After a troubled launch, Bethesda came to E3 wearing a hairshirt for Fallout 76: then puffed its chest up to some considerable distance. The new update, 'Wastelands', will change much about the game and, not least, add the long-requested features of human NPCs and dialogue trees.
Bethesda was very open about the fact that the game wasn't what it should have been at launch, and the trailer for the new expansion begins with the voiceover making explicit reference to the surprise that "people keep coming back... rebuilding... fighting back... we'll fight too, right by your side." It was of course Bethesda's own voice coming through.
The expansion sees the return of humans NPCs, launches today, and is free for all players of the game. The presentation ended with a slightly too neat twist about the first year being about surviving, and year two being about people reclaiming it. But you can't knock Bethesda's commitment: all of these new features come with a free trial available for all for the next week.
Then came the new game mode: and surprise surprise Fallout 76 is getting a battle royale mode where you compete to become Vault 51's overseer with 51 other players. 'Nuclear Winter' has the extra element of the Fallout 76 nasties and obviously - nukes. As Bethesda ended this announcement: "Fuck yeah we put a battle royale in Fallout 76."
Welp, you can't say fairer than that. Kotaku will obviously be checking out this new vision for Bethesda's online wasteland, and see if it lives up to the excitement generated by the suspiciously enthusiastic first few rows of the auditorium.