Bethesda Teases “Fallout 76”

Two weeks ahead of E3 and at the tail-end of a multi-hour stream, Bethesda dropped a teaser trailer for a new Fallout title, Fallout 76. Here’s what we know so far.

What is Fallout 76?

The information we have right now is linked to the minute-and-a-half trailer and therefore limited, but the title, Fallout 76, deviates from the game’s trend of releasing direct sequels or themed side-games like Fallout: New Vegas. In a tweet, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier claims that those who “expect Fallout 76 to be a traditional single-player RPG will be VERY disappointed”. It’s important to keep in mind that Scheier doesn’t represent Bethesda in any official capacity, but it’s worth humoring the possibility that this could be a departure from the standard Fallout games. Unfortunately, the short teaser trailer showed no gameplay, so we’ll have to wait to find out more.

Where is Fallout 76 set?

While Bethesda’s left us in the dark on gameplay details, the teaser gives us some significant hints as to where the game is set. The trailer opens by zooming the camera back from one of the game’s classic Pip-Boy wrist computers, showcasing a clock that reads “21 Oct 2102”. In the Fallout series, the great war ended when the bombs dropped on October 23, 2077, so it looks like we’re picking up just 25 years after the nuclear apocalypse. For comparison, Fallout 3 took place in 2277, with the stories of New Vegas and Fallout 4 taking place in 2282 and 2287 respectively.  Additionally, the original Fallout‘s story begins in 2161, making Fallout 76 the earliest look at the Fallout Universe we’ve seen so far.

Beyond time, the trailer and game lore also give us significant hints about the game’s location. At the end of the trailer, we’re given visual confirmation in the form of a classic Vault jumpsuit that the game at least features “Vault 76”, one of Vault-Tec’s bunkers meant to survive the war while also administering a series of unethical experiments. According to the terminal, though, Vault 76 is one of Vault-Tec’s control vaults, where the doors were set to open after twenty years (maybe twenty-five here?).

Vault 76’s location is hinted at in Fallout 3‘s Citadel location, where the game’s heroic Brotherhood of Steel faction keeps a map of known Vaults. The Citadel’s terminal suggests Vault 76 is located somewhere in Virginia, an idea seemingly corroborated by the teaser’s iconic backing track, Take Me Home, Country Roads, a 1971 John Denver classic about returning home to West Virginia, though the song mentions many locations and features more specific to (East) Virginia.

When will we hear more?

With Bethesda locked in for a pre-E3 showcase on Sunday, June 10th, it’s likely we can expect to hear (and see) more details about the game and what exactly it is in about a week and a half. Until then, all we have is one minute and thirty-four seconds’ worth of speculation.


All Images: Bethesda Game Studios


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