherhood and Shivering Isles are really dark and funny; at the same time there's silly but fun things like saving a magician from his own dreams, entering a painting, or all the weird Daedric quests. FO3 had a lot of that too— things like the Republic of Dave or the vampire clan or the dueling superheroes were far more interesting than the main quest. And FO4 seems to me to have lost the quirky elements.

From trying to mod FNV and FO4, I'm also highly annoyed that the FO4 engine actually goes backwards in terms of dialogs. Unless I just missed something, you can pretty much only offer those four-option dialogs, which is a recipe for dumbness.
posted by zompist at 2:53 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Morrowind is possibly the best game. No wait, Starseige: Tribes. But after Tribes, Morrowind is the best.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:31 PM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


Sources: Fallout 76 Is An Online Survival RPG. (I assume that's the article Hactar is talking about.) I'm cautiously optimistic that could be good. I really liked the scavenging and base building parts of Fallout 4 and only wish it had more real consequences in the game rather than being a side distraction. OTOH if they do the wrong thing monetizing it or making it a dumb deathmatch style game, I'm gonna be mad.
posted by Nelson at 3:47 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm about to play Fallout New Vegas: I played it like 15 hours and quit the moment I got to New Vegas, last time. Do I really need the DLC? Can I play it after the main story? I assume so. It's like $5 a pop for each of the 4 story DLCs, which seems like an awful lot.
posted by Nelson at 3:48 PM on May 30, 2018


2 player? HELLS yes!

MMO? Nope.

I AM SO CONFLICTED

Love me some Fallout. It's such a Zen sort of game for me, especially NV, which I have played all the way through more times than is seemly. I'm not sure what I think of this announcement.
posted by biscotti at 3:53 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’m currently about 80 hours into a Fallout 3 replay. I probably like NV a little better, but I live in the DC area, and work is really stressful right now, and I like the idea of being able to bring something good to a bad situation. But, yeah, I’m also really slow about these things.
posted by wintermind at 3:55 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Do I really need the DLC? Can I play it after the main story? I assume so. It's like $5 a pop for each of the 4 story DLCs, which seems like an awful lot.

It's been a while, but I think after the main story it boots you back to right before the last quest, but you can do the DLC from there (or pretty much anytime after you hit a certain level). I think you get more out of them if you have a decent sense of the main story, since they do play off of the themes and characters of the basic game pretty heavily. I only played the goofy sci-fi lab one and the Lonesome Road, but both were pretty robust for the cost, amounting to a solid number of hours of new gameplay per dollar spent, at least to me.
posted by Copronymus at 3:56 PM on May 30, 2018


I'm about to play Fallout New Vegas: I played it like 15 hours and quit the moment I got to New Vegas, last time. Do I really need the DLC? Can I play it after the main story?

Sort of? The game ends after you finish the main story, but then it kicks you back to your last save.

You want the dlc, though. old world blues and honest hearts are really good, lonesome road is pretty good, dead money though introduced too many really "game-ey" mechanics and pulled the bullshit "Welcome to the DLC, we took all your stuff away" move.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:56 PM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


TBH, the DLC stories are better than the main game story in FNV. If you're one of those players who reads all the logs and listens to all the tapes, all the DLCs together tell the story of Ulysses (another courier) and Father Elijah (brotherhood guy, Veronica's mentor).

You can't play FNV after the main story ends, so make a save point prior to the ending to play the DLC. Each DLC increases the level cap by 5. You probably want to be in the 20s before you play them. Best order is order of release, but they can be played whenever. Definitely should save Old World Blues for last though.
posted by lovecrafty at 3:58 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


The DLC is 100% worth it. A lot of meaty content for that $20.
posted by EarBucket at 4:01 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, Dead Money is divisive. I fall on the 'totally loved it' side of things. I loved the story and new characters, but it does take away all your favorite weapons and armor and makes you fight new scary enemies.
posted by lovecrafty at 4:03 PM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


