Bethesda has pulled two fast ones on their die-hard fans. They had announced they’ve been working on a new AAA title, sending fans of the Elder Scrolls series on an emotional rollercoaster as they envisioned a new installment in the legendary fantasy RPG series (Elder Scrolls VI – Valenwood, anyone?) – only to have their hopes crushed by the announcement the game will actually be a continuation of the Fallout series, going by the name of Fallout 76. This news arrived much to the excitement of fans of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi shooter – but here comes the second trick up Bethesda’s sleeve. Unlike what we’re used to seeing from Fallout – a story-driven, single player game worth several playthroughs – this new installment will most likely be an open world, online multiplayer RPG featuring base building and survival mode! If the leaks are to be trusted, that is. E3 is rapidly approaching and we’ll be looking for news on this subject, but so far, here is what we know.
Fallout 76 bears an interesting name, to be sure – so far the games have been following a linear progression when the title is concerned, but Bethesda has forgone that nomenclature and instead of Fallout 5, we’re looking at 76. This is possibly yet another hint towards the series stepping out of its normal routine and offering something unexpected. Of course, these are still just speculations, as Bethesda have not shown anything apart from a cinematic trailer, but leaks have been proven to be accurate, especially when they come from a reputable source. This time, they surely do – Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wrote that he received the aforementioned information about Fallout 76 from insiders who chose to remain anonymous, so as not to be liable to lose their job or suffer penalties from infringement of their NDA agreements, presumably.
The fun thing is that this happened hours BEFORE Bethesda themselves announced the game, so it sure looks like there could be something to these rumors. Jason Schreier is the same guy who notoriously leaked info about Fallout 4 being in production two whole years before the title was announced by Bethesda, so we’re inclined to believe him when he claims something related to this series. So, a multiplayer, survival-based online RPG similar to Rust and DayZ? Could it even have Battle Royale mode – much to the potential detriment of the loyal fans, as the game tries to pander to a younger audience, the fan base of current hits like Fortnite and PubG? It could be! Allegedly, development of Fallout 76 began as a multiplayer mode for Fallout 4, and has steadily grown and (pun alert!) mutated into what we’ll soon be having a chance to explore. Or, at least, we hope it’s soon – July 31 has been hinted as a possible release date, which doesn’t seem so crazy once we consider Fallout 4 was announced mere months before its actual release – a feat that seems almost impossible in the gaming community.
Another possible release date could be in autumn – the official trailer showcases a rustic pip-boy with the date October 27, 2102, on the display. That pip-boy itself looks ridiculously old and outdated – the date shown is a mere 35 years after the Great War, and before the events of the rest of the games in the series, so we could actually be looking at a prequel! We could get a chance to see first-hand some of the events from the rich Fallout lore – maybe we’ll see Richard Grey mutating or the Master’s initial experiments on human subjects, starting to build his mutant army? Exciting times, to be sure! Even though primarily focused on multiplayer, the game will have a single player mode, so there will be plenty to look forward to, even if you’re one of the fans slightly disappointed by the switch up to online play.
As for the game’s title, the number 76 is not randomly chosen (duh!) – these digits belong to a vault, Vault 76, which has been referenced a couple of times in previous installments. In Fallout 3, you can find some information on this vault on a terminal in a research room in the citadel – Vault 76 is a control vault in the DC area populated by 500 vault dwellers, set to open 240 months after closing – in the year 2097. The trailer for the game is set to a soundtrack referencing West Virginia, which could be considered to be in the wider DC area, so we could be looking at a game set right there! However, the vault seems to have opened 5 years later than it should have, bringing about the question – why? What happened at Vault 76? The trailer shows a party being thrown to celebrate “Reclamation Day” – the day when survivors will reclaim America for the people, so it could be something related to this occasion?
If we had a pip-boy on our wrist right now, it would be showing dangerous levels of excitement! Whatever it turns out to be, we’re sure it will captivate both fans of the Fallout series, as well as players who enjoy multiplayer shooters. We’re eagerly looking forward to Bethesda’s panel at E3 for more information confirming or refuting the leaks so far – all things considered, Fallout 76 should be a doozy!