As with every installment of the Fallout series, the announcement of Fallout 76 came with plenty of speculation. People were skeptical that the announcement would be anything more than a spinoff game, or maybe even just a mobile game.
But Fallout 76 is much, much more than that. As we learned on Sunday at E3, it’s a huge, sprawling prequel to all four main Fallout games. That announcement came with a bit of news about the size of the game. In a word, it’s huge.
Bethesda also showed off another trailer for Fallout 76 on Sunday as well during Microsoft’s session.
The trailer sheds some official light on the game’s timeline: Vault 76 was opened in 2076, on the nation’s tricentennial. And the vault residents indeed will get out into the wilderness much earlier than any of the other games. That means Fallout 76 is a true prequel, and will feature a much wilder, less established society outside of the Vault.
And unlike many of the other experiments and chaos-filled vaults found spread out in the other games, it seems this Vault really was meant to help rebuild. The narration talks about not just rebuilding homes and towns but also “hearts,” with an image of what looks to be a college and a final shot showing a white building that looks very similar to the north portico of the White House, or maybe the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.
The Capital Wasteland was the setting for Fallout 3, of course, but if the game truly is four times bigger than Fallout 4 then it’s entirely possible that a game set in the Virginia mountains might include an earlier look at some areas we see in later games.
There’s a lot of potential here, and critics of the building aspects of the most recent Fallout set in Boston might not be eager to rebuild a society all over again. But a huge, sprawling Fallout game always seems to have something for everyone. And this is clearly set to be Bethesda’s biggest post-apocalyptic installment yet.