The ’76 Diaries: Part Four

Met with another patch, my heart sinks. I am scarred from Fallout 76’s massive download requirements on my internet that would have been laughably slow even in 2008, when nobody had fast internet.

But it’s only a 2.84GB patch – I can handle this! I can do something like take the dog for a walk, get a loaf of bread on the go, and plan for my future free of diaries about a game I really don’t want to play anymore. This is manageable!

Patch downloaded in a pretty reasonable amount of time – just a few hours – I dive back in to my camp… to my camp… to my… where the hell is my camp? Oh wait there it is, loading in a good 30 seconds after I’ve started the game.

A swift breakdown of all the garbage I’ve been collecting, and we’re good to go into the wilds of the wasteland once more. I feel an urge to press north, and some mission markers in that direction give me good reason to do just that.

First I need to talk to this robot chap who’s quipping comedically about being tethered to this spot for the rest of eternity with the corpse of his owner next to him. I chuckle as he gives me some vague mission to build a generator, then cease chucklement as some Scorched appear from nowhere (again) and promptly kill me, because one of them was level 26 for some reason.

Cool, that’s both fair and exciting. Exactly what you want to happen when you’re meandering through the relatively safe space of the game’s opening region. Top fun! Where’s the sarcasm punctuation mark…

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The joy of discovery: always tempered by utter boredom.

Anyway, looting my own paper bag/corpse and setting off boldly to the north, I am met by… nothing on the way. At all. Some rhododendrons to pick. Some rocks to mantle (‘shuffle up’). Some… nothing. There’s just nothing in this game, is there?

I reach my target, a town in the north with a mayor I’m to meet – for some reason my brain thinks he’ll be a person, before remembering there are no people in this game (not even real ones playing it, it’s absolutely empty) and – yes! – the mayor is a computer. You pulled that trick in Fallout 3 and it was pretty good, guys. Now it’s just dull.

He gives me a mission to clean up the town, and again I idiotically assume this must mean something it does not. I think the machine speaks euphemistically and I will be sent on a combat spree. What it actually means is I need to fix some ticket machines and pick up 10 bottles.

Pick up 10 bottles. An actual mission telling me to collect rubbish.

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I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED HE WOULD BE A ROBOT.

The simple fact is, after just a few weeks of dip-in-and-out play, I can no longer be bothered with Fallout 76. I’m only still playing it because I opted to write this ongoing diary, but it’s so utterly bereft of redeeming features I just can’t be bothered any more.

There are better things to do with my time, like play fetch quests in games that actually offer something beyond a literal instruction to go an pick up 10 beer bottles.

I will endeavour to continue, dear reader, because there has to be something more to it than this. But it’s not looking hopeful, and even if I end up playing SNES games for 12 hours instead, you’ll know I at least tried.

Coming soon – Part 5: The end is, once again, nigh

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