Hot Takes Friday: Why Fallout 76 is More Exciting Than Fallout 5

Hot Takes Friday is a column where the GR staff and community sound off with their strong, but perhaps unpopular, opinions. Let us know your thoughts on this week’s Hot Take in the comments section below!

Fallout 76 is being treated as a stop-gap experience before work begins on Fallout 5, though given its multiplayer nature, it’ll likely make a shed-load more cash than whatever single-player experience Bethesda could come up with. The various monetization opportunities for multiplayer games has worried fans of single-player games, with there being less incentive for triple-A developers to spend time working on solo experiences. As someone who almost exclusively plays multiplayer games, I’m not all too concerned by this pivot away from 140-hour RPGs.

Everything we’ve heard about Fallout 76 so far feels like a big and dumb deviation from what we’ve come to expect from our Fallout games. For one, you get to literally drop nukes on other players’ heads. Sure, Fallout 4 had its mini-nukes, but Fallout 76 makes you go out on the hunt for Nuclear Silos that you’ll use to launch a strike on your opponents. In Fallout 3, your nuclear attack on Megaton was a heavy-handed way of showing you the consequences of your decisions. In Fallout 76, it seems that nuclear attacks are going to be a way for you to grief your rivals.

I don’t have a problem with this. In fact, I’m far more excited by the prospect of a game that allows me to make silly decisions in a post-apocalyptic world than I would be ambling around another single-player Fallout game. Don’t get me wrong, when Fallout 5 eventually releases, I’m not exactly going to skip over it. However, the idea of being able to tag along with a few mates, potentially bringing a dog companion with us, and running around shooting mutants while wearing overly elaborate armor sounds like a lot of fun. Much more fun than navigating Fallout 4‘s RNG dialog options, anyway.

When all’s said and done, Fallout 4 just wasn’t that much of a step up from Fallout 3 to make me too excited for Fallout 5. With a whopping seven years between the two games, its visuals felt lacking, it was as rife with bugs as any Bethesda game, and it really just felt like more of the same. The stuff that was great in 2008 felt pretty dated by 2015’s standards, and it has made me far less interested in taking on another single-player Fallout game. Unless, of course, Bethesda was to return the isometric style of the early Fallout games, though that’s a different story altogether.

Fallout 4‘s story failed to hook me in, so in place of that, I’d much rather be able to create my own stories alongside my friends. The news that the game will feature zero NPCs and will instead be populated entirely by other characters is indicative of how far Bethesda is taking its multiplayer component, and I’m excited to see what the end product looks like. At the very least, it won’t force me to talk to Fallout 4‘s cast of potato-faced characters again.