To say that the launch of Fallout ’76 has been underwhelming would be like saying the nuclear wastelands the series is known for are “dangerous”. It has been plagued by its original reception and the confusion surrounding what exactly this game was and how it worked; the first update for the game was 56 GB; and it turns out the nukes that players can work towards using do nothing more than make the enemies in that area slightly stronger. Add on to that all of the bugs, glitches and the usual performance issues that are present, and the game is basically a wasteland itself, though according to Bethesda it has already reached “millions“.
The issues are so bad this time around that a class-action lawsuit has been started to represent anyone who purchased the game and was not happy with the technical performance. Their argument is based on Bethesda’s refusal to “issue refunds for PC purchasers…who found it unplayable” and that the many players who purchased the game have “to deal with an unplayable experience until patches bring it back to a playable state.” Whether this only affects the PC games or includes the consoles is unclear. For days now, people having been trying to get an answer for their queries but had received nothing hopeful– just the usual PR comment.
Due to the outcry, Bethesda has finally spoken, although it may not be what most were hoping to hear. They acknowledge that players are experiencing a “number of frustrating issues“, which it plans to address as soon as possible. Of course, this involves more patches, but Bethesda was quick to say that future patches should be smaller.
The first update will release December 4th, 2018 and will include things like upgrading storage from 400 to 600 (and maybe further after they ensure the “change will not negatively impact the stability of the game”), the Cryolator having multiple effects on those hit by it (starting with Chilled, moving to Frosted and finishing with Frozen), and fixing a bug that caused players to get stuck in power armor, among others.
Then, on December 11th, 2018 there will be alterations made to the C.A.M.P. system, including a Bulldozer feature “that will allow you to remove small trees, rocks and other obstructions“, and the ability to respec your SPECIAL.
Whether this can save the game, or even affect how it is perceived will be the real story going forward. Bethesda has been known for their less-than-stellar graphical fidelity and buggy games, but it never hindered those games like it seems to have done with Fallout ’76. Wherever it goes in the future, at least Bethesda has shown that they are willing to communicate past the usual copy-and-paste PR responses, even if they still don’t say much.