Bethesda has surprised fans by officially announcing the next entry in its beloved Fallout franchise, Fallout 76. After a day of online teases, it revealed the new project with a brief teaser trailer that offers some hints of what to expect and a look at its Vault 76 setting. But as Bethesda boss Todd Howard said just before it debuted, this was only meant as a tease--more is coming at E3 2018.
Still, we do know more than you might think after a single viewing. We've gone through the video a number of times and noticed a few noteworthy things. Bethesda has also confirmed the game's platforms, although there's not yet any word on a release date. That said, the company has made a habit of not announcing things far in advance, so it's reasonable to expect the wait won't be terribly long.
More will undoubtedly be revealed during Bethesda's E3 press conference, which happens on June 10. We'll also be hearing more about Rage 2 and whatever other projects the company has in the works--it's already teased that this will be its biggest show ever.
What Platforms Is It On?
Bethesda has confirmed Fallout 76 is being released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, there's no word about a Nintendo Switch release, which didn't seem out of the question after the Skyrim re-release made it to that platform. That could always be coming later, but for the time being, it's only coming to those three platforms.
Who's Developing It?
Bethesda Game Studios, the Maryland-based developer responsible for the Elder Scrolls series and both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, is at work on the game. It's possible other Bethesda studios are also working on the project, but BGS is the only one confirmed in the extremely brief fact sheet shared with the press. Obsidian, developer of the beloved Fallout: New Vegas, had previously suggested it isn't involved with what Bethesda was teasing.
What Is Vault 76?
Given the game's name and what we see in the trailer, Vault 76 is seemingly set to play a major role in the game. Although it's not a place we've visited before, this isn't the series' first mention of it. Both Fallout 3 and 4 reference it and, according to the Fallout Wikia, it was occupied by 500 people who were meant to be a control group. It was intended to be opened 20 years after a nuclear war. A poster seen in the Vault shows its existence was meant to mark the United States' tricentennial in 2076.
When Does It Take Place?
Fallout 76 is at least partially set in the year 2102, based on the date subtly displayed on a Pip-Boy in the trailer. In Fallout lore, the bombs fell in 2077, and the first Fallout game was set in 2161; Fallout 2 in 2241; Fallout 3 in 2277; New Vegas in 2281; and Fallout 4 in 2287. That would mean this game is set far earlier than any previous title, which could offer a different sort of perspective on the world. The specific date on the Pip-Boy is October 27, 2102; that could be pointing to a release date for the game.
What Is Reclamation Day?
One of the most striking shots in the trailer shows the Vault's atrium decorated for something called Reclamation Day. Based on the celebration and imagery, it's likely this is the day the Vault is meant to open and the occupants are meant to begin rebuilding the outside world. What's curious is that the aforementioned dates don't quite match up--if the Vault was supposed to open 20 years after the bombs fell, why have 25 years gone by?
What Song Is Playing?
The trailer begins with the Pip-Boy playing a song--"Country Roads" by John Denver. It talks about going home to West Virginia, which could perhaps serve as the location for the Vault 76 and the game.
Is It An Online Survival Game?
Fallout 76 might be a much different sort of game, according to a report from Kotaku, which says the game will have online survival elements inspired by the likes of Rust. Officially, Bethesda hasn't said anything to suggest this is the case, but we'll surely know more once E3 rolls around.