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(grunting)
(gunfire)
- [Brandin] After more than 50 hours
plundering the irradiated wasteland of Fallout 76,
the greatest mystery still lingering is
who this mutated take on Fallout is intended for.
Like many of Vault-Tec's underground bunkers,
Bethesda's multiplayer riff on its post-nuclear RPG series
is an experiment gone awry.
There are bright spots entangled in this mass
of frustratingly buggy and sometimes conflicting systems,
but what fun I was able to salvage from the expansive
but underpopulated West Virginia map
was consistently overshadowed by the monotony
of its gathering and crafting treadmill.
On the surface, Fallout 76 is another dose
of Bethesda's tried and true open-world RPG formula,
except that aside from some gorgeous lighting,
it somehow looks noticeably flatter than Fallout 4 did
three years ago.
When you look closer, the ambitious idea to replace
all human NPCs with other players
results in a lack of meaningful interaction.
Other than the 20 something other players spread thinly
over a massive map, just about the only voices you'll hear
are recordings of long-dead quest-givers, robots,
and AI constructs who simply deliver information at you.
- [Recording] See it to fruition.
- [Narrator] There's no opportunity
for the morally tricky decision-making
that defines most other Fallout games.
Even the so-called main story quest boiled down to
obediently following a breadcrumb trail
of journals and notes.
With the exception of some goofy and creative tasks,
it all feels like chasing ghosts.
And though later missions mask the shallowness
with some cool events and set pieces,
they're fleeting moments.
Wandering the diverse wasteland of Appalachia
does reveal one of Bethesda's great strengths,
environmental storytelling.
Discovering a goofy teddy bear playing pots-and-pans drums,
an evocatively posed skeleton, or a half-sunken church
all instill the sense that enticing secrets are hiding
just over the next hill.
On paper, a multiplayer game in the dog-eat-dog-meat world
of Fallout sounds like a thrill, but in Fallout 76,
you're almost prohibited from engaging in anything
resembling player-versus-player aggression.
Because you can't do any significant damage
until both people have attacked one another,
there is no sense of danger.
It's the most kid-gloves version of competitive multiplayer
I have ever seen.
And even if you do kill someone
or even just pick the lock on their camp,
there's virtually nothing to be gained
but a price on your head.
Instead, Fallout 76 is more of a cooperative PVE game,
and that's where it's at its best,
in spite of some frustrating UI
and experience distribution design.
The mechanical benefit of grouping brings the ability
to freely fast-travel to one another,
use teammates' custom-built camps,
share a subset of cards in the flexible new perk system,
and of course, the added firepower.
But what I appreciated the most is the companionship
in this lonely world.
Mechanically, Fallout 76's combat falls somewhere between
floaty and just fine.
I leaned into rifles at long range
and shot guns or melee swipes up-close,
but always in first person
because hitting anything up-close in third person
is very hit or miss.
With only a watered-down realtime version
of Fallout's signature VATS auto-targeting system available,
I found it nearly useless except in specific situations,
but every little bit helps against the inventive
and varied enemies.
The recognizable insects, ghouls, robots, super mutants,
and not-so-super mutant animals are all here,
alongside some strange, creepy,
and downright bizarre creatures that reside in the fringes
of West Virginia's disdained and atmospheric biomes.
Unfortunately, poor AI and pathing
means most of these monsters can be killed
in the cheesiest ways possible.
The brightest spot here is your portable camp,
which you can build up and drop
almost anywhere in the world.
However, there's little need to fortify it
other than to lure enemies to their deaths.
And like just about everything else in Fallout 76,
this system suffers from a number of bugs
that make moving camp a huge hassle.
When you're not running quests, you're scrounging,
scrapping items for materials, and crafting.
There is a wealth of weapons, armors, and items to collect,
assemble, and mod, and hunting down the plans
is one of the best-feeling measures of progression.
In fact, toward the late game,
the emphasis swings from exploration and discovery
to resource and inventory management.
That's when you're required to build, maintain,
and carry your entire arsenal of power armor, weapons,
and ample ammo, alongside the food, water,
and chemical stimulants that keep you alive.
All of this weight easily bogs you down,
and your personal stash box
has an absurdly tiny 400-pound limit.
By the time I reached late-game levels,
I was spending five minutes of every hour I played
just managing and sacrificing inventory
to avoid being overencumbered.
That got old quickly.
When my team launched a nuke
after a series of needlessly convoluted steps,
the seconds before and after the impact
were the highest highs Fallout 76 had offered so far.
Yet, when the smoke cleared,
it revealed the temporarily irradiated area
was more of the same, just with higher numbers.
Was it all worth the trouble?
Probably not,
and that's when I knew I was done with Fallout 76.
Finally, the fact there's a cash shop
with obscenely expensive cosmetic items adds some insult
to the overall injury.
In an effort to do everything,
Fallout 76 fails to do any of it well enough
to form an identity.
Its multiplayer mindset robs its quests
of the moral decision-making that makes the series great,
and all that's left is a buggy mess of systemic designs
that never seems to work together
and regularly contradicts itself.
It all culminates in an aggravating endgame
that's more busywork than satisfying heroics.
Bethesda missed the mark with Fallout 76,
in part because it seems like it could never decide
what it was aiming for.
For more reviews, be sure to check out our review
of Battlefield V, or our re-review of Warframe.
And for everything else, you're already in the right place
right here on IGN.
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Fallout 76 Review

91 分類 收藏
Jingjiang Li 發佈於 2019 年 1 月 27 日
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