New Vegas is my favorite game of all time and I logged close a thousand hours in it, though, so YMMV.
posted by EarBucket at 4:04 PM on May 30, 2018


The ballsiest move for Bethesda here is if FO76 is a return to the 2D isometric turn-based rpg of Fallout's roots. Think Wasteland 2 but with Bethesda polish.
posted by Groundhog Week at 4:04 PM on May 30, 2018


Shit, I meant Lonesome Road is last. Too late for quick edit! Old World Blues is hilarious.
posted by lovecrafty at 4:05 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's like $5 a pop for each of the 4 story DLCs, which seems like an awful lot.

According to my Steam library I got the story and item DLCs last September as part of the New Vegas Ultimate Edition via the Humble Bundle, but checking reciepts for that time all I can find from Humble Bundle is a $20 charge for Tropico 5. So I either got it for basically $10 in a BOYO or just free-free, which is a longwinded way of saying be patient and keep your eyes open for sales.

I still haven't played them. It's been years since I finished the game, so I'm paralyzed between worrying I won't get most of the story references and not having the patience or temperament to start fresh and replay.

RE: The Legion, they are basically just Tacitus' "To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace." line taken to a ridiculous degree with the added joke that they are already in a desert wasteland.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:23 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Came to say "god I hope there's no Battle Royale in this" but looks like four others have said that already so at least we're on the same page.
posted by dw at 5:10 PM on May 30, 2018


Dead Money takes away your weapons but in return it gives you the best weapon in the game. Fully-upgraded HoloRifle, you are my bestest friend in the desert!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:22 PM on May 30, 2018


I'm going to reserve judgment until I see game play. I'm not really into survival games, but hopefully it's more co-op mp and not battle royale boredom.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:23 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, if FO76 is set in West Virginia, isn't the Greenbrier in WV, and under it, that massive cold war bunker? Maybe this is a riff on that?
posted by xedrik at 5:30 PM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I am deeply conflicted about this. I am one of the few weirdos who actually enjoyed the base building elements of FO4, but found the main quest to be a complete snooze. So I would 100% one of the fans who would play the shit out out of a game framed entirely around rebuilding a vault.

However that’s not likely to be what 76 is about, and as I don’t really get PvP, hate FPS games altogether and I’m on the fence about multiplayer unless it is small party co-op. Shrug. Doubt this will be the game for me but I don’t see bending the core gameplay as being a huge issue.

Then again the last one in the series I actually finished was Fallout 2. So maybe I should just hold my breath for a mobile port a la Baldurs Gate. Doubt very much that will ever happen.
posted by arha at 7:07 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Think Wasteland 2 but with Bethesda polish.

So... Wasteland 2 but smeared in dogshit?
posted by Dysk at 7:59 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Okay, maybe that's a little harsh, but whether you love or loathe them, Bethesda's games don't exactly have a reputation for never crashing or having no bugs. Fallout 3 is riddled with memory leaks, crashes, slowdowns, broken and buggy quest triggers, poorly-placed 3D objects (where you can see unskinned faces of a thing, or see through it from certain angles, etc.) and so on. A Bethesda level of polish would not be an improvement for Wasteland 2, exactly.
posted by Dysk at 8:33 PM on May 30, 2018


I really just want to know when we're getting an Elder Scrolls VI.

Probably after Starfeild.

Rumor: Bethesda's Space RPG Game Starfield Releases This Fall

I heard a dev in an interview evading the ESVI question saying they have other big projects on the go right now, maybe Starfeild is the one we can't account for.
posted by adept256 at 8:36 PM on May 30, 2018


Play through the DLC when you get curious, or if you want a break from the main story. Don't wait too long, though- they scale terribly at high levels. And grab the Ghost People perception fix off the Nexus, or else the Ghost People in Dead Money will incorrectly have maximum perception (It's an integer wraparound: they're supposed to have extremely low perception) and you won't be able to sneak by them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:52 PM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Fallout 3 and 4 frequently had scenes that were visually arresting in a way that never really happened in New Vegas. Even the Strip seemed kind of boring and lifeless. I don't think this is because of the limits of Gamebryo or because Obsidian ran out of time, I just think when it comes to level design Bethesda understand it better than Obsidian. In Fallout 4 there is nearly always something to look at in every part of the scene, bottom to top and near to far. In Fallout New Vegas Chris Avellone is the star of the show. In Fallout 3 the star was Adam Adamowicz.

