I hate being ill. Yesterday I spent the day laying on the couch staring into space and wishing I was at work. A rarity for me, to wish I was at work, but not being able to focus properly on anything meant I wasn’t even using the time to watch films or something that could be useful for this site.
Thankfully Bethesda gave me something to write/rant about with the Fallout 76 subscription being launched. On top of the initial £39.99 that they ask for to allow you to play the game, they have now stuck a price on several features that have been heavily requested by the small but passionate community playing that game still.
I never jumped into it, it never struck me in quite the right way despite initially intriguing me. The idea of a multiplayer coop fallout game was something I had always wanted. To be able to run around Fallout 4 with a mate or three would have really added to the already great experience. What I did not want was a relatively empty world populated only by other players. No NPC’s no single player story.
Upon launch the game was met with terrible reviews and it came out with bugs that had been fixed by the communities’ mods on Fallout 4, suggesting that the players were more capable than the developers of the game. That aside, a community began to develop, people love the fallout world and therefore wanted to enjoy this world despite Bethesda’s own mistakes.
Now, ages after release they are releasing a subscription service that players will have to buy on top of the initial fee, in order to get a load of new features. On the one hand I understand why they feel entitled to some money for the development time spent on this, but on the other hand these are not ground-breaking features. They’re essentially Pay to win features like a move-able fast travel point and unlimited storage for the materials you collect in the world.
I have been tempted over the last year or so to jump into 76 and see what it’s like, this has now turned me off completely. It also has put questions in my head about Bethesda in general. They were once my favourite studio. Fallout New Vegas & Skyrim are two top tier games that I will always love. Skyrim came out in 2011, a year after New Vegas, and since then they have not made a game that has really blown anyone’s socks off. Fallout 4 was just more fallout. It released 5 years after New Vegas, and yet was built on the same engine with basic graphical improvements and not much in the way of new gameplay mechanics besides the crafting/building of the settlements. The shooting was improved, but for a 5 year cycle the game felt very similar to its predecessors.
The call for a new engine has been going for years, and although that is not really the right thing to be calling for (The game engine has changed a lot over the years), it’s the easiest way of saying Bethesda need to produce something new. Outer Worlds will be with us this weekend, and that game looks much better than Fallout 4 and it’s going after the same audience. Whatever their next game is will be scrutinised for bugs and errors, things that were once put down to Bethesda’s ambition and their games being so huge in every way.
That excuse has been burnt to a cinder because of games like The Witcher 3, which have released with bigger worlds, more stories, and a lot fewer game breaking bugs if any. Bethesda can’t afford another Fallout 76, and if the past is anything to go by, the next game will likely be an Elder Scrolls title.
Now I am a little bit protective of that property, and I will be so annoyed if they fuck it up. I have played through Skyrim 5 times, on 3 different platforms. I will play the next game on day 1, and if they only give me Skyrim with a fresh paint job and a new map, I will be…probably too in love with the world to care but deep down I will be furious. I want Bethesda to be the best again, but right now they’re so far behind the Naughty Dogs and Respawns of the world I am worried they may have had their best days already.
That was a long winding roundabout way for me to say “I want a new elder scrolls game” but that’s just where I ended up today. Hopefully Friday’s post will be about something more relevant.