Today I was hoping to have up my initial impressions of the B.E.T.A. of Fallout 76–a sort of first look that Bethesda promised would be full of bugs. Well, they weren’t kidding, as many PC users discovered that their preloaded games were deleted by the launcher as the B.E.T.A. was just getting underway. Since the download servers were swamped with those trying to desperately get a copy of the client onto their PCs, the downloads slowed to a snail’s pace, leaving most PC players out of luck for that B.E.T.A. timeslot. PlayStation 4 players were unaffected.
For many this is not only a first impression to Fallout 76, but also to Bethesda’s game launcher–their foray into a video game platform. The first impression was not a good one, as I had to take to Twitch just to see Fallout 76 in action.
The only warning many had that there was any amiss was the preload restarting, but by then it was too late. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s tweet to “not click anything” in the launcher was missed by most who were eager to get into the B.E.T.A., and ineffective–since some reported following Bethesda’s instructions and still being left without access.
As anyone would guess, most PC players were unhappy about this. Though some were understanding, saying things like “it’s just a beta,” to others, that wasn’t the whole story. While it’s expected that things will go wrong in a beta test, and Bethesda had indeed promised bugs, Bethesda’s B.E.T.A. was not a traditional beta test, in that players had paid for the privilege of being part of it. Anyone who paid for B.E.T.A. access would get a first look, warts and all, and help bring the game to life in its final form. Paying for access to the test was also paying for a first look, and an entire population of Bethesda’s devoted Fallout fans simply didn’t get the chance despite having spent the money to guarantee their spot, and despite having followed Bethesda’s advice and preloaded well in advance.
Not unaware of the frustration PC players are experiencing, Bethesda has decided to increase the time window for November 1st’s test. Still, some people are feeling like more should have been done to ensure that PC players got the same access that PlayStation 4 players got yesterday. Check out the full, updated B.E.T.A. schedule here.
Fallout 76 is a departure from most games in the Fallout series. Eschewing a single player narrative for stories created by the players, Bethesda hopes to capture some of that open world survival magic that was the hot ticket a few years ago.
When I finally get access to the B.E.T.A. I’ll be sure to write up my impressions. Meanwhile, if anyone who has spent time with the Xbox One and PlayStation versions, feel free to leave your impressions in the comments below.
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