A new Fallout game has been announced! Ahead of E3 2018, Bethesda revealed Fallout 76. Details are slim, because of course they are, but we know that it has to do with Vault 76 and one of its residents. We see that people had to abandon their homes at the last second to head to its safety, the apocalypse happened, and our first glimpse ends with a Vault 76 resident strapping on a Pip-Boy and preparing for things to come. While it may not be exactly the Fallout we expect, there are lots of reasons to be psyched.
The first is that Fallout 76 is going to be a spin-off. There is a lot of weight on the shoulders of main Fallout games. Some people still feel let down by Fallout 4, due to its scope and its tendency to not offer the same RPG experience as Fallout 3. Others consider Fallout 3 the perfect game and are hoping rumors of a Switch port are real. As a title outside the main line, Fallout 76 will have the freedom to do something different, like Fallout: New Vegas with its great focus on story, branching paths, and plot that remained in Las Vegas. It could be like Fallout Shelter, which has turned into quite the enjoyable management simulation.
There is also the suggestion from Kotaku that Fallout 76 is going to be an online game. Again, since this is a spin-off, people would be less critical of it abandoning the single-player mindset to see how an affair with online multiplayer could work. People have put together mods for past Fallout games to let people play together. The Elder Scrolls Online is not on the same level as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV, but it is successful enough. Perhaps this could be a chance for Bethesda to experiment with letting people play together and see how it works. Plus, it would give people an official online experience.
Vault 76 is also one with history. It was referenced in Fallout 3. This was a control vault where no experiments were conducted, tasked with a responsibility to bring order back to the wasteland after the apocalypse. Remember Fallout 4 had settlement building? Perhaps our new character will emerge from this vault into what was West Virginia, since the teaser has the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in it and references 1776. They might need to work online with other people to try and make the world a better place in honor of the tricentennial.
All this means it will also be a game with ties to more recent Fallout games. Vault 76 was mentioned in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. Perhaps that could mean there will be some crossover with those titles? Maybe we will see some familiar characters. Perhaps the lore we learn from it will help with the foundation being built for the eventual Fallout 5. Bethesda is a purposeful company. It would not have mentioned Vault 76 in two prior games, then use it for a new game, if it was not going to make this new title an important part of the lore. This means even if it is a spin-off, what happens here could have meaning and impact the series as a whole.
Basically, Fallout 76 is a game that could end up becoming a big deal. This is a Fallout that appeared out of nowhere. Fallout 4 only just came out in 2015, and Fallout 3 turns 10 in 2018. No one expected a new entry this soon. But, by being a spin-off and something more experimental, we have an opportunity to have a really cool game that has been secretly alluded to and teased for years. We have a chance at the first online Fallout game. And that, friends, is something to get excited about.