Wasteland 2 showed us pretty clearly what Fallout would be if it was still being made by people from Interplay. Wasteland 2 was a critical darling but the public didn't really take to it with the same fervor that they have for Fallout 3, New Vegas, and 4 (or even 1 and 2).

I have no idea what kind of game Fallout 76 is going to be, but I do know I've been pretty happy with the direction Bethesda have taken Fallout, so I'm optimistic.
posted by um at 4:36 AM on May 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


And grab the Ghost People perception fix off the Nexus, or else the Ghost People in Dead Money will incorrectly have maximum perception (It's an integer wraparound: they're supposed to have extremely low perception) and you won't be able to sneak by them.

This explains a lot my frustration with Dead Money and why I never finished it.
posted by deadaluspark at 4:57 AM on May 31, 2018


Fallout 4 was the worst videogame I've ever beaten. Certainly there are worse games, but I never bothered to beat those. The nicest thing I can say about Fallout 4 is that it's a good mindless activity that make for a good way to catch up on podcasts while you trudge through the uninspired Bethesda hellscape. Fallout 76 already fails to excite me knowing they are involved, worse, it appears this will be more of a prequel or closer to the original fallout events of the universe. I do not trust their creative staff to do it justice based on the entirety of their output since Oblivion.
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


This explains a lot my frustration with Dead Money and why I never finished it.

I never had a lot of trouble with the Ghost People so much as the goddamned holograms, which somehow can wander out of sight of their projectors, or the radios, which just suck.

I really like the story in Dead Money, but the mechanics mostly suck.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:40 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


the uninspired Bethesda hellscape... Wasteland 2 but smeared in dogshit the vague stink of Battle Royale. Because fuck that tired ass genre

What is it about videogames that prompts such absurd and hyperbolic language from their fans?
posted by Nelson at 9:08 AM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


Passion.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:09 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


That is a very, very unhealthy definition of the word "passion".
posted by tobascodagama at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


I never had a lot of trouble with the Ghost People so much as the goddamned holograms, which somehow can wander out of sight of their projectors, or the radios, which just suck.

The ghost people were really annoying if you'd spent the whole game up to then specializing as a sniper and had no points at all in melee skills.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2018


What is it about videogames that prompts such absurd and hyperbolic language from their fans?

I mean, this is just how some of us talk, regardless of the subject.
posted by Dysk at 9:57 AM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


The ghost people were really annoying if you'd spent the whole game up to then specializing as a sniper and had no points at all in melee skills.

If you have energy weapons, the holorifle is awesome, but can be a bit of a pain to find ammo for and keep in decent repair.

If you haven't got energy weapons skill, or any melee then... yeah. Good luck. You can tickle them with the police pistol I guess.
posted by Dysk at 10:08 AM on May 31, 2018


The ghost people were really annoying if you'd spent the whole game up to then specializing as a sniper and had no points at all in melee skills.

Sniper is my preferred build and yeah, it sucks. You're meant to grab the police handgun (which has a big +crit chance boost) and aim at the limbs, but ammo's still limited.

Of course, the bigger problem as a New Vegas sniper is in the Old World Blues DLC. Its writing and acting are great fun, and the mechanics are mostly fun, but due to the setting being a huge crater, they reworked the spawning system there so stuff only spawns when you get into a certain range of it. It's annoying at first, but considering that the alternative is making it possible for the player to sit on the balcony of The Sink and snipe around 80% of the outdoor monsters, I think it's entirely forgiveable.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:13 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


you'd spent the whole game up to then specializing as a sniper and had no points at all in melee skills.

