Fallout 76 was gearing up to be one of the biggest games of 2018. Bethesda’s new entry in the long-running Fallout series was to be a multiplayer-only game, set in the biggest game world the franchise had ever seen: a post-apocalyptic West Virginia.
Wandering around the game’s world of Appalachia soon turned boring though, mainly due to the fact that most human players would go about their business (such as exploring, fighting enemies or cooking) on their own. This made the lack of non-player characters in the game (NPCs for short) even more jarring, meaning that despite Fallout 76 boasting the biggest, most detailed world in the series yet, it did not deliver a great experience as we pointed out in our review.
However, Maryland-based developer Bethesda lit many players’ hopes when it announced earlier this year that the game would be getting NPCs in 2019, meaning Appalachia would soon be populated by many computer-controlled characters to interact with like in the old Fallout games of yore.
Bestheda’s Wastelanders update for the game will also be adding unique factions to the game and companions to adventure with like in Fallout 4, plus a new main quest. Bethesda will also be retooling the dialogue system and adding new enemies to the Appalachian landscape (such as the huge monstrosities seen in the image which accompanies this article).
Sadly, those looking to dive into Fallout 76 again this fall will be disappointed to hear that the Wastelanders expansion has been delayed until 2020, as Bethesda recently stated on its website (via Kotaku).
“We’re excited about how Wastelanders is coming together but it’s going to need more time to be the best, most polished update it can be, so we are delaying its release to Q1 next year”, said Bethesda on its website.
And there’s no doubt this surely is an ambitious update, as it will turn Fallout 76 into a multiplayer game in which the story is delivered via recordings and robots (which are also there to trade with and give directions in the game’s West Virginia) to a traditional Fallout game in which the world is populated by NPCs to interact with, with a new main quest to play through involving the new factions featured in the game, and companions to adventure with like in Fallout 4, with the multiplayer side of the game being relegated to secondary status.
Wastelanders essentially turns Fallout 76 into Fallout 5 then, the latter being the game that most players truly wanted when Fallout 76 hit shelves late last year. Wastelanders being such a big enterprise also means it’s likely that Bethesda’s other big projects (the next Elder Scrolls game and Starfield) will surely be delayed even more, a bummer for many looking forward to the company’s upcoming RPGs.
This also can be seen as Bethesda’s admission that its multiplayer experiment with the Fallout franchise was a bit of a failure, with the game getting dismal reviews at launch, even though it has been played by millions of people to date. Here’s hoping, then, that the Wastelanders update (which will be free of charge to owners of the game), really does turn Fallout 76 into a great Fallout game when it’s released early next year though.