Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 76 is the first multiplayer game to be set in the modern Fallout universe. Bethesda’s Todd Howard confirmed during Bethesda’s BE3 event that “Fallout 76 is entirely online.” We’ve embedded the entire gameplay presentation above.
Fallout 76 serves as a prequel to every other game in the series, taking place 20 years after the devastating nuclear engagement that turned the United States into an irradiated wasteland. Set in West Virginia, Fallout 76 includes locations pulled from actual sites throughout the state. Bethesda says that the playable area is four times larger than Fallout 4.
Howard described the game as an online, multiplayer survival adventure that allows for solo as well as four-player, cooperative gameplay. Every other character that you encounter in-game will be another human player, with dozens of them existing together in the same instance of the game. Howard said fans can expect a seamless online experience, where players will be able to join with their friends wherever and whenever they want. To support that goal, the game will run on Bethesda’s own dedicated servers.
The game will also run on an upgraded version of Bethesda’s own proprietary game engine. Howard promised 16 times the amount of detail and much longer draw distances, allowing players to see weather systems on the horizon and adapt accordingly.
Building on the construction features found in Fallout 4, Fallout 76 will include player-built settlements. Using a new piece of technology called the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform, or C.A.M.P. for short, it will allow players to toss up structures and defensive weapons in a hurry.
Fallout 76 also appears to include many unusual monsters that are new to the Fallout universe. Howard said that the design team drew from West Virginia’s own unique history, and that appears to include a number of large, mutated, cryptid-like creatures. One, called a Scorchbeast, looks like a massive bat and attacks with sonic blasts.
The game includes lavish social features, including dozens of emotes and an in-game camera for capturing selfies with your friends.
Fallout 76’s end game includes access to nuclear weapons. Players will need to gear up and fight their way through waves of enemies to find keys to an underground missile silo. Once inside, they’ll use launch keycards to attack other settlements on the map. After the bombs fall, players will be able to revisit that location on the map to harvest new and unusual resources.
The original Fallout came out in 1997, and was developed and published by Interplay. The isometric role-playing game with turn-based tactical combat spawned a number of sequels, including Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel.
Most notable is that this isn’t the first multiplayer game attempted in the Fallout universe. In 2007, Bethesda acquired the rights to make single-player Fallout games from Interplay. Shortly thereafter, it emerged that Interplay was quietly making a Fallout-themed MMO. Bethesda sued and, after paying Interplay an additional $2 million, acquired the rights to make online multiplayer Fallout games as well.
Fallout 76 is scheduled to launch Nov. 14, 2018.