Taking an old series in a new direction
Now that Bethesda has ended it’s massive stream of puppet dancing and vault boy slumber, most people who were expecting a Fallout 3 remaster to emerge from the shadows for 2018 were surprised when instead an entirely new title was announced via a short message from Todd Howard and a teaser trailer confirming the title Fallout 76. Let’s dig into what we saw and what we can expect from Fallout 76.
What we know:
The game at least in some part takes place in vault 76, a vault that dedicated Fallout fans may recognize. Vault 76 was hinted at in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. From the information form both games we have just enough information about this vault to speculate and theorize about what we can expect from the game. Firstly, we know that vault 76 was a control vault, meaning it was used as a baseline for designing other vaults and was not used for any of Vault-Tec’s cruel and unusual experiments like we encountered in Fallout 4 with the research of long-term cryo-sleep on the human body. Vault 76 is located in Virginia and finished construction in 2069. It is designed to hold and protect its 500 dwellers for 20 years before they venture into the wasteland to rebuild humanity.
What we saw in the teaser:
The teaser trailer didn’t show us much, but it showed enough to provoke some theories and assumptions. Given the pip boy and the very large living quarters, it seems to us that the person that was shown (likely the player) is a high-ranking official within the vault; perhaps even the overseer. The vault itself seemed empty like it was left in a hurry, possibly due to some emergency. We saw on the television that a news broadcast was playing and seemed to hint that vault 76 was designed specifically to rebuild America after the bombs fell. Could this mean that government officials stayed in vault 76?
Rumors and speculation:
Recent rumors and leaks said that Bethesda is going to release a new fallout game that will take the franchise in a new direction, breathing some fresh air into the series. It seems these rumors were correct and new rumors suggest that Fallout 76 is a survival/horror title. Firstly, no guns or any of the outside world was shown, so could this mean that the entire game takes place within the vault? This could also be further implied through the name Fallout 76. This is only the teaser trailer so It’s hard to jump to conclusions like that but even previous teaser trailers in the Fallout series showed some of the outside world, usually a gun-toting wanderer with a trusty dog nearby. Since the vault was designed to hold occupants for 20 years, this could allude to Fallout 76 taking place only 20 years after the bombs have dropped. This would be quite significant as the first Fallout game in the timeline takes place almost 100 years after the bombs dropped. This would make it the earliest setting of any fallout game if you exclude the very brief prologue of Fallout 4.
We know that vault 76 is located in Virginia, it’s construction completed in 2069, unveiled at the U.S. Tercentenary celebration and is designed to hold up to 500 occupants for 20 years. It is a control vault and used as a baseline for designing other vaults. Rumors from before the announcement state that Bethesda has the intention to change the Fallout series and bring it in a new direction.
Based on what we’ve seen so far and the hype built around the announcement (the Twitch stream garnered over 15 million views), this highly anticipated title will have a lot to live up to. If we’ve learned anything over the years with Bethesda, it’s that they have the skillset to not only meet expectations but exceed them.