At E3 2018, Bethesda showed off Fallout 76, a game about rebuilding the world a mere 20 years after nuclear bombs ravage the United States. The sprawling adventure challenges you to interact with other players to get the job done, which has some Fallout fans worried: We're all well-versed in how hell is other people. That, however, is part of the fun, says Bethesda's senior vice president of global marketing and communications, Pete Hines.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Hines explains how Fallout 76 does away with NPC merchants and encourages players to buy what they need off other human beings playing the game. Bethesda wants players to experience a bit of "Stranger Danger"-the unease that goes hand-in-hand with having to interact with something as chaotic as another person. You might get killed. But then again, you probably won't.
"In Destiny, they still have NPC [merchants]. If you want to buy something you don't go to other players-you can't go to other players. You go to NPCs and say 'I wanna buy this, I saved up enough of these things'," Hines says. "In our game, if that's how you want to play, you do that with other players, you trade with other people, you travel around the map and buy and sell stuff from folks. Or you can set up a shop."
True, approaching a person might just get you straight-up iced. But since Fallout 76 is an RPG first and foremost, it's not in someone's best interest to hit "LAUNCH ALL" upon meeting their new neighbor. "Yes, there's an element of PvP but it's not every man for himself and the last one standing wins," Hines says. "If you see somebody, you [don't] have to kill them before they kill you because it's not a shooter, it's not battle royale or any one of 100 other things that people assumed that it was. It's an RPG where you can still do quests and explore the world."
If you're still worried about Fallout 76's PVP element spiraling out of control, Hines assured Gamesindustry the game has systems in place to keep every interaction from turning into a gunfight. Plus, you're still able to break down items into their component parts, which makes it possible to avoid trading with merchants if you'd rather do loner junk in the woods. Don't forget, though: Cooperation Makes it Happen.
If worst comes to worst and the reaper comes a-calling? Don't fret: As with other open-world Bethesda games, you won't be penalized much for carking it.
"Todd said before, we don't want death to be a huge negative. It never stops your progression," Hines says. "There are ways to do that without it being punishing and annoying but still having a bit of that 'stranger danger'-is that a friend or foe? Do they think I'm a friend or I'm a foe? How do I want this to play out?"
Check out our guides for Fallout 76 to study up on everything worth knowing about the game before it arrives in November.