After Bethesda appeared to tease a new entry in the Fallout series yesterday, the internet flew into speculation mode. What was it? There’s no way it could be Fallout 5, it’s too soon for that. The general consensus was that Bethesda was going to announce a Switch port of Fallout 4 in the same manner as they’d announced the original game. And then, late last night, the proverbial vault opened once more to reveal a teaser for Fallout 76.
The short in-engine teaser shows an empty vault in perfect condition, apparently deserted but set up for a big party. A poster in a deserted bedroom promotes the United States’ tricentennial in 2076, and what looks to be a mess hall promotes Reclamation Day. Ron Perlman’s now-traditional voice over eschews the standard “War. War never changes,” in favour of a rather more hopeful “For when the fighting has stopped, you must rebuild,” and “In Vault 76, our future begins.”
The game’s title refers to Vault 76, an in-universe “control vault,” built to hold 500 occupants and used to conduct experiments against other control vaults around the US. Vault 76 is located in the mountainous West Virginia on the US east coast, further confirmed by the cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” used in the trailer. West Virginia, for those Australians who don’t know their US geography, is about a six hour drive from Washington DC, Fallout 3‘s Capital Wasteland.
Vault 76, according to Fallout lore, was supposed to open only 20 years after the nuclear war that decimated the US, which is presumably what Reclamation Day is all about — we’re getting out of this vault and we’re going to take our ruined country back. This means that Fallout 76, whatever form it takes, may present a very different looking version of the long-decayed post-nuke landscape than we’re used to seeing in the series.
And that’s really all we know about the game so far. Is it an MMO? Is it (god help us) a battle royale shooter? A 3D version of Fallout Shelter? Is it, as Kotaku reports, an online survival RPG? Or, perhaps most wild of all, and against our most cynical inclinations, is it an actual Fallout game in the style of Fallout: New Vegas? We’ll have to wait for Bethesda’s E3 showcase to find out more.
You can visit the official Fallout 76 site here. Fallout 76 does not currently have a release date or any confirmed platforms.