As I’m writing this, the teaser trailer for Fallout 76 has just dropped. It all started with a tweet from Bethesda teasing what was clearly new Fallout information of some kind:
— Bethesda Game Studios (@BethesdaStudios) May 29, 2018
This isn’t anything new, back when they were getting ready to announce Fallout 4 they did something similar (though on a much longer timescale). This reddit post started flying with rumors and speculation, from Fallout 5 to DLC, someone even joked maybe this was an elaborate ruse to announce Elder Scrolls 6. But then, about 16 hours later, we got our answer.
First of all, the setting of these games is essential. They take lots of time to replicate the real world geography of their location. And based on this trailer, it’s easy to guess we’ll be playing in West Virginia this time. That’s a departure from most of the game’s tendency to large, well-known cities.
A Brief History of Fallout
Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, the Fallout games take place in an alternate timeline where nuclear power never went out of vogue, and free near limitless power came to replace the transistor as the most important thing about the 20th century. That’s why everything looks like it was made in the 50s, but they still have flying sentient robots. However, this increased access to nuclear power comes at a cost, and on October 23, 2077, the Great War started.
It was between the United States, China, and the Soviet Union. Luckily it wouldn’t last long. On October 23, 2077 (yes, the same day it started) the war ended due to the apocalyptic nuclear destruction. This is the titular Fallout the games refer to. As in nearly all of them you play as a survivor living in the Wastelands left over years and years after this fight.
But how did anyone survive? Easy. A company called Vault-Tec had planned for this, building nuclear shelters across America for some citizens to take refuge in. The catch? The vaults were actually inhumane research experiments, taking advantage of the newly destroyed world governments to see what happens to people when driven to extreme circumstances.
For example, Vault 21 was designed entirely around gambling, where Vault 77 only contained one man and a crate full of puppets. Vault 68 had one woman and 999 men, where it’s counterpart Vault 69 had only one man and 999 women. Vault 92 contained just well-known musicians and secretly tested a type of sonic weaponry Vault-Tec designed. 106 pumped psychoactive drugs into the air without the residents knowing. So on and so forth.
Well, one of the only things the trailer does make clear for us is that the player character comes from Vault 76, so what does that mean? Well, here’s the exciting part. Vault 76 is a control group, designed to work as it’s dwellers believed it would. Stay closed for 20 years, then open back up. Nothing strange about it. So what does this tell us?
What To Expect From Fallout 76
Well, for starters, 20 years after the war is MUCH sooner than any of the other games take place, save for Fallout 1. Perhaps this is the Fallout games getting back to their roots, like how Zelda did around this time last year with Breath of the Wild? It’s also interesting the war started in 2077, and this game is called Fallout 76, leading some to speculate this could be a prequel to the war of some kind. Things in the trailer do look a little to clean to be after the apocalypse.
Of course, some people are taking a more meta view. With the recent success of games like Fortnite, it’s possible this is a battle royal game of some kind. Or a sort of Elder Scrolls: Online for Fallout. Or, perhaps we’re looking into this too much, and it will just be a Fallout 4.5 like Fallout New Vegas was.
Right now, it’s just too early to tell. But the good news is it won’t be for long; E3 is coming up fast and we at Nerd it Here First are sure we’ll see what they have planned for this game and more there. Of course, we’ll be bringing you coverage of E3 2018 as it goes up. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and come back regularly to see just what this new Fallout game is all about and more.