The Fallout series is back just two years after Fallout 4 launched to critical acclaim. But in a series first, the latest game is a full MMORPG experience. So has the multiplayer aspect of Fallout 76 actually increased its map size? Todd Howard certainly believes so.
Bethesda’s CEO appeared on stage at Microsoft’s E3 press conference back in June to reveal the first gameplay footage. One of the big takeaways was his claim that Fallout 76’s map was four times larger than Fallout 4. We’re not so sure, though, based on our own experience.
First, let’s recap The Commonwealth map of Fallout 4.
Interestingly, based on our own research, its map wasn’t actually that big. We included it as part of 25 biggest open world games article and it wasn’t even close to breaching the top 10. It clocked in at just 3.82 mile², and YouTube channel 8-Bit Bastard 41 minutes to cross the map at a walking pace.
For reference, we estimated Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to clock in at somewhere around 90 mile², taking around 16 minutes to cross the map at a full sprint on horseback.
Fallout 76’s numbers have us slightly confused. Our journey across West Virginia map took almost exactly half the amount of time it took to walk across Fallout 4, at just 21 minutes. How does that make any sense if the game is supposed to be four times the size?
Now before we go crying foul straight away, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t an exact science. You’ll notice in our video above that we were running not walking, and sprinting whenever possible.
But equally, we were forced to walk, engage in one or two firefights, and were slowed down by having to regenerate our heath a few times. It wasn’t a straight-shoot by any stretch of the imagination. So wouldn’t that more than account for the difference?
Not to mention, we’re not talking about the map being either equal or slightly larger. Todd Howard claimed four times the size… Perhaps he was referring to the area of the explorable landmass? The Commonwealth did have a lot of water, after all. Yet still, it doesn’t feel right.
Adding further fuel to our skepticism was a video we found over on YouTube from How Big is the Map. They ran at a full sprint across the map of Fallout 4 and recorded a fairly comparable 15 minutes. So less time than Fallout 76, sure, but not enough to convince us the map is four times smaller.
Look, we’re not complaining about the map size of Fallout 76. It’s more than enough sandbox and packed with plenty of interesting features that promises to make for an enjoyable gaming experience. In fact, we’re actually pretty impressed with the beta overall.
We’re just not entirely sure that Howard’s original claims in terms of sheer size. West Virginia certainly doesn’t feel any more substantial in terms of scale, and according to our numbers, most probably isn’t.