Will Fallout’s New DLC Bomb?

On Feb. 4, 2020, Bethesda released the trailer for its newest DLC for Fallout 76 – Wastelanders. Much anticipated and long-promised, the trailer was received with open but anxious arms.

When it was initially released, Fallout 76 fell flat. The game had touted so much promising content that sadly resulted in a major mess. The announcement that this game would be the first in the series to be an online multiplayer game left a bad taste in people’s mouths. Games in the series were known as a primarily solo-play experience. That was what fans had come to love for years. To many, it felt like reinventing the wheel, which comes with its risks.

While the game did have aspects that were fun or good, the constant crashes combined with a weak storyline and inability to connect to other players left the game on shaky ground. In an effort to boost sales and fans’ hopes, Bethesda released a battle royale style mode to the game titled Nuclear Winter. This didn’t help.

While there were people who enjoyed it, Fallout was not a battle royale game and never had been. It was as if Bethesda was hopping on the backs of the other battle royale games, like Fortnite or PUBG, in the hope that it would pan out for them. 

Another thing that had angered players was the Atom Shop. This was a cosmetics shop and while it didn’t make the game ‘pay to win’, it did lock items behind a paywall.

Fans had already shelled out 60, 100, some even 200 dollars for the game already. It didn’t feel fair to lock these items behind a wall. Bethesda tried to abate the fears and anger by offering the fact that you could get the currency through regular gameplay. What they didn’t mention, however, is that it can sometimes take hours to earn 10 pieces of currency for the shop, something that casual players don’t tend to do. With some of the best weapons in the game locked behind a grind wall and cosmetics behind a paywall, the game feels like it’s holding you back.

The Wastelanders DLC is the last planned release for the roadmap Bethesda created in 2019. The trailer released on Feb. 4, 2020 gives the DLC a release date of April, meaning Bethesda is behind schedule on the expansion – something that was announced in late Fall 2019. The DLC was promised to include a new main quest, new events and new features.

Bethesda will be bringing back human NPC’s, something that has been a staple of all past Fallout games. The lack of NPC’s upon the game’s release attributed to the lack of storyline and added to the disappointment of the fans. To quote a fellow gamer, Henry Wolski, “It’s not a Fallout game without NPCs!”

A second reason the fans are fearful is because of the release of the Vault 94 raid. The release was another highly anticipated announcement from Bethesda but was once again a letdown. The raid itself was broken, verging on nearly unplayable. The addition of the DLC for the raid added more bugs to an already buggy game, making it worse.

The verdict is still out on whether or not the DLC will be a helpful, welcome addition or send the game tumbling down further into the flaming garbage heap it already is. Stay tuned until April, where players will make the final call on whether or not Fallout 76 can be redeemed.

Jeri Hensley

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