One of the most persistent tropes in retrofuturism is that of an alternate past that has set the world on a completely different path, creating an entirely different existence as we know it. Perhaps one of the best recent examples of this is Bethesda’s Fallout video game series. Here they pose the question, what would the world be like if nuclear bombs were dropped during the cold war? Their answer to the question is an atompunk themed American wasteland.
In each game you play as someone who has survived the attacks by living underground in a closed off vault created by a company called ‘Vault-Tec’. These are the guys that will also provide you with all the training your character will need to survive once you head out into the open, desolate world with the help of their extremely 50’s themed mascot Pip-Boy. Pip-Boy and his guiding animations that help you through the game were based largely on the cartoon information videos shown to Americans during the Cold War era in order to teach them what to do in the event of a nuclear assault.
So far the game has seen a total of five entries in the franchise with a sixth entry set to release on November 14th. This latest entry however will be different from previous ones as it’s the first online multiplayer game in the series. Unlike others, which were strictly single player, in this game you will be able to party up with up to three other players and travel across an open world map that is supposedly four times bigger than that of its predecessor Fallout 4. Each game has been set in a different part of the country, places such as Las Vegas, Washington DC and Boston, the latest entry will take place in West Virginia.
Throughout this world all other survivors will be fellow players as opposed to previously in which they were NPC’s (non-player characters). This will create something of a shift in the gameplay, in the older games it was these characters that would provide you with your quests that would propel you through the story. In Fallout 76 this will be done instead through different means, robots, pre recorded messages, access terminals and environmental finds, each of which have previously been used throughout the series.
One of the most notable new additions to Fallout 4 was the settlement, in which you had your own that you improved and protected. This will be expanded upon in the new game, each player will be able to build their own which will be assigned to their profile, it can be attacked by other player whilst you’re online however a version will be saved so you don’t have to worry about rebuilding from scratch.
Perhaps one of the most interesting new features to the game however is that players will be able to drop their own nukes anywhere on the map. Once they’ve done this the area will become irradiated and the player will be able to search it for rare weapons and loot, though be warned, this will also attract powerful high level foes so you’ll need to be ready for a fight. With your allies at your side though you can do that together and at least if you get destroyed, you’ll go down laughing.