As a big Bethesda fan, when they announced Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), I pre-ordered right away. What I got when it released was a 10 min. play time before the servers went down. I checked in with it every day that week and found it was very spotty if I’d get in and a lot of lag if I did get in. They have greatly improved that game to where it’s enjoyable now, but its reputation was really damaged from the start. So saying that, when I pre-ordered Fallout 76, I expected the beta to act like the launch of ESO. To my surprise, I was drastically wrong.
The website announced the beta would open at 7 PM EDT last night. Eagerly, I texted my friend to hop on early to make sure we both got in before the servers got full. I loaded up the game a good 10 minutes before the start to get to the front of the line. What I saw was that there was no line and I got to play an extra few minutes early. The game was already off to a good start.
After I created my character, it walks you through a mini-tutorial quest as you exit the vault. There are plenty of things you can pick up along the way, such as holo tapes, apparel, etc. Once I got out, I was able to join up with my friend in his server and we explored the world together. Everything loaded fine and didn’t have many issues.
Some of the issues that came up as we played ranged from minimal to game-breaking. The minor issues were things such as we couldn’t find stuff like our photo gallery and challenges. To do this, we eventually found that you have to press the start, then LB to access another menu through the map. Previous installments of Fallout had the map coming from the Pip-Boy, so the change threw us off a little. Luckily, I played with my friend, so we were able to find stuff quicker working as a team.
Mid-tier problems I found was that the game would freeze completely for a few seconds and then resume regularly. It is most likely happening from trying to render in so many objects, so it’ll probably be patched quickly. Certain freezes left my character getting injured more than needed.
The only glitch that my friend and I ran into that forced a restart happened to my friend and I merely watched. What happened was that we explored into a new area and my friend was unable to load any textures except for trees. There just so happened to be two other players that started to attack us at the same time. As we ran, I watched my friend phase through objects like a ghost. I eventually got killed by a player and my friend tested the trees to see if they would protect him. It turns out the trees were hollow for him and also protected him which was great. However, we had a quest in a house that he was unable to get because he couldn’t walk up stairs. He ended up going to the home screen on Xbox and manually killing the game and reloading it. Within minutes he was back in and issue-free. I still can’t believe he got back in that quick.
Other than those little issues that will most likely be fixed by launch. We enjoyed it for what it was. There was plenty of customization options with character and building. The ability to find blueprints and mod weapons was a great thing to have people exploring more. I know people liked Fallout for the single player experience, but having a friend in the game made quests a lot easier to complete and get rewards. It was one of the first games in a while where I lost track of time. Before I knew it, it was 11 PM and closing time. Now I can’t wait for the final product to be released.