It looks like the first Fallout 76 Expedition has been uncovered by dataminers and it's a location that should be well-familiar to fans of the Fallout franchise: Washington D.C., the setting of Fallout 3.
Fallout 76 didn't have the best launch when it debuted a few years ago, but Bethesda is nothing if not tenacious. They've spent the last several years improving the game and fleshing out content. The developers have an eye towards the future, too, and part of that upcoming content is something they're calling "Expeditions."
"To be honest with you, we've saturated it pretty well now with Wastelanders and Brotherhood Of Steel," Fallout 76 Project Lead Jeff Gardiner told Rock Paper Shotgun late last year. "We are looking at Expeditions to be a way to maybe do something off map. [...] We have a big list of locations. We're settling in on one right now. So we are looking at those to be the ways for people to experience different areas of the Fallout universe."
Unfortunately, the Fallout 76 Expedition feature was delayed and isn't likely to come out in 2021. That said, the team is still working on it and they're keen on moving forward.
"Yes! We still have big plans for Expeditions," Bethesda Game Studios Design Director Mark Tucker said in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. "We are as bummed as you are about them slipping out of this year’s Roadmap. We are still iterating on the Design for Expeditions, so we will share more details as we get closer to releasing them. The BIG take away here is – yes, these will take you outside of the current map, they are their own new feature, and we are committed (and very excited) to make them."
Going to other locations in the Fallout universe would certainly be cool, but the Fallout 76 team has kept quiet on what exactly those locations might be. Now, it looks like a dataminer may have uncovered one of them: Washington D.C., the setting of Fallout 3.
Why Washington D.C. Might Be a Fallout 76 Expedition
A series of datamined images shared on Reddit shows what is likely to be a Fallout 76 expedition. The images show a map that looks like it's very much a work-in-progress, but a careful examination of the images shows that this is undeniably Washington D.C.
"We are looking at Expeditions to be a way to maybe do something off map. We have a big list of locations." – Fallout 76 Project Lead Jeff Gardinier to Rock Paper Shotgun
Take note of our header image sourced from the Reddit submission. Compare it with Dupont Circle in Fallout 3 and it's pretty clear that it's the same location. The buildings on the sides aren't exactly the same, but the iconic fountain and the Washington Monument in the background are pretty big giveaways.
Washington D.C. would be a natural location for a Fallout 76 Expedition, especially with its history in the franchise and the game having a general theme of rebuilding America after the war. Additionally, it follows with Bethesda's focus on the locations they themselves have made in Fallout, and not the original locations of the first two games, or the expansion on that by Fallout: New Vegas. That said, this is very obviously a work-in-progress so there are no guarantees.
One way or another, we'll probably get a better look at Expeditions in Fallout 76 later this year at the earliest. You can get started with your adventure in Appalachia by buying Fallout 76 for PC and consoles starting at $39.99 or your regional equivalent.
Would you be interested in traveling to Washington D.C. in Fallout 76? What other iconic locations would you like to explore in an Expedition? Let us know in the comments below!