Fallout 76 is an epic fail that has sullied Bethesda’s irrefutable reputation for delivering amazing worlds that players choose to live in for years. Yes, the company has always had its issues with bugs and glitches, but the landscapes of Skyrim and Fallout 4 made up for these shortcomings by being visually interesting, brimming with content, and populated with colourful NPCs and companions a lot of gamers hold in higher regard than their own family and mates. Instead of preserving the developer’s legacy for unforgettable resorts away from reality, Fallout 76 is an empty bore surrounded by deceitful business practices which show Bethesda is just as greedy as EA.
EA always seems to be spoken about in a negative manner, and it’s easy to see why with all the controversy they have stirred. Star Wars: Battlefront II was a disgraceful and exploitative sham gamers rightfully chose to rally against, Battlefield V was an expensive mistake wrongfully attributed to their community being ‘uneducated’ and sexist, and FIFA continues to be a morally corrupt casino that steals its fans’ real-life money. With all these shenanigans and anti-consumer practices, EA’s status as the industry’s most ‘evil’ company is deserved. However, although we may not want to admit it, Fallout 76 has made Bethesda equally sinful.
Fallout 76 was sold through lies and deceit. At E3 2018, Todd Howard stood centre stage and said that the beloved series’ online instalment would be a worthy evolution you could enjoy with your pals. Marketed as a living-breathing world with 16x the detail of Fallout 4, 76 turned out to be the exact opposite. Its post-apocalyptic wasteland is a barren dump devoid of any NPCs who aren’t mundane robots, and its visuals are wretched thanks to a plethora of low-textures and an outdated engine. With no story, interesting missions and human companions, Fallout 76 lacks all the series’ characteristics bar its tight jumpsuits, character creation suite, and numerous glitches and bugs.
Rather than being an evolution in the series, Fallout 76 is predominantly made from Fallout 4 and Skyrim assets, which explains why the end-game Scorchbeast Queen is an underwhelming boss that feels so familiar. As if duping their devoted fanbase into buying a full-priced lazy recycle wasn’t bad enough, Bethesda have the audacity to still rob its fans of more money by reselling a plethora of Fallout 4’s cosmetics through the Atomic shop. Regardless if you’re a fool who defends publishers and developers for stuffing their titles with ugly microtransactions, it’s not okay for Bethesda to sell in-game clothes and other cosmetics for real-life cash when they are free in a far superior entry most Fallout 76 players already own.
It’s lazy and greedy from Bethesda, just like their insistence on sticking with the outdated Creation Engine for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6. The Creation Engine is ugly and riddled with issues that result in Bethesda’s developed titles being plagued with the same glitches and bugs again and again and again, and they refuse to listen fans about changing it because it allows them to quickly copy and paste assets. This is an unacceptable embodiment of the company’s greed and their lack of care for what fans want, and it’s a decision which should make everybody cautious towards the inevitable hype that’ll surround Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6’ long-anticipated releases.
Although some choose to defend Bethesda from the backlash caused by Fallout 76’ release, they are a greedy corporation rather than a tiny victim of misguided criticism. Yes, they made Oblivion and Skyrim, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, and Todd Howard does have an awkward charisma that makes him captivating and likable, but Bethesda still deserve to be condemned for how they’ve tried to exploit the Fallout community. True, they haven’t caused as much controversy in the past, but Fallout 76 is a damning mistake which should make all gamers approach anything developed by Bethesda with the same amount of caution as anything published by EA.
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