What is a soul? What does it mean to carry on a legacy, a lineage? The deep, metaphorical themes that intertwine with the stories of our life?
Do my memories make me who I am? The way I think? The way I look? The thematic elements of my soul’s journey?
Whatever it is, Fallout 76 fucked up everything and is complete and utter dogshit.
Fallout 76 is a poorly put together shitstack cobbled out of regurgitated Bethesda assets. Bethesda does not actually know how to make games, they only know how to make one game, and Fallout 76 is a badly made version of that game.
I don’t like to beat dead horses. I don’t like to circlejerk. I didn’t want to be part of the circlejerk. I was hoping to give Fallout 76 a fair chance, I wanted to analyze it and understand its flaws. I wanted to break it down as I would any other game and judge it based on its own merits. But it’s literally just a shitty Bethesda game. All of the flaws from every Bethesda game, but now all boiled down into one big cancerous Bethesda tumor.
I was hopeful. “Massively multiplayer Fallout Battle Royale” was a good hook. It really was. I liked the idea of dicking around in a Fallout world with friends. I was actually kind of excited for it. I loved a lot of controversial installments in other franchises. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes boils down what makes Zelda games fun into a multiplayer experience. Super Paper Mario, while not a traditional Paper Mario RPG, fully captures the charm of the Paper Mario games. Fallout 76 doesn’t really do anything for the franchise.
It doesn’t capture what makes the Fallout universe compelling, and it really doesn’t function well as either an RPG or a shooter. So what was the point of the game? Who was it made for? It wasn’t made to satisfy fans of Fallout’s gameplay or charm. It wasn’t made for fans of RPG games, or shooters. And while it functions as a mediocre online game, I wouldn’t even recommend it as something to play with friends.
No, Fallout 76 was made for two groups. The people in suits, and the weak-jawed bugmen that collect shitty mass-produced plastic figures because they have a certain character or series on them. The worshippers of new age brand cults, the religions of the commercial capitalist age, dedicating their lives to the escapist fantasies that line the pockets of the people in suits. Fallout 76 was made to sell toys, and t-shirts. It was made to be another installment for the bugmen to collect and another product for the suits to ship.
“But it’s fun with friends” is the only defense that Fallout 76 players can really stand behind, and even then, it’s not a good one. Everything is better with friends.
Every video game in the history of video games is better with friends. When they played with rocks and sticks before they invented better games? Better with friends. Playing freeze tag in traffic? Better with friends. Drinking to drown out the dark cloud of misery and sorrow hanging over you ever since your wife took the kids and half of everything you own? Better with friends. Getting jumped by human traffickers in South America and sold into slavery? Better with friends.
The online multiplayer market isn’t just ripe with games to play, it’s oversaturated. There’s too many online games to play, and they’re all trying to throw some vague novelty your way to keep you invested long enough to pay for some microtransactions. With so many games trying their hardest to be relevant for their fifteen seconds of fame, why would you give your attention to Fallout 76 just because it has Fallout in the name?
Why would you do Fallout the disservice of supporting a shallow cash grab when you’re only encouraging Bethesda to whore it out more? Is the Star Wars Holiday Special a true Star Wars movie? When they drop the Holiday Special from the lore and bury their embarrassment in the annals of history, is it still Star Wars? What makes it any different from my fanfiction where Darth Vader uses the force choke on Chewbacca’s red, throbbing dick? If I’m more faithful to the lore, and more respectful to the spirit of Star Wars, what makes my work less Star Wars than the Holiday Special?
What is it that separates us, the fans and the suits? Paperwork, red tape, legislature, and legalese that break down the concept of idea ownership. But should ideas truly be owned? To whom should the future of a franchise be entrusted to? Do fans that complain of Bethesda maiming and driving Fallout into the ground have the right, the same way Tumblr cretins have the right to disfigure characters into engorged, racially ambiguous reflections of the inner workings of their autism?
Would Fallout’s lore, and the lore of many other franchises be treated better if they were allowed to lapse into public domain? Perhaps.
And perhaps one day my mature reboot of the Thomas the Tank Engine world and its lore will be accepted as canon. In a perfect world, my trainsona will finally hack that asshole Gordon in half with his katana.