Following a lengthy Twitch stream where not much happened, Bethesda Game Studios brought everything to a close with a trailer for Fallout 76. What is Fallout 76? We don't quite know yet, as Bethesda is planning to release more details during its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018 presentation on June 10 at 6:30PM PT. But what can today's trailer tell us?
The trailer kicks off with a cover version of Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver, sticking with Fallout's love of classic tunes. Given the lyrics to that song, this likely places the setting in West Virginia. The camera pans out to show a radio, highlighting the date as October 27, 2102. This puts Fallout 76 significantly before any other title in the Fallout universe. The first Fallout begins in 2160 according to the in-game timeline, while Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout 4 start in 2241, 2277, and 2287.
2102 is the year that Richard Moreau was exposed to the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). The virus made him into the mutant-controlling Master, the primary antagonist of the first game. So there are mutants, but Super Mutants aren't created by the Master until the next year. So the game takes place before some of the familiar Fallout staples are really established.
A poster on the wall refers to Vault 76 being the "official vault of the tricentennial". Vault 76 was previously mentioned Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, in terminal entries. It's a control vault, meaning it wasn't supposed to go through any of the social experiments that affected many of the other vaults. Its dwellers were all chosen, without any of the any problems that touched the vaults in previous games. These are the folks who were supposed to rebuild the world. Obviously, they failed.
"When the fighting has stopped, and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild," says a politician on a television in the teaser. "In Vault 76, our future begins."
The camera pans over a series of plaques that point to things not going completely as planned within the Vault. It looks like food might've become scarce and the dwellers had to resort to some cannibalism.
"In appreciation for your commitment and dedication to our isolation program. Sacrificing many so some can live," says one plaque.
"In recognition of the canned mystery meat experiment you volunteered to eat when nobody else would we are proud of you, and are glad you are not dead," says another.
There are unsourced reports that Fallout 76 is a Fallout-themed Rust clone. That would make it a survival game where you have to build fortifications and find food out in the Wasteland. Kotaku's Jason Schreier has also mentioned in passing that he's heard that Fallout 76 isn't a traditional single-player RPG, instead relying on some online aspects.
Both rumors would dovetail together nicely and fit with the fictional established above. Fallout 4 already played around with base-building aspects, so an entire, semi-online game focused on that and survival mechanics does feel like a logical spin-off of the franchise.
Regardless, we'll find out more about Fallout 76 when E3 2018 rolls around.