Apparently, GCU Sweet and Full of Grace plays Fallout games the same way I do.
posted by hanov3r at 10:54 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sneaky archer is always the best way to play. Even if you have to use a sniper rifle instead of a bow.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:07 AM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


So, kind of bringing us back to focus on the new Fallout game, a random thought:

Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver was released in 1971.

Are Bethesda officially dumping the 1950's pastiche and moving forward "culturally" in the Fallout world?

Honestly, it's not the worst thing that could happen, I was always a little confused when Fallout 3 came out why everyone was still listening to music from the 1940's and 50's when the bombs fell over a hundred years later. Even in an alt-universe timeline, people don't usually listen to 100 year old music exclusively, it doesn't culturally make sense for the culture to solidify and never change.

So one one hand, the inclusion of new music might make sense, but I think it brings me back to my original thoughts about adding music to begin with (instead of the empty, ambient sounds of the wasteland of the first two games) was that there was no way to keep the 50's theme while trying to convince people somehow music hadn't changed in over a hundred years and they were still listening to the music of people who died before they were born when the bombs fell.

I'm sticking with, music was a bad thing to introduce, and moving the music catalog up to the 1970's is fun and all, but it's one of the things that kept taking me out of the game.

Okay the soundtrack at least halfway made sense in New Vegas because Vegas has a history of being an "entertainment" city, and a lot of the songs chosen were more specifically tied to Las Vegas, or at least attempted as much. Whereas 3 and 4 felt just like a mishmash of whatever songs someone on staff liked from that time period.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:11 AM on May 31, 2018


Sneaky archer is always the best way to play. Even if you have to use a sniper rifle instead of a bow.

So let's give it up for Fallout and Fallout 2 where there's a bunch of different roles that are fun to play outside of sneaky archer/sniper.

Replaying, trying different routes, was the main reason I loved those games, they had such a level of replayability due to the number of ways you could play the game and move forward in the game.

You know, *COUGH, like a role playing game.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2018


I was always a little confused when Fallout 3 came out why everyone was still listening to music from the 1940's and 50's when the bombs fell over a hundred years later. Even in an alt-universe timeline, people don't usually listen to 100 year old music exclusively, it doesn't culturally make sense for the culture to solidify and never change.


I have a half-baked fan theory about that: In the fallout universe Cray-Cray science apparently works, so subliminal mind control techniques were perfected by both sides in the cold war resulting in cultural stasis.
posted by gamera at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


hanov3r: "you'd spent the whole game up to then specializing as a sniper and had no points at all in melee skills.

Apparently, GCU Sweet and Full of Grace plays Fallout games the same way I do.
"

Me too for NV at least. Shooting the Gobi Campaign scout rifle from very far away was the best way to deal with Deathclaws.
posted by octothorpe at 11:29 AM on May 31, 2018


Me too for NV at least. Shooting the Gobi Campaign scout rifle from very far away was the best way to deal with Deathclaws.

Ratslayer takes care of the Rome-fetishizing CHUDs through midgame, and you can get it quite early.
posted by The Gaffer at 11:39 AM on May 31, 2018


What is it about videogames that prompts such absurd and hyperbolic language from their fans?

They're super expensive and all too often super disappointing. This is why I don't play AAA games anymore. I love (single player) Elder Scrolls, I would probably love Starfield. I am so sick of Fallout. It's gross and grim and "edgy." What other video game franchise offers such lovingly detailed renderings of heads exploding on contact with high-caliber rifle rounds?
posted by zeusianfog at 11:50 AM on May 31, 2018


" What other video game franchise offers such lovingly detailed renderings of heads exploding on contact with high-caliber rifle rounds?

Bionic Commando, if we can look back to the NES?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:52 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


So let's give it up for Fallout and Fallout 2 where there's a bunch of different roles that are fun to play outside of sneaky archer/sniper.

