I was sitting on a leather couch in an Airbnb in Malta when Todd Howard took to the E3 stage to try to convince us that the direction that Fallout would be going for the moment would be a good one. I was curious, mostly because the Fallout has been one of the few universes to have truly captured my imagination. Even though I did not not enjoy the narrative of Fallout 4 as much as 3 and New Vegas, I still craved some more Geiger counter ticking, Mirelurk shell cracking goodness.
Despite not being an online gamer and against my better judgement, I ended up pre-ordering. I thought I’d have time to access the B.E.T.A. when it was available. At least least I could get a little used to it before the whole onslaught of team players would be roaming around on the servers. I was very wrong about that because I missed all of it because I have other (less fun) priorities.
I found a spare bit of time and finally booted it up on Xbox One, with the intention of doing one hour to get a taster of things. How very optimistic of me. I spent nearly an hour in character creation. Making the same character three times. When I first came out of character creation happy with what I had…there was no sound. I quit the game and I had to start all over again. Then I myself screwed up by not naming my character and couldn’t figure out how to remedy it so I restarted again.
The character creation itself took a little getting used to, but after the third time I was much quicker. At the start it took me a second to realise what changes were being made by certain sliders. In the end I don’t think I changed the default face I picked too much. If you can’t manage to change the actual face structure too drastically or you don’t really care to, there are great options for makeup, scarring, blemishes and ageing to take your character to the next level looks-wise. The female hair selection is decent and the range of colours for both hair and makeup are great. The lipstick is a bit odd if you don’t go for a dark colour but this might not apply if you use a darker skin-tone than I did.
I played around with photo mode for a second which I can’t see myself using very often. Still, as I progress and discover more of the wasteland I might end up wanting to take Instagram worthy shots, carefully applying all the filters and other effects available.
With that, my planned hour was up so I quickly toddled out of Vault 76 thanking each handyman who had goodies essential to my survival on hand for me as I left. It was a bit annoying how I couldn’t pick up anything other than what was presented to me in the vault. Mostly because I kept trying to do it and not learning my lesson.
Finally I was outside. The little time I spent out there I did have fun. After finding a machete on a corpse, I made my first few kills and looted the bodies. I even found some shacks and crafted a weapon and also made some food. However, I did not dare venture any further because guess what? You got it. Another big nasty Bethesda bug. Which is a bit of a slap in the face after downloading the 55GB update. I could not scroll and select items in the Pip-Boy, which is a pretty essential part of the game.
Bethesda’s bugs have always been a notorious source of frustration and entertainment. Judging by the commentary surrounding Fallout 76 now that it has been launched, adding online to that has probably not done anyone any favours. For now I am stuck with the game and hopefully will get my money’s worth out of it. I don’t really have the time to play it often which may work out well as it goes through this teething stage (if I don’t have to update it every time I do have a chance to play). I am definitely still willing to give it a chance. I would probably be less so inclined had I continued with a broken Pip-Boy, luckily for Bethesda they have my money and my patience.