Treating the Story as Secondary
For years, Fallout has been one of the most beloved single-player franchises in video games, so understandably, a move to a multiplayer-centric format in the upcoming Fallout 76 is likely to cause plenty of trepidation amongst fans. Of particular concern is the impact on the importance and emphasis placed on narrative.
I want to believe that Bethesda learned their lesson with Elder Scrolls Online in this regard. While the MMORPG now is in a great place, it didn’t start out that way, and people at first lamented on how off it felt compared to the single-player entries. It took time before ESO actually felt like a part of the franchise’s extended universe, simply because the storytelling wasn’t up to par.
Thankfully, that’s changed all changed —recent expansions have matched the standard of writing found in Bethesda-developed single-player titles. Yet we’ve seen all too often that MMORPGs do push story content to the wayside, and for that reason, I understand why people would be nervous. I’d be less worried myself if I would have gotten more of a taste of the game’s story during E3, but that wasn’t the focal point for whatever reason. It’s OK if Fallout 76 is meant to be more of a sandbox game, but there needs to be something there to anchor fans of the mainline games expecting a story that are giving Fallout 76 a try out of brand loyalty, otherwise, it’s going to be problematic.