Bleats

Fallout 76 Is Officially Deemed Awful Which Means Fallout 5 Had Better Be Nothing Short Of Brilliant

No amount of cute Vault Boy animations can change the fact that FO76 is a mess and the wake up call Bethesda needed.

Among the many video games that have caught my eye over the years, the Fallout series occupies a very special spot in my cold heart.

From 1998’s Fallout to 2015’s Fallout 4, the series has offered up a mature and unique take on a post-apocalyptic world while being hilariously meta, game systems that are deep and well-realised yet easy to learn, and told several stories that are completely bonkers yet thematically rich (generally speaking).

However, it upsets me to say the general consensus about latest game in the series, Fallout 76, is that it is simply awful.

In trying to shoehorn a rich multiplayer experience into what’s traditionally been a single-player game only resulted in the worst of both worlds since it feels like Fallout 76 isn’t sure what it wants to be. And then there’s the whole technical side of things, which range from outdated graphics to long wait times, frequent server issues and more crashes than a 1970s F1 race.

And I’m not the only one who thinks that the game is a big miss for Bethesda and the Fallout series.

At the time of writing, Fallout 76 is sitting on a dismal score of around 50 on Metacritic (depending on the console), which is a far cry from the 87 of Fallout 4 and the 91 of 2008’s Fallout 3.

But rather than looking at this as a flop for Bethesda, I think we should look at Fallout 76 as the Stimpack shot in the arm that the studio needed in order to reinvigorate the series going forward.

Having successfully transitioned the Fallout series into the 3D era back in 2008 with Fallout 3, Bethesda decided to play the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” card for all subsequent entries to diminishing returns.

Yes there were graphical updates and minor gameplay tweaks (like the revamped VATS system for Fallout 4), but nothing on the scale that we saw from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3. Things started to get stale, fundamental problems were bandaided over with cheap solutions like customisation and building options, and the gameplay experience was virtually unchanged from entry to entry.

With the mixed reception to Fallout 76, perhaps it is time for Bethesda to throw out the established playbook and write a new one for the next Fallout game.

Had 76 been a success, we would be talking about something else. But the simple matter of fact is that the next game can’t just be “Fallout 5” or another cut of the same cloth without risking more damage to the brand.

It needs to be a triumphant comeback in order recapture people’s attention in the same way Bethesda did when it reinvented the wheel with 2008’s Fallout 3.

Given how Bethesda’s next projects are the mysterious Starfield followed by The Elder Scrolls VI76 is going to be the studio’s last Fallout game for quite some time and that’s almost certainly a good thing.

Give the series a bit of a break, recharge the creative batteries, and hopefully the next game will revamp the series once again.

War may never change but here’s hoping that the future of Fallout will.

Intel Extreme Masters Is Coming Back To Sydney For 2019 Since Y'all Made The 2018 Event Such A Smash Hit

GG EZ, Sydney.

2018 has been something of a banner year for video games and esports, particularly in Australia.

We had the inaugural Melbourne Esports Open, Team Australia made it into the Overwatch World Cup for a third year running (which makes our exclusion from the upcoming season of the Overwatch League particularly painful), and perhaps most notably, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) came back to Sydney for a second go around.

And boy did IEM Sydney 2018 go off.

Over 7,500 CS:GO fans packed Qudos Bank Arena over three Counter-Strike filled days, several million people were tuned in online, and far too many snacks and fingernails were consumed as we watched FaZe Clan romp their way to victory over Astralis.

Given the bonkers reception to IEM Sydney 2018, Aussie esports fans are probably thinking “with numbers like that, there’s no way IEM isn’t coming back next year”.

And you’d be 100% right because IEM is coming back to Sydney for a third year running in 2019!

From May 3-5, 16 of the world’s top CS:GO teams will be descending upon Qudos Bank Arena to shoot each other in the face for the winner’s share of the AUD$350k prize pool, which equates to a lot of chicken dinners.

Couple that with things like autograph signing sessions with more esports pros than you can shake a stick at, enough tech and gaming showcases to make Ready Player One seem second-rate, and an atmosphere to rival WWE (but without all the scripted-ness), IEM Sydney 2019 is gonna go off.

Winner, winner, poultry dinner.

Since the 2018 event was the Sydney esports version of Queen at Live Aid in 1985 (slight exaggeration but you get the idea), tickets are going on sale super-early on November 16 at Ticketek (right here), which should give y’all more than enough time to sort yourselves out before next May.

They say the third time’s a charm and we have a good feeling that IEM Sydney 2019 is gonna be something special.

We Played Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 With Rapper Briggs And Agree That It's Way Better Than Fortnite

Time to hop back on the Call of Duty train because it is taking off and running all over Fortnite.

Large single player campaign + standard multiplayer + zombies (sometimes) + either a period or futuristic setting = basically every Call of Duty game in the last decade or so. Needless to say, the series has definitely leaned heavily into the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” saying and it has paid off very handsomely in the form of massive sales, albeit at the expense of steadily declining reviews.

But for the new Call of Duty title, Black Ops 4, that formula has been shaken up dramatically.

While the multiplayer remains the same, the zombies mode has been given a nice touch up and everything has been given a beautiful coat of 2018 polish. But by far the biggest change is the swapping of the usual single-player campaign for a Fortnite-esque battle royale mode called “Blackout”.

The result is something absolutely fantastic and way better than what Fortnite has to offer.

Whereas Fortnite‘s take on the 100-player battle royale mode is cartoony, slightly clumsy, and has that annoying “build” mechanic, Black Ops 4‘s is gritty, polished, and easier to learn than year 3 math.

The series’ well-polished first-person shooting mechanics translate brilliantly well to a battle-royale setting, almost like Call of Duty was made for that type of game mode. Each gun battle has you on edge because you know the difference between victory or losing is your skill level (or the lack of skill level if you’re me).

There was none of that annoying “build the Great Wall of China around me so I can heal or escape” stuff from Fortnite, just players going toe-to-toe with each other and that makes victories feel sweeter (and losses more painful).

Since the shooting mechanics are so well polished, each Blackout game only lasts anywhere between 30 seconds (if you’re the first casualty) to 10 minutes (if you’re the eventual winner), meaning games fly by at a quick pace and nothing ever becomes tedious.

But we needed a second opinion on Black Ops 4, so we decided to have a chat with rapper/comedian/writer/all around awesome chap Briggs about the game.

After a few games of Blackout with our new BFF, he, like us, had nothing but good things to say about Black Ops 4. He was particularly impressed how “easy” it was for him to get up to speed on the new Blackout mode compared and the whole emphasis on team work if you’re in a group.

“It puts another dynamic in the game, you know, it puts a lot of other people on edge. If you’re not holding weight in the squad, you’ll just get thrown out as a human shield.”

But look, we’re just a couple of people (one of whom happens to be a guy who writes for Disenchantment) who think that Black Ops 4 rules and is just a better experience than Fortnite.

If you want a goofy and cartoony battle royale experience, go Fortnite. If you want gritty realism and drawn out battle royales filled with tension, go PUBG. And if you want something in between those aforementioned two games combined with super-polished first-person shooting mechanics, definitely go Black Ops 4.

And regardless of what you choose, we’re all here just to have some fun so let’s save any animosity for the game and take it out on each other in Blackout.

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