Yesterday, Fallout 76 arrived on Steam, bringing with it the brand new Wastelanders update. It almost seems like a total refresh for the game, introducing human NPCs, warring factions, quests to complete, as well as a bunch of much needed quality of life changes to the Wastelands of Appalachia. You'd almost think Bethesda added all these things purely to spite 76's players however, because shortly after the game went live, Steam users attempted to review-bomb it.
Checking the Steam page after the update had been out for a few hours yesterday, my eyes were drawn to that damning red "mostly negative" reviews text hanging out in the side panel. Taking a look at those reviews to see what all the fuss was about, and the general theme of these user reviews looks a lot like this:
Since last night the review score has evened out to a less threateningly coloured "mixed", but there are still hundreds like these. A lot of other Fallout 76 players are having absolutely none of it, though. Head over to the game's subreddit, and you're met with almost the polar opposite.
"Wastelanders set the bar for future DLC to come. Really awesome and enjoyable new content!" one post reads, before going into loads of detail about how much this user has enjoyed their first experience with all the new stuff.
"Fallout 76 Wastelanders does not exist to me. This is Fallout 76: A Realm Reborn. And I am hella excited to see where it takes me," a returning player wrote. They cut ties with the game a little while ago, but were brought back by Wastelanders.
Usually I wouldn't look at Reddit expecting to find cooler heads or tons of positive posts about a game like Fallout 76, yet here we are.
Some fans have even started comparing it to Hello Games' No Man's Sky, the big open space exploration game that was light on things to do at release but which has been significantly expanded via free updates. Fallout 76 looks like it might be hitting its own turning point now with Wastelanders, making it feel more like the old Fallout games and thus what people wanted from it originally.
I was one of those people adamant I'd never want to play a Fallout game like Fallout 76. But here it is, making a pretty good effort to turn things around, and for the first time I'm actually considering picking it up.
Fallout 76 and the Wastelanders update are out right now, and are available on Steam and the Bethesda launcher. If you're thinking of hopping in, we're currently in the process of updating our Fallout 76 guides to help you get started with all that's new.