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Fallout 76 Hands-On: Here's all that unfolds in the first three hours

Since Bethesda announced its latest Fallout series game, it has been difficult to get a feel of what Fallout 76 – an online-only RPG – is about. While the concept of an online Fallout experience is tempting, it also conflicts with the series's typical brand of role playing. Although Fallout 76 dramatically reduces the traditional single player details, it provides an extended opportunity to explore unknown irradiated territory with other players online.

With the multiplayer pivot, Fallout 76 focuses much on exploration. and survival in West Virginia's Appalachia, with all its regional oddities and newborn cruelties coming in large doses. Recently, we played three hours in the game in front of the game's coming October beta, and talked with Bethesda Game Studios developers about the particular challenges of making another kind of Fallout.

Only 25 years after bombs dropped ̵

1; make the earliest game in the series timeline – Fallout 76 gives a lot of distance from previous games to showcase the newly created wilderness. Traditionally, you leave Vaulten's safe limits to venture into the wilderness – with you a sense of determination, and also the naivety that can come from living in some comfortable isolation. After a quick introduction, you create your character, get used to the new controls and systems, and go to the surface. But what sets this game apart is that you are one of many survivors. And when you're out, it's every Vault Dweller for yourself.

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During the first hour, I got my bearings by taking a walk around, even joining a group to take in all sights. Fallout 76 has the famous RPG mechanics and sense of exploration that the series is famous for, but it also has more of an amusement park vibe – with several important attractions and places highlighted on the map, such as The Greenbrier Resort and the top of the World Ski- slope. While exploring Fallout's performance in West Virginia, which is several times greater than Commonwealth of Fallout 4, I got the feeling that I experienced the biggest hits of all things Fallout. First, they came to know the weapons and armor of previous games, so they came to Feralghouls, Super Mutants, and references to the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave.

Nevertheless, the new location in West Virginia feels completely different from Fallout 4's Wasteland and Mojave capital of New Vegas, which quickly introduces its own brand of sites and strange monsters living there. Along with weird monsters like enlarged ticks, three-headed possums, and even Mole Men, there are other monsters that refer to Western Virginian urban legends. This includes the hopeless, burrowing Grafton Monster and the enigmatic Mothman, the latter being driven by the hostile cable of Scorched, heavily irradiated people who eventually evolve into ghouls of sound mind.

For the most part, fighting and general movement handle the same as Fallout 4. But the new mechanics and survival systems in the game felt somewhat overwhelming to get hold of the handle during the introduction. In 76, much of the training is done in a trial of fire scenario in the open world, where you must follow the early moments of the quests closely to learn the new mechanics while fighting enemies and catching resources. While I appreciated the rapid pace at which players were whisked out of the vault, picking up some bad supplies along the way, I felt that the boarding process could be a bit more detailed – making me feel most unprepared as I was scrambling to find someone weapons I could get my hands on.

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With the new online focus, some return engineers have seen some changes. For example, Fallout's iconic V.A.T.S .– that lets you target enemies and fire of precisely targeted shots – now operates in real time. It seems more like a real-time lock-on – with weapon stroke adjustment depending on the enemy's movement or environment. This style of V.A.T.S. definitely took a little to get used to. For the most part, the fact that enemies often move, and combined with the difficult focus of V.A.T.S. the camera, it was broken to actually use it during a fight. Because of this I stumbled mostly with standard sight and shooting, which felt more reliable during engagement. While you can upgrade V.A.T.S. With benefits to make it more efficient, it feels more like an option that should be used sparingly.

Fallout 76s Survival Mechanism takes many signs from Fallout 4's more challenging Survival mode. In addition to keeping your character well fed on a regular basis, you also need to avoid ailments and illnesses – such as building on the strangely named but still worrying Rad Worms. Certain enemies and places, of course, have specific illnesses, which adds extra risk to taking care of when to explore. These diseases range from diseases that give you maximum health, action points and general injury to your grade, in order to even increase the sensitivity to radiation.

With great emphasis on survival, almost all the things and resources you get your hands can feel much more valuable. Nothing lasts for a long time in Fallout 76 – even the buffers from Bobbleheads and skill magazines last just a short while – so all the tools you have will inevitably be discarded for something new. As you push through the open world, you'll find junk mail, scrap and design of plans that can be transformed into new equipment and building materials for your designs. Some of these materials can create bizarre weapons like heated forks or ski swords – a single ski sharpened to form a blade. But over time, weapons and armor will eventually be repaired or divided into materials for other objects. Additionally, cooking and power stations are now more important, so you can prepare meals and make support items.

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Characterization is still the core part of Fallout 76 and offers an impressive amount of variety and flexibility. After leveling, you can place points in known categories of the SPECIAL system, each of which increases areas of the grade's raw statistics. Finally, you get a pack of Perk Cards that can offer special buffs in their assigned categories. For example, the Gladiator perk card is a scorecard that increases the damage with close combat weapons, while Lead Belly can reduce radiation from drinking contaminated water. The more points you have in a category, the more Perk Cards you can pick in, giving you a whole range of extra buffs. You can change your set of Perk Cards at any time to adjust your grade, to better prepare for different challenges.

