The Redemption Of Fallout 76? Wastelanders Expansion Transforms The Barren Game Landscape With New Factions, Weapons And Quests

The Redemption Of Fallout 76? Wastelanders Expansion Transforms The Barren Game Landscape With New Factions, Weapons And Quests
Credit: Bethesda via YouTube

Fallout 76 had one of the worst launches in video game history, rivalling even the fiasco of No Man’s Sky. Bethesda received serious flak for its greedy price model, overhyped graphics and features, and the truly dismal state of the game’s performance on launch.

Now, Wastelanders. Much like No Man’s Sky’s series of free updates over the years, Wastelanders is the first major expansion to Fallout 76, available totally for free for those who already own the game. The expansion adds huge variety to the otherwise empty world of 76, with new factions, quests, and gear. It may have, at last, transformed Fallout 76.

Responses to this original trailer were mixed. Many comments include jokes like: “Great, the game is finally being released.” And these are understandable. Bethesda essentially shipped a broken, empty branded-brick of a game and charged full AAA price for the pleasure. The 7,000-odd dislikes on the video attest to the community discontent.

However, if you take a look at the Steam reviews from this week, you’ll notice a surprising uptick in Mostly Positive reviews. This is all down to the success of the Wastelanders Fallout 76 expansion, and the fact that the DLC adds much of the interesting characters, stories and landscapes that the Fallout series is famous for.

After playing for a couple of days, it’s true that the update adds a lot. Dialogue is massively improved, with Fallout 3-esque conversation options, and a variety of different choices for the narrative. The addition of a new main quest gives purpose to the blank canvas of Fallout 76’s Appalachia, and the two new factions (Settlers and Raiders) will feel familiar to long-term Fallout fans.

Fallout 76 Wastelanders makes a return to the classic Fallout narrative format

Alongside the new story, there is also an addition of a lot of new gear, NPCs, quests, events and a new in-game currency system ‘Gold Bullion.’ Gold Bullion collection begins after the main quest ends, and accrue enough of the stuff and you’ll be able to get your hands on some new gear. So far, this in-game currency is only available by grinding in-game. No extra micro-transactions here.

Overall, with a few hours of playtime, Fallout 76 does feel like a new game. There are still bugs, lighting issues, and all the typical Fallout insanity which has come to be expected from Bethesda flagship games, but at least the world doesn’t feel so empty. No matter what you think of the Fallout 1st subscription service, or the game’s poor performance at launch, if you already own the game, this DLC is definitely worth trying.