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Fallout 76 is a major new evolution for the long-running series, as we got to find out in our recent hands-on session. It takes the nuclear war ravaged wasteland that we're accustomed to exploring in isolation and turns it into an always-online multiplayer game, opening it up for players to come together. Fallout 76 will enable dozens of players to explore and adventure together--either as friends or enemies, so naturally, the game world will have to be big enough to accommodate them. On top of that it also needs to have enough activities to keep them engaged for hours on end.
Bethesda says Fallout 76 is the biggest game it has ever created. At E3 2018 the studio said it will be "four times larger" than Fallout 4, which already offers a pretty expansive game world. While we'll have to wait until its launch (or at least beta) to get a feel for it from the ground-level, at a recent hands-on event we got a top-down look at the world through an in-game map. Below you can see everywhere in West Virginia that you'll be able to explore.
Although the specific locations are unmarked, you can get a good feel for the overall framework of the map. As the key in the bottom left shows, this layout is mapped based on the Wilderness Survey #76-2076.2 and plots out major roadways, main highways, interstate highways, railroads, and the river, alongside the mounts and cliffs encasing it all.
On the left-hand side of the map, towards the top corner, you can see Vault 76, where players will start off the game. Fallout 76 is a prequel to the previous games in the series and players are cast as one of the first of the Vault dwellers to emerge into the untamed wasteland. This time around, the wasteland is in better shape than in previous Fallout titles, and your task is to make the most of what remains to rebuild civilization.
Bethesda has previously confirmed that human NPCs won't factor into the game in a major way, as other players are the focus. Instead Fallout 76 will use robot NPCs, recordings, and environmental storytelling to deliver its narrative and dish out tasks. For more on the nitty-gritty of what's involved, check out article on everything we know about Fallout 76.
Fallout 76 is set to launch on November 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A pre-order exclusive beta will be available in October for all platforms (though Xbox One owners get in first). The beta will include the entire game and progress carries forward to the full release.