Todd Howard came out onto the stage to talk about Fallout 76. Before he got to the game, he talked a bit about the history of E3. He also mentioned the fact that this is his 25th year working for Bethesda Softworks. After a quick sketch making fun of Skyrim coming onto multiple systems (including Amazon's Alexa and smart fridges), we got into discussion of the game proper.
The game is set in the hills of West Virginia. You'll be taking on the role of one of the first people to emerge into "an untamed and very different wasteland". We saw a repeat of the footage shown earlier in the day at the Microsoft E3 2018 conference. Vault 76 is one of the first vaults built by Vault-Tec and is said to contain the best and brightest. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer for Fallout 76:
We then got to see in-game footage of Reclamation Day, the day that residents of Vault 76 decided to venture out into the world. Todd Howard talked about the lighting and rendering technology that makes the game look better than its predecessors. The Overseer of Vault 76 sends you on a quest where you'll go through six different regions of West Virginia. Todd Howard talked about how Bethesda has always wanted to tell the story of the first people to leave the vaults.
And now to the part that everyone has been wondering about. Information received not too long ago suggested that this would be some kind of a multiplayer experience. That has now been solidly confirmed: Fallout 76 will be an online, multiplayer experience with survival & building elements.
Death in the game does not mean the loss of progression or the loss of one's character. Despite this, Todd made the point of saying that Fallout 76 is set in "the apocalypse, not an amusement park". Players will be placed on servers with dozens of other people. Progression will carry over to wherever you happen to play seamlessly.
In Fallout 76, players will be able to team up and build wherever they like in the world. This will be handled through C.A.M.P.s (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform) that serve as the basis for your base. You'll be able to trade goods with other survivors by setting up a shop, and bases will occasionally be attacked by enemy wildlife.
Beyond that, there are greater threats to worry about: nuclear launch sites will be placed throughout the map and players can gain control of them. Once players clear the silo of any hostile enemies, they'll be able to take over the silo and fire a nuclear missile at a location of their choice on the map. The places where nuclear missiles land will create high-level gameplay zones with valuable resources that you won't necessarily be able to get elsewhere.
As this is a venture with online components, Bethesda will be holding a B.E.T.A. (Break-it Early Test Application) for Fallout 76 "in partnership with Vault-Tec". Unfortunately, we didn't get much in the way of details as to how the beta will work or when it will begin other than players will have to pre-order the game to get access to it.
The Collector's Edition will have a few physical goodies in it, of course. One of the items will be a world map that glows in the dark. The Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition will also include a power armor helmet with some functional bits. (I wouldn't trust it to stop a bullet, though!) A trailer was released for the Power Armor Edition:
This special edition of the game will also include a steel case, a canvas West Tek Duffel Bag, Tricentennial Edition bonus digital items, and 24 collectible Fallout figurines. You can read about the Power Armor Edition of Fallout 76 in detail at Bethesda's website.
Fallout 76 will release on November 14, 2018.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2018 Coverage Hub.