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Fallout 76: Wastelanders is Almost a Fun Game

Bethesda’s almost done it. They’ve almost turned around one of the worst games they’ve ever released. Almost.

Fallout 76 received the massive story and world-changing update, Wastelanders, on April 14th, and things have been going fairly well ever since. About a year has passed in actual game-time, and with the Scorched Plague under control thanks to a vaccine developed by the Vault 76 residents and their Overseer, people are able to live peacefully without fear of turning into zombified thralls to giant bat monsters.

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The main addition to the game this time around is the introduction of humans. A year after the first residents of Vault 76 left the safety of their shelter after 25 years of captivity, more people have returned to Appalachia. New characters quickly meet two of these new settlers, a pair of women looking for something that has driven the resettlement of Appalachia: treasure. A mysterious individual, going by Crane, announced to the world that a secret treasure was hidden in Appalachia, and people started flooding back in search of whatever it could be, no matter the risks.

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These two direct you toward one of the three major new locations: the Wayward, a newly opened bar a little ways down the road from Vault 76, across from the Overseer’s C.A.M.P module. Here, players are introduced to Duchess, the proprietor of the Wayward, who needs your help getting some raiders off her back. Without the help of her usual bodyguards, who have gone missing on a mission to hold back a horde of Scorched, Duchess helps you convince this new raider gang, called the Free-Radicals, to leave the Wayward alone.

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And, of course, you can. You can go and help Duchess secure the Wayward. Or you can use Duchess’s plan to uncover the headquarters of these raiders and join up with them. The Free-Radicals are not like most raider gangs you see in Fallout. They are self-proclaimed pragmatists who take what they need with force and with little care for those around them. They don’t simply kill for the enjoyment of it. Those would be the Blood Eagles, another new raider gang that’s popped up in Appalachia.

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Neither the Free-Radicals or the Blood Eagles are part of one of the two main new factions, though. Those are the Settlers and the Raiders. The Settlers of Foundation and the Raiders of the Crater are the two new factions, at odds with each other. The Raiders, led by a former Appalachian raider who’s returned with her own army, control the remains of a crashed Space Station, while the Settlers, led by a former construction worker escaping the Capital Wasteland, control Spruce Knob, which has been renamed to Foundation. With the Overseer’s help, players can inoculate these two factions to the Scorched plague, but sometimes the conflicts between people can be worse than the conflicts between us and nature…

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Overall, Fallout 76 still has a lot of issues. The servers still lag, the game still stutters, and you can still disconnect more than you’d like, but now you can do all of that in a living, functional world. I guess, when it comes down to it, it is personal preference. Will you be returning to Fallout 76 with the Wastelanders update? Do you think that Bethesda has done right by Fallout fans? Talk about it in the comments below