Oh, come on. You can still be a melee beast in FO3, NV, or FO4. The most I'll give you is that, from someone with no interest in doing so at all, it seems like it would be really hard to put together a charisma/speech build in FO4.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:56 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


In the originals, you could be a dumb brute, so dumb you couldn't speak, and people's perception of you would be as an incapable idiot.

It is still entirely possible to beat the game while not being able to effectively communicate with anybody.

There are nearly completely non-violent playthroughs which rely entirely on sneaking and passing speech checks.

I mean Christ, if you're good with speech checks and science in Fallout 1, you can make The Master kill himself once you reveal that all the super mutants are sterile, and that his perfect society will never work because they can't reproduce. You just walk in, give him the info, walk away, and he blows himself up.

I'm sorry, I need some of that shit back in my RPG games, and no, Wasteland 2 did not cut the mustard in that regard, I think partially because its squad based, which allows you to increase a lot of stats among your whole group, instead of forcing you to choose to play a specific way at the beginning and stick with it the whole game like Fallout and Fallout 2.

None of this maxing all your stats shit, instead, focusing on specific stats because you won't be able to grow all your skills by the end of the game.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:06 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


Does taking down Hitler's remaining ball count?
posted by lmfsilva at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


Personally, I liked FO4 okay. It wasn't the best but wasn't bad for me and my main complaint about the base building was that there wasn't enough of it for (gimme The Sims: Post-Apocalypse version). However, there was one glaring plot hole that still bugs me. When I played it, I advanced the main quest line as long as possible without committing to a faction. If you do this carefully (or, like I did, looked up spoilers to make sure you don't screw up and have to restore a save from a million years ago), you can get into a position where you are [spoiler alert] in charge of The Institute as Father's successor after he dies but are still on friendly terms with The Railroad. At this point, you have only two choices with respect to these factions: side with The Institute and wipe out The Railroad or side with The Railroad and wipe out The Institute. At no point, it seems, did the designers decide on the extremely obvious path of using your position as the head of The Institute to change their orientation and have it run according to The Railroad's principles (i.e.: treating synths as people and not things). I have a hazy memory that even within The Institute there were some disagreements about exactly how to treat synths so I thought it would have been a perfectly natural storyline.
posted by mhum at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2018 [8 favorites]


Here's my dramatisation of how "let the player free the Synths as head of the Institute" plays out.

PLAYER: "Ok, guys, let's completely dismantle our entire way of life overnight because I said so."

LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE INSTITUTE: "Nah."
posted by tobascodagama at 1:23 PM on May 31, 2018


This is the writing team that gave us the ending of Fallout 3 where you're supposed to rush into a heavily irradiated area to start the water purifier, giving your life to save the people of the Capital Wasteland, and if you've got Fawkes the Supermutant, who is literally immune to harm from and is in fact healed by exposure to radiation, he simply refuses because you're the one who's supposed to do it.

Expect as little from Bethesda's writers as possible, and they'll still disappoint.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


What's the word for that happy/sad feeling for when you have beaten Fallout 2 in every possible way that remotely appeals to you, including the Restoration content? Is there a form of highly specific brain damage one can self-apply? Eternal sunshine of the post-apocalyptic mind.
posted by BeeDo at 1:34 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


You can try Arcanum, which was made by a lot of the same folks who made Fallout 1.
posted by FJT at 1:49 PM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE INSTITUTE: "Nah."

Eh, I could have sworn that there were some Institute people who were at least ambivalent about (and maybe even disapproved of) the treatment of the Gen 3 synths. At their worst, they could have just made this hypothetical storyline culminate in a kind of intranecine Institute shootout between Hardliners and Reformers. At their best, they could have designed out a more involved storyline involving convincing the different departments and key people come around to your point of view, either via persuasion checks, threats, and/or bribery.
posted by mhum at 1:57 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


Semi-related, you'd think that given that the Brotherhood and the Railroad have mostly compatible goals, you'd be able to get them to agree to work together. "We'll help you destroy the Institute if you let a few synths leave and live out their lives as humans." But no, murder is mandatory.

