Highly anticipated: If you’re primarily a fan of Bethesda’s singleplayer RPGs, the company’s reveal of Fallout 76 — a survival-based, multiplayer RPG — may have worried you a bit. If so, Bethesda wants to reassure you now; it says Fallout 76 will still offer a great experience for solo players, courtesy of the game’s RPG systems, NPCs, quests, and more.
When Bethesda began teasing Fallout 76 prior to E3 2018, most fans were excited. Though some hoped Bethesda’s next game would be a new entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise or the highly-anticipated Starfield (both of which were briefly revealed at E3), a brand-new Fallout game seemed like a solid compromise.
However, when Bethesda finally showed the actual game off on stage, confirming rumors that it would be a multiplayer-only survival game with base building mechanics, the community’s sentiment changed significantly – for the worse.
Tensions have since cooled, but many fans still worry that Bethesda is losing its core DNA, abandoning singleplayer games in favor of “cash grab” multiplayer titles and trend-chasing.
Bethesda wants to reassure those fans now, though; Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner recently had the opportunity to sit down with the developers of Fallout 76, and they gave us quite a few details about the gameplay of their latest RPG.
For starters, while Fallout 76 is not a single-player game, it can still be played solo, and it’s absolutely still an RPG, Bethesda says. There’s still gear to craft and obtain, monsters with health bars that need depleting, and plenty of in-game story content.
However, the game’s story won’t be told the same way as it has been in other Bethesda RPGs. Fallout 76’s main “campaign” begins when players first leave the vault on “Reclamation Day.”
Instead of talking to an initial set of main story-related NPCs — which will exist, but only in the form of intelligent AIs and robots — the vault’s Overseer will leave a set of instructions for you, kicking off a “lengthy, multipart” story that ends in players launching nukes at each other.
It isn’t just the Overseer who will have quests for the player, though. As previously mentioned, non-human NPCs can be found throughout the world, acting as mission givers.
However, the conversation system players have become used to has been scrapped for Fallout 76. Players will be passive listeners rather than active participants, as there are no dialogue choices to be found in-game.
In addition to NPC quest givers, players will obtain missions from holotapes, terminals, or simply by walking near a location of note. However you feel about Fallout 76’s multiplayer features, it’s clear Bethesda is doing its best to provide the classic open-ended single-player questing experience fans love.
Naturally, quests and NPCs aren’t the only things that make Bethesda’s games so compelling. Given that Fallout 76 is an RPG, it will have the same S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats you’ve come to expect from the company’s previous franchise entries.
Players will level up, and add points to their Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, or Luck attributes as they go. Game Informer says Fallout 76 will not have a level cap, however, suggesting players might be able to completely max out all of their attributes with enough effort.
The S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats might be relatively unchanged in Fallout 76, but the game’s perk system is a bit different than what you’ve seen in previous titles. Rather than selecting a perk every few levels, players will pick “cards” that give them unique abilities, stat bonuses, and more.
These cards will affect everything from the weight of certain items to the damage players do with select weapon types of. Bethesda also reportedly wants to have “themed” perk cards that unlock as players complete world events, which are another new addition to Fallout 76.
World events will occur as players explore, and they will push everybody to converge on a single location to accomplish an objective – it’s not clear what those objectives might be, but my guess is they will involve some pretty tough boss battles.
While we’ve only covered a small fraction of what Fallout 76 has to offer here, Game Informer’s full write-up offers quite a few additional details. Regardless, we’ll certainly be keeping our eye on the game as it gets closer to its November 14 release date.