It may be cliché to say the latest Fallout game is getting, well, a fallout – but that’s exactly what’s happened to Bethesda’s big experiment.
Abandoning a long-running formula of success in order to try something new isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it is risky. It’s especially risky when that new formula is such a radical departure from things the core fan base loves.
Fallout has always been known for several things. This includes great NPCs, enthralling stories, and engaging single-player campaigns. But Fallout 76 abandons these ideas for a multiplayer game that focuses on team gameplay and objectives that seem more toward building things up and seeing how long it takes for the rival groups in the area to nuke them.
Now the review landscape for Fallout 76 looks similar to the wasteland map players find themselves in. In addition to a number of bugs and glitches, there’s some general disappointment about the gameplay itself.
Combat and control lag as well as general tedium don’t make for a stellar title – and despite a few good reviews, over two-thirds of 3300 online ratings were negative. That puts them at a user score of 2.9, with numerous other big-name reviewers following suit and criticizing the game on similar levels. Metacritic has called their user reviews of the game as generally unfavorable, with the PC port of the title scoring at a measly 55.
IGN rated it a 5/10, PC Gamer rated it a 6/10, Gamespot rated it a 4/10, and the Guardian 2/5. And while the PC community has always been able to enjoy a little more in the way of graphics and mods, many wondered whether these abysmal scores mean the console players won out in this instance. They didn’t. That’s right – it means the console ports are even worse.
Bethesda is already taking one method to righting their wrong – they’re offering refunds to PC players. And according to reports, the company isn’t hassling people who want their money back. Maybe they realize that doing so would just put them in a tougher spot and leave them with a lot more to manage in terms of negative feedback. And at the moment, they need as many fans as possible.
There’s also a possibility the company could incur a mass number of refund requests, which would mean they could have to turn some away. That means massive backlash could follow – not good for the company that once seemingly owned the FPS action-combat genre.