“Country roads, take me home…” While there are still a couple of days in the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. I, like many of you, have responsibilities that prevent me from partaking until release on November 14. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know I’m a fan of FPS Fallout. 4 is one of my all time favs, 3 and New Vegas are pretty great, and I even bought New Vegas for PC, just so I could play New California (a full length single player mod).
76 starts with you waking up after a blowout party right before Reclamation Day. Vault 76 has opened, and you are tasked with making your way into Appalachia to help restart America, and all of the challenges contained therein. As you make your way out of the vault, there are stations along the way where you will be acquainted with your equipment as well as, if you’re nosy (like me) you can learn more about the vault staff during the time it was sealed. You’re one of the lucky ones in that your vault wasn’t some sick experiment. Vault 76 was intended to actually be an agreeable living situation without the sinister experimentation.
So, once you make your way out into the sunlight, you’re actually greeted with green grass, trees, and Liberators (communist robots with propaganda!) shooting at you. You manage to make short work of them, and then start your journey. Now, I will state for the record, I am a single player guy. I’m not really up for groups, or parties, or whatever. Fallout has always been a relatively singular experience (except for the NPC followers), and I prefer it that way. Folks who send me party invites gets denied or ignored. I want to do this alone, so it your way, or with someone(s) else.
This time around, Bethesda has added some interesting mechanics. Playing musical instruments can help “tune” or relax you. It even helps a little with health much like sleeping would in Fallout 4. Your C.A.M.P. can be mobile. Moving around with you, although this will cost you caps. Fast travel also costs you caps. There is so much to see and explore, my biggest gripe is not having NPCs to interact with. You get your missions and quests by joining factions (Responders) or by finding letters or journals from other (usually dead, duh) characters.
This is as good a time as any to talk about my experiences with other players. I was killed twice in about 10 hours. Both were in my 7 hour marathon session. The first time, I guess I killed someone’s Radstag Doe, I got a warning, which I disregarded. Turns out, I was wanted. Someone came around and killed me. I then got a notice I was no longer “Wanted” (that one hurt). The next, a bit later, a pair of D-Bags were running around player killing. The last interaction I had, someone wanted to team up. I ignored the request, and they tried to kill me. I won that particular shootout. My point, is that in roughly 10 hours, my most unpleasant experience with other players wasn’t that bad. The rest of the time, we just passed each other by, I offered to trade, they ignored. The offered to team up, I ignored.
Whenever you see Fallout, you’re going to think of Power Armor. Well, the entire time I was playing 76, I was on the lookout. Armor repair stations all over; but no damn armor That is, until I found the Kanawha Nuka Plant! Now, it was incomplete, and I have to be level 25 to use it; but the frame is usable, and I’ll eventually find the other pieces. I literally jumped in my chair with excitement when I looked, and there it was.
Now, in the limited amount of time I’ve actually played, I haven’t managed to cover very much territory. I have found the first 2 or 3 of the Overseer’s tapes, I’ve done some grinding to level up The level up system is a bit confusing (cards, seemingly not allotting points to specific skills), but I’m pretty optimistic that I’ll wrap my head around it eventually. You can level up in many different ways, so many things can give you XP. Cooking food/drinks, discovering new places, building armor and weapons, etc.
Quests are at different levels, you can follow the main quest, side quests, daily quests, and events. While 76 is a prequel to 3 and 4, it has a few callbacks to prior stories. Retconning (mentions of the Brotherhood of Steel) aside, I truly enjoyed my time in the B.E.T.A., and I’m eager to get back into Appalachia so I can continue the search for the Overseer. Although, this does pose an interesting line of thought about how different parts of the country and/or the world were affected by the war(that never changes).
I’m looking forward to finding the Mothman and other weird creatures I hope to stumble upon a nuke, or at least Ground Zero of one. Once I get deeper into the game, I would like to revisit this article and see how things have changed
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the B.E.T.A., comment here or in the Facebook group.