“When the fighting has stopped, and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild. In Vault 76, our future begins.” These two lines of dialogue started the hype train for what could be one of the biggest surprise gaming moments of the year.
After a Twitch livestream yesterday in which the company seemed to mess with fans’ heads, Bethesda Game Studios has confirmed that they will be releasing a new title in the long-running Fallout franchise, known as Fallout 76.
The livestream went live on May 29, on the company’s official Twitch channel, and rand for just under a full day before the teaser trailer even started. Utilizing the franchise’s trademark Vault Boy figure and the familiar “Please Stand By” screen that fans of the series have come to know, the stream kept tens of thousands of fans on the edges of their seats. In fact, just prior to the trailer itself starting, the viewer count on Twitch registered at 153,000 viewers, and that number never dipped below 30,000. Talk about a good first impression!
In true Bethesda fashion, some members of the development team (and those behind this reveal) would occasionally pop on screen for silly bits like puppet shows, confetti-throwing, having a drink with Vault Boy, and even to move the Vault Watch (which was added partway through the stream). Each of these little actions, no matter how banal they seemed, made many of us viewers wonder if they were giving clues as to what they were about to show us. I’ll say this for the developers: the team at Bethesda Game Studios certainly knows how to keep us in suspense.
Even after the announcement and teaser trailer, we know precious little about this new game, or even what the story will entail. The teaser trailer seems to show a resident of the titular Vault 76 getting ready for what will be known as “Reclamation Day”, which is apparently the day that humanity emerges from the vaults to take back the planet’s surface. Still, while we are in the dark about a lot of this game, we do have a few small snippets of information about the titular vault.
If you’ve payed close attention in your playthroughs of Fallout 3 and/or Fallout 4, you may have noticed that Vault 76 is mentioned in both of those as one of the 17 “control” vaults, that were designed to reopen 20 years after any nuclear war happened. As the control in the experiments run by those who created the twisted social experiments that went on in each vault, these were to serve as a baseline for all of the results from the rest of the vaults.
What’s interesting about this, is that this information seems to suggest that the time setting for Fallout 76 will be much earlier – and thus closer to the direct aftermath of the nuclear war – than most of the other games in the franchise. This may indicate that we would assume the role of one of the very first survivors to venture into the Wasteland. Additionally, judging by the John Denver song West Virginia playing in the background of the trailer, it might be a good bet that the game’s setting will either be in the Washington DC area, or somewhere in the Shenandoah Mountains (which, for a Virginia guy like me, is pretty cool).
Now, it’s also been suggested (by Jason Schreier of Kotaku) that Fallout 76 may contain an online component. Granted, venturing into the post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland with a friend would be interesting, but nothing has been officially confirmed about that yet. However, it would seem like a strange departure from the norm of the franchise in which the gamer assumes the role of the “Sole Survivor”. Who knows? Perhaps Bethesda is thinking that no one survives alone, and that having friends around could lead to interesting story options. Still, I am hoping for a solid single-player campaign, and lots to discover in Fallout 76, and I have faith that the developers will give us all of that and more on release day.
Of course, now that we have this teaser out in the open and in the minds of gamers, it goes without saying that we’re going to see more of the game at Bethesda’s presentation at this year’s E3 conference, taking place on June 10th at 6:30pm Pacific Time (9:30pm Eastern Time). We’ll definitely be tuning in. Will you?
Let us know your thoughts on the Fallout 76 reveal, dear readers! Are you hoping for anything specific with this new title in the Fallout franchise? Leave us a comment down below, and stay tuned to Pop Culture Uncovered for more details as they develop!