It's like they wanted to the the New Vegas factions thing but just weren't good enough game developers to pull it off.
posted by suetanvil at 2:37 PM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think it brings me back to my original thoughts about adding music to begin with (instead of the empty, ambient sounds of the wasteland of the first two games)

I think it's effectively meant to be a callback to the opening cinematics from the first two games, which are built around Louis Armstrong's A Kiss to Build A Dream On and The Ink Spots' Maybe. I guess part of the justification is that a lot of 'newer' media wouldn't have survived the bomb - magnetic storage for example doesn't tend to fare well with strong EM radiation, and nor would playback devices with any meaningful electronics. In fact, I think there probably is an extent to which the 50s concept arose out of thinking about the sorts of tech that would survive - it explains the valves everywhere, since transistors would be shot.

But yeah, the sound design in the first two games was better.
posted by Dysk at 3:18 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


Dysk, that makes a lot of sense.

I think they're moving up the music area, though, because the people playing the new Fallout games, well, the 1950's thing isn't so close to home anymore.

When I was growing up playing Fallout, it represented the world of my parents/grandparents.

Kids today, it represents the world of their great-great-grandparents/great-grandparents, and as such is so far removed from something they are familiar with in their life that it stands to reason, marketing-wise, to retcon it to add more modern music that appeals to a younger audience, who might actually have some vague ideas about the 1970's, while the 1940's/50's feel like a long-lost mystery.
posted by deadaluspark at 3:23 PM on May 31, 2018


Per FJT, Arcanum is a criminally underrated game.

I can't think of any other games where I can help the exploited orcs in the factory who are working for slave wages organize a labor union.
posted by deadaluspark at 3:35 PM on May 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


Arcanum was such a brilliant adjunct to the Fallout games (1&2), but do not get me started on the half-ogre questline 'ending'.
posted by Marticus at 3:52 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


Semi-related, you'd think that given that the Brotherhood and the Railroad have mostly compatible goals, you'd be able to get them to agree to work together.

That might be true of Lyons' Brotherhood, but Maxson's Brotherhood is much more akin to the Warhammer 40k Imperium. Synths are Abominable Intelligence and must be destroyed.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:05 PM on May 31, 2018


Also, it looks like Fallout 3 Remastered for Switch is likely. This gives me great joy. Now to decide if Megaton is spared.
posted by Fizz at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


Semi-related, you'd think that given that the Brotherhood and the Railroad have mostly compatible goals

This is like saying Black Lives Matter and the Tea Party have mostly compatible goals. The Brotherhood literally want to kill everything that doesn't meet their standard for racial purity. Buncha magahats.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:39 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


No, the Brotherhood are just trying to prevent the kind of excesses that caused the world to end the first time. Ad Victoriam!
posted by um at 6:15 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


It was harangued by "Family" oriented groups because in the original game, you could kill children.

What they failed to realize though, was that it was actually a game mechanic. Because, if you DID kill a child? Boy howdy, the ENTIRE wasteland would turn on you. Because children truly are the only future in a desolate wasteland, and killing a child in a world like that is much more damning. I always thought that was pure brilliance.


Removing this 'feature' is evidence that Bethesda are better custodians of the game than Interplay. Because if this was still in the game you know goddamn well that, in a post-Sandy Hook world, sociopaths would be trolling people on YouTube with videos of kids being splattered. You can maybe get away with it in a 2D isometric game but having it in 3D would be fucking horrible. It's exactly the kind of edgy bullshit I'm glad is gone gone gone.
posted by um at 9:19 PM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


No, Arcanum is, sadly, terrible. I've tried to play it so many times, all the way back to when it was released. It is prime territory for a competent reboot, and could have been an all time great if only it had been finished.
posted by BeeDo at 10:47 PM on May 31, 2018


I loved Arcanum and sank many hours into it without ever actually finishing the main quest. A fantastic game, but sadly broken. I would love a modern version—keep it isometric please, just make it work right on modern computers and have it not be broken.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:39 AM on June 1, 2018


Just restarted FO 4 from the beginning last night with the intention of not getting bogged down in basebuilding boredom and powering through the main storyline. I'd forgotten that they start out with literally fridging the wife; games really need better writers.
posted by octothorpe at 6:31 AM on June 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


That's crazy. The game starts by fridging the husband.