In accordance with the game's focus on groundbreaking, Fallout 4's building mechanics also return. Now known as C.A.M.P. system, you have a mobile construction device that you can create a building at any time – provided it does not overlap existing structures. You have free slippers to build what you want, whether it's subtle safe-houses for you to stash supplies, or even bigger mega structures like house towers and a dedicated place to relax. If you ever want to unpack and move elsewhere, save the structure as a blueprint and disassemble it. This may be useful if the chosen place becomes too popular with other players.

The biggest point of Fallout 76's online nature is the lack of NPCs and slim down the story, now serving to highlight the focus of moment-to-moment engagements with enemies and other players. This lack of traditional interactions and storytelling felt more noticeable the deeper we dug into the world. Even though you are certainly free to play solo and avoid other players – and we definitely used the opportunity to turn out on your own, leading to the familiar moments of loneliness and wanderlust, you will always be a potential goal in the online world .

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Having said that, I could not help but feel fascinated by re-focus here. Lore and smaller doses of history are still in surprisingly good supply, but passively told through the environment and magazines scattered. While there are no active NPC characters to find – except for roaming robots that offer trade and intel – you will eventually stumble across the bodies of long dead survivors who have had a noticeable presence in the world. In their possession, special holotapes are known as Survivor Stories, describing the last moments of their lives in the irradiated wilderness.

These stories told some interesting stories for the signs in Appalachia, which had some gripping and sincere moments for them – which was calming given the split character of the narrative in 76. He spoke with Emily Paglliarulo, Design Director and further developed to make Fallout more about to engage with other players.

"We started with the premise where the only others you see are those who came from the vault," he said. "We've never had the chance to make a game 25 years after bombs fell. It's always been two hundred a year after. Now we have the stories of the people who survived the first war and we've never been to able to tell the stories before. Of course, without NPCs or no dialogues – which was a big adjustment for our writer designers, as they used to do in a certain way – and now lore-heavy things come from holo tapes, as now has its own tab in Pip-Boy. It has been very interesting to us and what ended up having a much more lonely story than in Fallout 4. All these people you do [learn about] have already died , and it's almost like a strange ghost story. We do not expect it. "

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Whether you want to play solo or in a group, player interaction is a big part of the game. To meet another person after rounding the corner or reaching the end of a dungeon creates some really excited feelings – without knowing what purpose the other player in front of you has. In order to communicate with others, Fallout 76 has a number of opponents in game for use and proximity-based voice chat. During our session, we used Xbox Live's party client to keep in touch with our group – which will not be the case for most players online.

When you play in groups, communication is important and the feelings and proximity chat are a great way to get your point on. This is especially important when you group up for some of the more active missions that encourage you to overcome some bizarre obstacles, such as finding the keys to an arsenal in a temporary city built out of a broken plane, or figuring out a mob of "unfair golfer feral ghouls" at a ritzy resort still maintained by protectotrons. This can lead to some humorous and equally excited moments where players encrypt to trust the team's special skills to move on.

When you reach level 5, Fallout opens 76's PvP systems. When you meet another player who is above level 5, you can shoot the weapon on them to tell them about your intentions. If they return, you will both engage in a duel, with the losers dropping their current trash with no junk – no race or equipment is lost after a defeat. When shooting a player who has not engaged in response, all damage will be cut in half, giving them enough time to react. It is possible to kill another player who is not in the idea of ​​fighting, and probably this recall approach will mark you as a killer and paint a massive goal on the back for all players in the world to see.

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Our group of level 5 explorers tried to take down a level 58 player in the powerhouse similarly, but it did not work well at all, as he easily desimated the group with a high-grade Tesla rifle. While injury calculations are scaled for enemies so that low-level players may potentially shoot multiple levels in front of them, it does not make for PvP commitments. However, if you want to avoid PvP or if a player bugs you too much, you can block them or quick to security simply. So far the system is in place a thoughtful way to overcome potential harassment that can often come up with this kind of game.

To get hold of our hands-on time, developers developed a nucleus that excludes certain areas of the map. We had all the front seats for the explosion, and then proceeded to jump into the subsequent fallout – with its strong radiation, we immediately killed one-by-one. As one of the major goals in Endout games in Fallout 76, activation of a nuclear lead to new events in the irradiated areas, revealing rare materials and dangerous enemies to fight. It also highlights the more dynamic nature of Fallout 76, with many of its narrative touches informed by the player's decisions in the world.

The Fallout 76 scale worked impressive based on the first few hours. The location of West Virginia – and all its oddities – was exciting to dive into, which felt refreshing after coming out of Fallout's Commonwealth. Nevertheless, like previous Fallout games, there were a number of strange mistakes and big bullet points that occurred everywhere. This was especially noticeable during major fire fighting against large groups of enemies, which resulted in total performance to a beat. The developers we talked to, however, assured us that the performance will be improved in time for its November 14 launch.

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76 certainly not like other Fallout games. After our three hours, I got the impression that Bethesda takes a risky approach to the series with regard to its lore and core format. With its strong focus on survival games and online experience, I suspect that this largely experimental take on Fallout becomes a rather polarizing entry. Although the mechanics were somewhat overwhelming to get a handle off, I can not deny that I enjoyed exploring the big map and engaging in the mysterious post-apocalyptic taking on West Virginia. Fallout 76 looks like it can flourish in the long run, and I'm interested in what can come after many hours in its off-kilter and ever-changing setting.

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