One of the reason’s I like Humble Choice is getting to try out games I wouldn’t have bought in the first place. I’ve found a couple games this way that, at first glance, didn’t look like my thing but turned out to be really fun. Sometimes those games just don’t click for me. Fallout 76 is one of those games this month.
I tend to reserve judgement on games that the wider internet labels as “bad” until I play them. I’ve found too many that have been fun for me over the years that didn’t appeal to the masses. I figured Fallout 76 would be one of those. I remember there being all sorts of drama around it’s launch 5 years ago and then the game seemed to fade away all together. No one I knew was playing it and I kind of just forgot about it until it appeared in this month’s choice. In the spirit of trying new things I decided to take this one for this month’s Blaugust community review.
Here’s my initial impressions after about 2 hours: If you want to play a Fallout game there are better options. If you want to play a survival game there are better options.If you want to play a multiplayer Fallout game this may be your only option.
I came away frustrated from those 2 hours of gameplay. For one, the game kept crashing on me. It crashed on startup, it crashed during character creation, it crashed to desktop while I was playing. Could it be something with my setup? Sure, but there sure was a lot of crashing going on. It didn’t make for a great experience.
Then there’s the inventory system. For a survival crafting game with a lot of materials and items to manage the inventory is beyond clunky. What I want for a survival game is to see my inventory at a glance and it is very hard to do that when your inventory is text based and in one long list. Not only that but in order to find anything you have to sort between the item category tabs. The keyboard and mouse controls don’t make that real intuitive. I get that a Fallout game needs the Pip-Boy in it but it just takes way to long to do anything in your inventory through that interface.
The whole game was clearly built for consoles and controllers in mind. The keyboard bindings are super weird without a lot of re-binds and even then they can still be awkward. The controls make the building system particularly clunky to use. Keyboard and mouse have awkward bindings and even with a controller it just feels like it takes forever to do anything. I’m not much of a builder in these games but I usually try to give it my best effort. This time I didn’t even attempt to make my base look nice.
It’s not all bad though. The few quests that I did had that signature Fallout style of writing. The combat feels solid and the exploration is fun. The map is large and it seems like a game with a lot to do if you can get past the awkward controls and interface. I can’t, or more accurately, I don’t want to so I’ll be leaving this one collecting dust in my library.
Is Fallout 76 worth buying this month’s choice for? It’s one of the “big” games this month after all. You can probably guess my answer…In my opinion, it’s not worth buying February’s Humble Choice for and, honestly, it’s not worth playing if you do pick up the bundle this month.