Fallout 76: Wastelanders
Top Critic Average
The Wastelanders update at least solidifies Fallout 76 as something that's worth recommending to series fans who are interested in multiplayer. The new storyline is great, but not as easy to play with friends as it should be.
Wastelanders transforms Fallout 76 from a technical and conceptual disaster to a merely flawed online experience, which has a far better online community than it deserves.
The positive strides that Wastelanders and its quests make are hindered by Fallout 76's numerous enduring issues.
Despite the addition of NPCs and a load of new content, Fallout 76: Wastelanders is still just a painfully average Fallout game. That's not to say that things aren't better for the update, because the game at least feels like it's moving in the right direction, but it's building on top of the still rickety foundations of the original release. Ironically, things might be simpler if they simply nuked the game and started again, but you've got to respect the hussle.
On it's own Fallout 76: Wastelanders is an excellent expansion, but it doesn't completely amend the problems that plague Fallout 76, or subvert the controversy that surrounds it. What it does do is provide a path forward that may eventually lead to Fallout 76 becoming a genuinely good game.
Fallout 76 is being rebuilt, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. But then, Rome wasn’t hastily reconstructed from an out-of-season caravan park in Skegness either, which is kind of what it felt like Wastelanders had to do with the base game.
Fallout 76: Wastelanders is Fallout 76 but better, but better doesn't mean it's good.
Fallout 76 has improved with the introduction of Wastelanders. The region of West Virginia now feels more alive with an increased populace, deeper quests and a greater focus on your place in its living, breathing world. But many of its problems remain, and haven’t been improved with such a major expansion. Far few players occupy each session, making multiplayer feel like a lazy afterthought instead of something that defines the experience.
Wastelanders won't convince anyone who thought Fallout 76 was irredeemable to begin to believe otherwise, it's simply not enough of a marked improvement to wholesale change many people's minds. For those that left a sliver of a chance for redemption, however, it's one small, wobbly step in the right direction.
A generous free update offering great new story quests, characters, dialogue choices, loot and activities worth returning for.