Fallout 76 Wastelanders has been out for a little while now. The expansion is huge, changing the entire face of Fallout 76, and I can confirm that it’s all for the better. The game was fine on its own, but it felt empty and lonely, and now that’s all been fixed with the addition of something as simple as human NPCs.
You never really think about what other Fallout games would be like without the human NPCs, but with Fallout 76 you got to live it. Every time you heard a voice you got a bit too excited because you thought there might be a human at the other end of the radio signal. Sadly though, the game always had a way of preventing you from meeting other people, whether it was with robots, or just old voice recordings.
It’s hard to fault Bethesda for the reasons behind the lack of human NPCs. It fits very well with Fallout 76’s lore of having a plague going around, killing or infecting everyone. The trouble is that it made the game a chore. After just a few weeks of playing Fallout 76 Wastelanders, I feel much better about playing it because I’m actually enjoying myself. There are still bugs, I still feel underpowered in areas where are random high-level enemies, but it’s the people that make the experience worth it.
Everywhere you go in the Appalachian Wasteland there are signs of life. Whether it’s the giant settlements for the Raiders and Settlers, or the odd cabin with a light on in the woods, people are ever-present. You also come across settlers living their lives as usual in the world, where before there were empty buildings, or just nothing.
Everything about Fallout 76 feels new and alive with Wastelanders. The old questline is still there to complete, and it feels a bit odd that it makes no use of people now, but there’s so much more in the world to find thanks to the addition of people. In a way, it feels like this was Bethesda’s plan all along. I don’t know if they’ll ever admit that they planned to add people but couldn’t, but that’s certainly how it feels. The game is a natural fit with human NPCs, whereas it felt like a spin-off game without them.
I’m still really enjoying the game now, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, unless Bethesda kill it somehow. Let me know if you like the humans in Fallout 76 in the comments.
We’re starting a new series here on PowerupGaming with Fallout Friday. Each Friday we’ll be discussing a Fallout game that we’ve been playing, though it will mainly be Fallout 76. The aim is to shine a light on all the best parts of the series and why we enjoy them.