Growing up in the Ohio Valley, I could look out the window of my house in Ohio to see the rolling hills of West Virginia.
I’ve always had a strange fascination with the place. As filthy vagabonds from the Ohio side of Appalachia, we could always tell jokes about the toothless vagabonds from the West Virginia side. I’ve travelled through most of the state over the course of my lifetime and have seen its beauties and cultural eccentricities.
So, that’s probably why I’m the only video gamer in the country who doesn’t hate Bethesda Gaming’s latest release, Fallout 76. The game was released last fall and as a fan of the franchise, I was looking forward to an open fallout game that was also massively multiplayer. However, the product’s initial launch combined with Bethesda’s subsequent tone-deaf numbskullery in dealing with these problems, has made this one of the most despised games in the history of games.
The well-documented problems are too numerous to get into, but we’ll provide plenty of links in the online version of this story. But what I want to do is talk about why the game is worth playing; and a lot of that has to do with my unbridled love for the Mountaineer State.
For those who aren’t familiar with Fallout, the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that has been decimated by all out nuclear war. In Fallout 76, you emerge from a bomb shelter in the heart of West Virginia after 25 years and are tasked with rebuilding the world. There are no traditional non-player characters, just AI-controlled enemies, robots and other players.
The game is glitchy, buggy and infuriates even the most seasoned players. I, however, have always loved to play games that are set in geographic areas that I know. Part of Fallout 3 took place in Pittsburgh and a huge part of The Last of Us was set in the Steel City. The fact that West Virginia is so close to us makes me even more interested to play it. Regardless of what you’ve heard about the game, here are three reasons that you should play this game.
West Virginia is Awesome: From a scenery standpoint, it’s hard to beat this game. The map is huge and stretches basically from near the Pa. border down to the southern border of DC and Virginia. The locations are realistic, everything from historic buildings to the vast forests and rivers and even the legends are accurate–from the Mothman to the Flatwoods Monster. If you have any familiarity with the state, it’s a must play despite the bugs and glitches.
The Bugs and glitches are keeping most players away: A lot of gamers have either given up on this game or never played it in the first place. That means there are prime spots to build your camp as well as explore without a bunch of people in the way. The players on the servers now are there because they’ve found value in the game and continue to make a gameplay world that is fun, but not too advanced for new players.
It’s cheap as hell: Because everyone hates the game, the price keeps falling. Originally priced at $60, I got mine earlier this year for $19. And if you’re going to be in Germany anytime soon, they’re giving it away for free.