Over the last decade, video games as a medium reached their absolute peak. Every year from around 2008-2015 video game creators produced tons of can’t-miss hits, and gamers ate it all up with $60 spoons. Consoles, PC or handheld devices, it didn’t matter; there was a revolution. Then of course around 2015 all of that stopped. Video game producers all colluded to produce less titles of value, and the entire world was ruined forever. Grand Theft Auto V and Rockstar Games proved that a great game could be a cash cow for years with enough online upgraded content slowly released to the public. Hell, it’s been 5 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto V and it still makes millions in online transactions. Thanks to this, universally acclaimed AAA titles are now carefully dispersed slowly, sucking every last cent it can out of the economy with a tactical marketing strategy. Once you’ve purchased all the DLC and extra goodies, well maybe it’s time for a new generation of consoles, or a remastered edition…and so on. To put it simply, game companies have learned to manipulate us, they know how to make us react.
I bring up this semi-researched conspiracy theory specifically due to a tease, and subsequent trailer for a new game apparently being worked on by Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda of course, had a hand in making several of the greatest video games ever made including The Elder Scrolls series and my personal favorite, Fallout. As the Fallout universe is the greatest canon ever put into video games, fans of the series are very susceptible to the hype machine known as modern game marketing. Naturally, Bethesda’s tease on Twitter showing the well-known “Please Stand By” Indian Head test pattern made more than a few people grab their chests/stomachs/groins in anticipation. After a day of cock-teasing, Bethesda came right back with a trailer for what is apparently a new game, Fallout 76. Ok friends, you’ve suckered me in once again.
Right out of the chute, the cinematics of the trailer look great. A perfect mix of flakey paint and dust, and plenty of polished game assets from Fallout 4. However, this is clearly a new location. We see the inside of a Vault, a fresher, cleaner vault than we’re used to. The old timey music singing about the Virginia country. Oh god that was Ron Pearlman’s voice wasn’t it? Finally, we see a non-descript person put on his vault suit, with a fresh and sexy “76” on the back. If you’re a hopelessly involved dork like myself, you might remember that Vault 76 was referred to as being a “control vault” in the greater Washington D.C area. Oh man, oh man oh man oh man oh-
<smokes the front half of a black and mild after having been thoroughly serviced>
Alright, let’s take a breath, and assess what we actually know. Yes, it’s a new game, but we have NOTHING in regards to what ports. Console? Mobile? Weird East German Calculator? No idea. Also, there’s been plenty of speculation about the next Fallout game including more of an online function. Does this mean we’re in for a MMO game a la Elder Scrolls Online? <shudders> But most importantly, how big of a game can this really be? It’s only been three years since Fallout 4, and that game took the better part of eight years to make! Can we really expect a densely populated wasteland with hundreds of hours of content and countless raiders, ghouls and mutants to slay? Probably not. Fret not however, for there is one thing I know for sure. Bethesda’s E3 presentation is in two weeks…
…and they’ve got us all by the balls for it.
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