The Elder Scrolls Online is a great MMO but it has become a cash cow. Those of you who have played it will know that it is rotten to the core with in-game purchases in the form of crates that offer cosmetics for your character along with mounts and pets. Some armour styles are also locked behind these crates so if you want to experience the basics of the game then you will have to pay. It also gets worse, Bethesda releases constant DLC packs in the form of new dungeons which you have to pay for. We saw the first one release just a month after the Summerset expansion, which is also paid by the way.
I cannot help but feel that Fallout 76 is going down the ESO path and becoming the Fallout 76 version of Elder Scrolls Online. Yes, there will be microtransactions, most likely crates with crafting styles, cosmetics and more but when will the first set of DLC release in the form of missions? With the game focusing heavily on online features, Bethesda will take advantage of this by locking players out of activities with their friends unless they buy xyz pack. They have done this for over three years with ESO.
Apart from the nasty “lifestyle” approach of Fallout 76, Bethesda simply cannot compete with open-world games of today. They have not updated their engine since the stone age and things look dated and run poorly which brings down the overall experience. Sure, the trailers look good, but we have had open world games like The Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War and much more. These games deliver open world experiences on a whole new level compared to Bethesda.
Bethesda used to be the masters of open world games back when Oblivion and Fallout 3 were released as the standards were different. Now, gamers have higher expectations and an empty, buggy open world game will just not cut it. Bethesda also has not made revolutionary changes to their engine in ages which means the same bugs, broken visuals and dare I say unpolished worlds are present in all their open worlds today.
There is no doubt a massive focus on PvP with Fallout 76. It has been a talking point since the reveal and it kind of makes the game look like an RPG battle royale. Think about it. You are in this large open world hub with other players trying to kill you, or not. What genre does that sound like? Sure, there are options to avoid the PvP but it seems like much of the game’s features such the S.P.E.C.I.A.L and Perks system will play heavily into the experience. Not to mention that nuking camps and bases seems to be where all the fun is at. That is mainly a PvP feature so if you want to be the D-bag doing all that then best turn off your safety mode and give into Bethesda’s take on battle royale.
It also goes without saying that the lack of NPCs in Fallout 76 should trigger alarm bells already that the game is less an immersive single-player RPG experience and more an open world PvP arena. We already know that the game will have assignments instead of a dedicated quest line, but right now these assignments seem more like padding than anything else.
Fallout 76 is still a couple of months away but the more I hear about the game, the more I am concerned that the heart of what makes a Fallout game so great is just not there. Right now it seems more like Fallout Online: Virginia Unlimited. Bethesda could be shooting themselves in the foot by creating a glorified battle royale game with heavy microtransaction, future DLC packs and little or no story to keep the Fallout fans coming back. We still know very little about the game but from what Bethesda has shown us, this is the impression I have about the game.
I could be wrong about it all. Do you think Fallout 76 will be a true Fallout experience? Let us know in the comments below. Fallout 76 is scheduled to release on 14 November 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.