(seriously the voice actor for Nora (can't remember her name but Jack from Mass Effect) is better than the one for Nate especially when you're doing ]Silver Shroud stuff)
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:42 AM on June 1, 2018 [13 favorites]


The way it feels like Nora is barely suppressing a giggle while doing all of her Silver Shroud lines is just perfect.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:08 AM on June 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


The sincerity in Coutenay Taylor's delivery of "Your base was under a doughnut shop? That's awesome" makes it one of my favorite bits of dialogue in Fallout 4.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:13 AM on June 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


I can't think of any other games where I can help the exploited orcs in the factory who are working for slave wages organize a labor union.

Obviously a different genre and it's kind of a throwaway joke, but there is definitely a puzzle in Grim Fandango that is solved by giving the anthropomorphic bee spirits some Marxist tracts.
posted by Copronymus at 11:40 AM on June 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


Only semi-related to this thread but there's an insane sale on The Infinity Collection on Steam right now (BG:EE, BG2:EE, Icewind Dale: EE, Planescape: Torment:EE) which are all Black Isle/Avellone/etc. vehicles.

Bonus: they all run smooth as butter in linux.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:51 PM on June 1, 2018


I love Arcanum but won't pretend it's not a mess.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:41 AM on June 2, 2018


I bought a used copy of Fallout 4 for the PS4 this weekend. I quickly realized that I’m old, and prefer playing on a PC screen to a ginormous TV. It looks like the building mechanics are going to take a while to learn. On the other hand, the powered armor HUD overlay is cool.
posted by wintermind at 3:53 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don't know *WHY* I love it, but I love the fact that the light on the back of your PS4 controller changes color when you're in power armor.
posted by hanov3r at 4:05 PM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hey Nelson, Fallout NV Ultimate Edition (Game, DLC + Add-ons) is on Good Old Games for $11 CDN.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:51 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


From the E3:

Always online survival RPG that's a prequel to existing falloutses, set in WV.

I'm like... eh? Maybe?

If it's something where we have control over who's in our worlds, so that biscotti and I can get a couple of copies and do stuff together or with friends AND NOBODY FUCKING ELSE, then shut up and take my whatever they use for currency. If I can at least play an actually solo game, cool.

But if there's no way to avoid strangers=griefers? Hard nope. I teach college. I can get young men to call me homophobic slurs anytime I want to, for free.

Still... they've admitted that Starfield, their next game in a new SFnal setting, is a real things, and have admitted that they've started on ES6. They didn't way where it would be set but I expect people have figured that out already from the two seconds of video they showed.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:15 PM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think whether I buy into this game or not is going to depend a lot on what quality control measures there are for my interactions with other people. At the very least, there seems to be a solo mode available, but hopefully there will be "friends only" and "private group" options as well.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:38 PM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


ALSO: mothman.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:39 PM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


At the very least, there seems to be a solo mode available, but hopefully there will be "friends only" and "private group" options as well.

I'm going to go a step further and say that the "Friends only"/"Private Group" options had better have some kind of mod support. I know obviously, mods probably wouldn't be easy to implement on an open server, if they were even possible at all, but if it's just my household getting together to play, we can easily co-ordinate to have identical mod loadouts.

Of course, I'm under no illusion that there will be hundreds of day-one mods on the Nexus for this title, unlike what happened for Skyrim and FO4, where you had an existing modding community already intimately familiar with the Creation Engine because they remember when the same code was called Gamebryo (and a few grognards who remember that it was called NetImmerse back when Morrowind first came out). Odds are 76 is going to be a whole new beast, unless their programmers in Texas have figured out how to graft stable multiplayer onto the existing engine.

