Fallout 76 – Official E3 Trailer

Watch the official trailer for Fallout 76, arriving worldwide November 14, 2018.

Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76, the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person. Work together, or not, to survive.

Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, you’ll experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.

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What is Fallout, anyway?

Ever wondered what would have happened if the Cold War got hot, and everybody dropped atomic bombs on each other? That's Fallout. The first game takes place a little over 80 years after the world was devastated by nuclear warfare and portrays a dystopian wasteland built on the ruins of the United States. Fallout 2 took place just a couple of decades later, but when Bethesda took the franchise over, the timeline jumped forward: Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4 take place around 200 years after the bombs dropped.

In most games, the player is the descendant of people who survived the war by retreating to long-term bomb shelters called Vaults -- and they're leaving the comfort of their underground city for the first time to explore a destroyed and desolate world.

It sounds grim, but it's surprisingly packed with humor and great music, while its engrossing open worlds are buoyed by solid RPG mechanics.

OK then, so what's Fallout 76?

Fallout 76 is the latest Fallout adventure, and it's the earliest game in the Fallout timeline. Previous games in the series mention Vault 76 as one of the earliest bunkers to be opened -- a little more than 20 years after the bombs dropped, and Bethesda confirmed that on the stage at E3 2018. 

That means players in Fallout 76 will be seeing a world ravaged by the aftermath of nuclear war, but not ravaged by time — making them among the first survivors of the Great War. And most importantly, the first survivors to start rebuilding society. It also means less time has passed since the bombs dropped, which means...

It's a lot more colorful than Fallout 4

The Earth may be poisoned by nuclear fallout, and the future of the planet's flora may be grim -- but in Fallout 76, it hasn't been that long since the bombs dropped. That means, well, that it's not as muddy, dull and brown looking as some of the previous games. Early shots of the game's world shows a landscape dotted with plants and trees of all kinds of colors.

It doesn't hurt that the buildings in this version of Fallout have only been standing empty for a few dozen years, either. Not hundreds.

That better looking world isn't just the developers adding more trees to the landscape either -- Bethesda's Todd Howard says that the game's rendering engine has been given a major overhaul."We always start with the world," He said at E3. "This time, it starts with new lighting, rendering and landscape technology." Fallout 4 has better lighting, and farther viewing distance than any other Fallout game. Not bad!.

It's the biggest Fallout game ever made!

According to Howard, Fallout 76 is the largest Fallout game ever made. In fact, the game world it's set in will be four times larger than Fallout 4, the last largest game in the series.

"Set in the hills of West Virginia," he said, "You are one of the first to emerge into a very different and untamed wasteland." And indeed -- it is different. Howard says the world is huge, diverse, and features six distinct regions to explore, each pulling from real culture, locations and even legends from the area.

The world needs to be huge, too -- because you won't be playing Fallout 76 alone.

Not everybody you meet online will be your friend

Although Bethesda mostly showed off Fallout 76 as an online co-op version of the series you can play with your friends, it didn't shy away from the antagonistic side of multiplayer gaming, either. Other players in Fallout 76 will be able to team up with you to explore the West Virginian wasteland, or hunt you down and attack you to fight for land.  Why do they need land? Well, to build things of course.

You'll be able to build your own base -- and move it wherever you want

Building settlements was a big part of Fallout 4 -- and that element is coming to the online world of Fallout 76, too. Players will be able to gather resources and create a base or settlement in the wilderness, complete with defense weapons. Don't worry about over-crowding though: you can build any base you want, but Howard says you'll also be able to pack those bases up and move them to other locations, presumably meaning that player built structure's won't appear when that player is not logged in.

You can fire nuclear missiles at other players

if you're wondering why this wasteland isn't quite as irradiated as the world is other Fallout games, well -- the game has an reason for that. In addition to exploring, rebuilding and surviving West Virginia, you may have a hand in destroying it, too. Scattered throughout the world of Fallout 76 will be inactive missile silos, with launchable nuclear armaments for any player resourceful enough to find the launch codes.

Players will be able to use these codes to launch attacks on other player settlements, NPC enemy camps, or other random areas of the game -- which will make them ripe for harvesting loot. Well, assuming you can survive the radiation the missile causes.

It might be missing V.A.T.S.

That's the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S. Well, at least in the game's lore -- in terms of gameplay mechanics, it's a mode that lets you freeze the game and call your shots, displaying your chance to hit an enemy's arm, torso, legs, head, etc with percentages. It's a carryover from the game's 1990s origins, when Fallout was an isometric tactical adventure game.

Despite appearing in every iteration of the franchise since the original, it's not clear if V.A.T.S. will be in Fallout 76.The game's E3 trailer didn't show a single moment of the tactical targeting system, and it's hard to imagine how you could freeze combat in a multiplayer game without annoying the other players. It's possible the game could have a modified version of V.A.T.S, like the slowdown mechanic introduced in the VR version of Fallout 4, but it's unclear at this time.

Fallout 76 probably isn't mod compatible

If you don't like something about a Bethesda game, you can probably change it. At least traditionally. Ever since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, PC gamers have been modifying and tweaking Bethesda games. Sometimes this means giving it a graphics overhaul. Other times, it means building an entirely new game on top of the retail product's foundation. Either way, it's doubtful Mods will work their way into Fallout 76. Mods don't typically work in online multiplayer games unless every player is using the same mods.

Unless Bethesda can find a way around this problem, we can't see mods coming to Fallout 76.

Death isn't the end

Fallout 76 is definitely an online survival game, but Bethesda describes it as a "softcore" survival game. Death doesn't mean loss of progression or of end of your character like it does in other online survival games. This means you can play, take risks and fail without fear of feeling like you've lost hours of gameplay for one mistake.

If you join in on a friends game, that progression goes with you to their world, too. The online element, Howard says, is more about giving players a way to share their memorable game experience with others... though other players can absolutely be a threat to your survival. Watch out for those nuclear warheads.

There's going to be a Beta version of the game before launch

Bethesda says it plans to have a "Break it Early Test Application," for the game. You know. A beta. "I've read on the internet that our games have a few bugs," Howard joked at E3. "Sometimes it doesn't just work."

It's true, Bethesda games have a bit of a reputation for being buggy at launch, and that's not something that goes over well in an online environment. The company is doing everything it can to mitigate a rough launch, and wants to enlist players to help it test the game's dedicated servers before going live to the world. That said, you won't have to wait too long to play it, even if you're not in the beta.

There's a collector's edition -- and it comes with a helmet!

One of the coolest things about Fallout 4 was its collectors edition -- a special edition package that came with a wearable version of the Fallout Pip-Boy device that your character wears in the game. It's even functional, featuring a slot to put a cell phone that allows it to integrate with the game. Fallout 76 has something similar:

The Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition comes with a glow-in-the-dark version of the games map AND a Power Armor Helmet, complete with a working head lamp! The helmet is designed to be wearable, too -- making Fallout 76 cosplay a little easier. You only have to build the rest of the armor yourself.

Fallout 76 comes out this November

Back in 2015, Bethesda showed Fallout 4 for the first time at E3, promising that gamers would be playing it later that year. They were. Now, the company is doing it again -- Fallout 76 will launch on November 14th, 2018. That's only a few months away!

Even so, some fans can't stand the wait, and are already coming up with theories: from analyzing the cover of Take Me Home, Country Roads that plays over the trailer for clues, to examining a blurry purported screenshot of the game lifted from a documentary about Bethesda.