The full details surrounding Fallout 76, a new installment in the Fallout series, will be revealed on June 10, but based on early reporting it seems that the next entry will be abandoning the Action RPG trappings of the previous Bethesda/Obsidian titles. According to a report by Jason Schreier over at Kotaku the next Fallout title will be an online survival game, modeled after the slew of PC titles that have followed this popular formula.
The initial teaser trailer shows Vault 76, seemingly a den of patriotism tasked with reclaiming the wastes 20 years after the apocalyptic war that sets up the events of the series. The implication seems to be that you will be part of the expeditionary efforts to fight the various monstrosities awaiting the irradiated landscapes, preparing for the recolonization of the continent.
In recent years, online survival games such as Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved have consistently drawn in large player counts on Steam, with many single and multiplayer offshoots of the genre being popular Kickstarter candidates and Early Access games. Fallout 76 is being developed by a new branch of Bethesda in Austin, a studio which was previously working on online game Battlecry.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Fallout series experienced a genre shift. The first three titles (1,2, and Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel) were all turn-based RPGs, with Tactics eschewing the open-world origins of the series for something more linear. In 2004 Brotherhood of Steel completely abandoned both the open-world and turn based nature of previous games. Finally Bethesda revived the dormant series with Fallout 3 in 2008, revisiting the retro-futurist setting in the form of an open-world RPG that built off the systems of the studio’s Elder Scrolls series.
While the series has certainly not always benefited from its genre shifts, the post-Bethesda era has been marked with a relatively consistent bar of quality. This Austin offshoot is mostly untested, having only worked on their unreleased game and portions of post-release content for the Doom (2016) multiplayer mode, but Fallout feels like a natural fit for a survival game. The Bethesda Fallout titles have had resource management in the form of weapon deterioration, and Fallout 4 had some degree of base management, so these sorts of mechanics aren’t total departures from what we’ve seen thus far the series.
We should be furnished with more details over the nature of Fallout 76 soon. E3 is fast approaching, and there will be more details about the future of the wasteland at Bethesda’s E3 conference on June 10th.