Still, even with a new engine, this is still Bethesda. I simply don't trust their QA Department. If it turns out that there will be no way to go back behind them and fix the inevitable bugs/game balance issues, there's no way I'll be buying it.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:30 AM on June 11, 2018


The event last night said nothing about private servers, so I'm assuming there are none until I hear otherwise. That means no gameplay-affecting mods, most likely, though it doesn't rule out client-side modding like ESO.

What I mean by "private group" is a little different from a private server. What Elite: Dangerous does, as an example, is that it has a unified backend holding the world state and player data. Encountering other players happens through location-based matchmaking. If you're in the same system as another player, the game may drop you into the same instance, and then you'll be able to see their ship. What Private Group does is basically offer a shared whitelist for the matchmaking -- you'll never share an instance with anyone outside the group -- and private chat. Solo is basically like a Private Group with an empty whitelist.

It's certainly possible that the game will offer private servers like Ark, but I think it's a lot more likely we'll see an official-server-only setup like E:D, especially given Todd's "you'll never even see a server" line.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:41 AM on June 11, 2018


Todd Howard did an interview with Geoff Keighley this afternoon and dropped some more info about the game. Of note:

* No (human) NPCs; there will be quests, but they'll come from robots and environmental objects like holotapes
* The game is online only, with no offline mode
* They want to accommodate and incentivise players who prefer to "ignore" PvP, but he didn't really clarify what that means
* No private servers or mods at launch, but both will become available later on
posted by tobascodagama at 5:28 PM on June 11, 2018


Eh... I'm not excited, but I'm not ruling it out. I've never played anything in the Rust genre, but base building with an actual purpose is interesting to me.

One major source of apprehension, however, is the monetization element. If I'm unpacking loot crates, then that's an immediate no-buy.
posted by codacorolla at 10:30 PM on June 11, 2018


Oh, and I can't link because I'm on my phone, but Leigh Alexander has a great article about how obscenely fucking gross it is to have nuking opposing bases as an end-game treat for players to aspire to. I guess that's consistent with a studio that uses super mutants and ghouls as lazy replacements for ogres and zombies instead of actual characters in a world.
posted by codacorolla at 10:41 PM on June 11, 2018


I think Fallout 76 is more a spin-off than a full-blown Fallout 5. Which is fine...
posted by Pendragon at 5:02 AM on June 12, 2018


Leigh Alexander has a great article about how obscenely fucking gross it is to have nuking opposing bases as an end-game treat for players to aspire to.

Do you maybe mean Heather Alexandra, who wrote this piece for Kotaku: Fallout 76's Approach To Nukes Seems Like A Shift For The Series
Fallout 76 will have nukes. Provided players find the keys, they will be able to fire these nukes off whenever they please. This gameplay feature, announced at last night’s Bethesda press conference, is presumably meant to encourage player-created drama in the upcoming online survival game... But as much as this idea could lead to wild moments for players, it marks a clear paradigm shift from the series’ tone and attitude towards nuclear war.
...
Fallout 76’s decision to give players the ability to carelessly detonate nukes could be seen as a more pronounced version of the frivolity of previous Bethesda titles, those games in which nukes are tools rather than rhetorical devices that serve a point about America’s history. It’s a frivolity that clashes with the series as originally designed by Interplay Entertainment, who painted nukes and their use as an evil that scarred the world. They were a failing of the Old World, not to be taken lightly. There’s an interpretation of Fallout 76’s nukes that sees the carelessness of their potential use as a commentary on the moral ineptitude of the Pre-War world that so readily dropped the bombs. But the end result is mostly a pretty explosion for players to look at, the way the series has seen nukes since Fallout 4 and parts of Fallout 3.
posted by cjelli at 6:46 AM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


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