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If you're interested in Fallout 76, Bethesda's upcoming multiplayer take on the Fallout universe, you can now read a couple of fresh interviews with the game's developers. The one from The Guardian features Todd Howard and mostly revolves around the importance of emergent gameplay for a Bethesda-style multiplayer Fallout game. An excerpt:
“We avoid the word ‘survival’, because people’s minds immediately go to DayZ and Rust and certain other games, and those comparisons are not really accurate for what we’re doing,” Howard says. “If you think about the survival modes we’ve made in Fallout 4, it has that vibe … Fallout 76, although it’s an online game, when I play it, I mostly still play it solo. We like those experiences as much as our fans do.”
Howard feels that the addition of other players simply amplifies what people love most about Bethesda games: the one-off moments that result from exploring and playing around, rather than the scripted ones. “I usually find in our games, the best moments aren’t the ones that we designed,” he says. “They’re when you’re out in the open world and different systems collide. Putting that power in the hands of the players exponentially increases the number of different magic moments that can happen in the game.
“Some other games out there have done a little bit of that, but not in the way we wanted to do it. Fallout 76 is a mix of what you’d expect of us – there’s an open world, with our kinds of quests, and you do have a goal – but then you don’t know what’s gonna happen when you run into somebody else. That interested us greatly from a design-mood standpoint.”
And then we have Bethesda's Pete Hines talking to GamesIndustry.biz about Fallout 76's broad range of possible player interactions, including plenty of opportunities for cooperation and PvP. Check it out:
Quests will be unlocked by finding holotapes, robots and other objects in the world that activate each story. It might sound a little soulless compared to the character-driven exploits of games past, but Hines believes it will create an even more engaging experience than previous Fallouts.
In fact, looking at the publisher's template for open-world RPGs, shared across both the post-apocalyptic franchise and fantasy counterpart The Elder Scrolls, the exec believes that the way such games are structured actually detracts from the player's experience. NPCs remove some of the fear and the excitement from the unknown, which is arguably the core of any game built on exploration.
"In our previous games, if you're walking up a hill and there's an enemy NPC we've placed there, there's a little red thing that shows up on your compass to say 'that guy's a bad guy'," Hines explains. "We cheated for you. You already know. But [in Fallout 76] you don't know anything about that person or what their motives are, unless you've come across them before.
"There are systems in place to keep it from turning into a gunfight if that's not what people want. It does PvP but more like issuing challenges. And so we're still figuring some of this out in playtesting, but the basic idea is you see somebody and there should be tension. In that respect it's no different than I walk into a town in Fallout 4 and see a Deathclaw."