Fallout 76 is the first game in the series' history to view nuclear weapons as a toy rather than a dire, looming threat. For many, the way a mushroom cloud blooms on the horizon to the screams of players is contrary to everything that the Fallout series stands for. The events of the original games take place due to excessive human stupidity.
It's undeniable that nuclear weapons have completely lost their relevance in Fallout 76. In a way, that's not bad. I didn't have to grow up in a world where from school I have to learn to hide or find the nearest refuge. If the world does end now, I suspect it will most likely be due to climate change. A mushroom cloud is an effective way to show massive destruction, but it doesn't really matter to me.
But you know what sounds plausible to me? The real threat to Fallout 76 is capitalism. This is a problem that goes beyond the narrative of the game itself. The nuclear bomb is an obvious threat, but capitalism is more insidious and relevant, especially when it comes to monthly subscriptions and microtransactions per game of $ 60. Polygon discusses how Fallout 76 continues to roll into a bottomless pit.
Appalachian and Automation
When players surface from Vault 76, they find themselves in a lifeless wasteland, reminiscent of my list of friends playing this game.
It doesn't have a single NPC, at least not until the next major Wasteland update. Instead, human records and diaries are scattered across the wasteland. Some of the records are made after the bombs fell, but there are many documents describing how West Virginia existed before the end of the world. One of the biggest problems of that time was total automation and the lack of government support for workers and their families.
The workers protested massively against this phenomenon, as they could not feed their families. Military bases numbered only robots among the soldiers who hated the communists. CEOs of large companies happily e-mail each other about the amounts they save on wages.
Nuclear weapons and war are not the main thesis in the history of Fallout 76. Unlike its predecessors, it talks about trade unions, corporate pressure and violence, about the decline in economic stability against the backdrop of a global war. There is a lot of juicy meat on this bone. I felt uneasy reading all these posts about corporations sucking the maximum out of their employees and appreciating it as a working side of the game.
However, against the backdrop of this whole nightmare story, where people in power lie and intimidate their workers, covertly and surreptitiously, the in-game Atomic Shop and the game's economy do similar things.
The game has received a couple of free updates. Some of them were even good. Others, like the new hideout raid, are bad. The biggest changes to my experience were in the Atomic Shop, but even without this update, the game quickly turned into a business.
Now, when I play Fallout 76, I am always aware of what I think about the store and shopping in it. For example, players can create their own stores by marking their CAMP on the map. Alas, in the game there is no human way to open a store, because the game does not allow you to do this and you have to build it under the guise of a base.
When I travel through the Appalachian Wasteland, I find remnants of factories and cities destroyed by capitalism, plus a dozen small shops, each of which go out of their way to somehow attract other players and make money. It looks like the only way players can substantially rebuild West Virginia is to do the same as in the pre-apocalypse period. And hey, if you want to decorate your station with a cool skin to make it stand out - bring money to the Atomic Shop!
Even the creation and configuration of the base requires the player's hard-earned money. Want to play an American patriot or a raider? You have no way of showing it in-game ... unless of course you go to the Atomic Shop and buy yourself some themed makeup. Of course, you can mine atoms in the game itself, but the cosmetic jewelry you need appears and disappears so quickly and furiously that the only way to get everything at once is to shell out a large sum.
So we have a role-playing world set in a post-apocalyptic desert. Capitalism has ruined the society in this region, and we have the opportunity to fix that, but Fallout 76 is firmly on the side of corporations, which are the bad guys. The game is still crammed with things that devalue the player and the entire gameplay.
Bethesda continued to address all issues in a flawed way, causing even more indignation of the masses.
The Last Fallout
This week, Bethesda introduced a Fallout 76 subscription called Fallout 1st. For a $ 12.99 monthly fee, players can create private servers, wear an NCR ranger outfit from Fallout: New Vegas, and earn tons of atoms for the store every month.
Subscription offers some important in-game benefits: new points for fast movement around the map and a box with unlimited space for storing equipment and other junk. Building materials take up a lot of inventory space, which is very limited, but Fallout 1st lets you get around this with a subscription. See how absurd: you can now access a private server that gives you a lot of loot to store most of it without additional fees!
But, of course, this revolutionary gameplay lasts as long as the gamer is willing to pay. Players who are used to what they have will be disappointed by these circumstances. Resentment can be compared to the same refrigerator.
The refrigerator, which costs about $ 10 in terms of atoms, can store the player's food so it doesn't go bad. The fridge was not just a cosmetic, but a powerful in-game buff that further defined Fallout 76 as a game where content comes second and microtransactions come first.
All of this leads us to the conclusion that Fallout 76 did not bring much money to Besezd. Therefore, the developers stopped supporting it, providing a minimum of updates to a chaotic role-playing community that entertains itself. Everything that the game tries to bring fades against the background of constant promotions, sales and offers in the store. Fallout 76 seems no better than corporations, which the game condemns in its context.
We definitely won't see the new Fallout for a very long time, because Bethesda is fully occupied with the new Elder Scrolls and Starfield. Online play could be successful and even show some pretty good potential thanks to the ingenuity of its players. However, the question is, can Fallout 76 survive at all? The legendary franchise relies on more and more gruesome free to play and pay to win methods, and the subscription shows just how unfinished the rest of the game is.
In the end, it turns out that Fallout 76 is a very strange online RPG that allows me to spend money on subscriptions, gives new emotions, but at the same time did not give me the opportunity to communicate via text chat. Bethesda has identified the Fallout 76 issue in the context of the game itself. Whether the company will fix this is another matter. Although something tells me that there is nothing to hope for.
The Topic of Article: Capitalism is the real enemy of Fallout 76.