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5... 4... 3... oh frig it, Fallout 76 launched early

Nuclear launch detected

Almost as if they know we are celebrating Apocalypse Day on RPS and they want in, Bethesda seem to have released Fallout 76 earlier than planned. The game's due to launch at midnight--at your midnight, wherever you are--so it is meant to already be live in some places but players from Europe and North America are reporting they're in now too. While the nights are drawing in, I'm fairly sure it's not midnight yet. Bethesda have also spoken about their broad plans for post-launch content, including opening more Vaults (where I imagine things will have gone less happily than in our merry 76) and adding a faction-based PvP system.

If you've bought Fallout 76, you should now be able to play it? Our Dave and Matthew says they're playing just fine and dandy right now, as do folks on that there Reddit. I don't have it, so I don't know.

Fallout 76 costs £50/$60 from Bethesda, and runs through their client. Yup, no Steam release here. Which is a bit of a bother, given that Steam is well-tested and Bethesda's client has seen problems including deleting all 47GB of beta pre-load then not uninstalling the beta if you hadn't bought it. Couple that with the buginess of Bethesda's singleplayer RPGs, let alone multiplayer games, and some of FO76's sizeable beta exploits... ah, we'll soon see what shape it's in at launch. As for the future...

"We have an incredible list of updates we've begun work on," Bethesda said in yesterday's announcement, "from C.A.M.P. building improvements, new quests and events, new Vaults opening, character respecing, a faction-based PvP system, and much more."

Fallout 76's planned mod support might take over a year, Bethesda have said before. I would not buy the game on the assumption that mods will come and fix things.

Here's some of what our Matthew got up to in the beta:

Watch on YouTube

Ah I don't know, I'm skipping this one. I mostly like Bethesda's open-world RPGs for pottering around big places full of simulated cities and people with daily routines and all that, but all NPCs in this are robots, wildlife, or mindless feral ghouls. That means quests have to be simpler too and... I know it's meant to be a survival sandbox with other players bringing life to the world, but I'm over the novelty of survival and it'll need to do something special to hook me. Plus it's still hilarious that Fallout 76 lets players launch nukes at each other (and as a reward!) with few consequences beyond being a nuisance and causing minor setbacks.

Do check our Fallout 76 guide for a few starting tips.

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