Fallout 76 has split its gameplay between new Survival and Adventure modes

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Look, I don’t need to crack a joke about Fallout 76 here. We all know it hasn’t had the easiest (country) road to trek down, but Bethesda is still at it, trying their best to keep their strange little experiment alive. The latest attempt comes in the form of patch 7.5 which, alongside fixing numerous bugs, of course, brings the addition of breaking the game into two separate playstyles: Adventure Mode and Survival Mode.

I’m not going to be talking about all the bug fixes and UI updates this patch brings because frankly they’re not exactly worth going over at this point. But Survival Mode? Hell, that actually sounds kind of interesting.

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Survival Mode (a BETA, I should add) basically turns the game into DayZ, with players being automatically able to trigger hostility with one another without the previously implemented “slap damage” system which would deal insignificant amounts of damage to a player until they returned fire. There’s a greater risk when playing in this mode as all players can choose to be friendly or just kill you and steal your loot, but you earn 20% more XP while playing in Survival Mode, as well as being able to complete new weekly challenges and earn legendary rewards.

There’s a bunch of other stuff like weapon damage numbers being overhauled to remove the ability of one-shotting opponents, fast travel being limited to certain locations around the map and a bounty system being placed on aggressive players. You can check out the extended list of features here, in the game’s patch notes.

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Adventure Mode, the way to play if you don’t feel like getting tea-bagged and losing all your stuff, has also had some changes. The aforementioned removal of “slap damage” means that PvP could potentially never occur, if one player just doesn’t return fire. Those weapon adjustments from Survival Mode have also made their way into Adventure Mode as well as an increased period of invulnerability after fast travelling or respawning, which should make for a much more relaxed and far less threatening experience.

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My question is, what’s the point? When thinking about games with persistent loot and survivability like DayZ or S.C.U.M (still in early access), the biggest draw of those games comes down to trust. How trusting are you of other players? Should you take them out now? Could they stab you in the back? Maybe we could work together? What if I wanted to stab them in the back?

Those are the questions that give those games weight. Having the option of an Adventure Mode and a Survival Mode makes it pretty clear that if someone wants to be that guy who kills everyone, they’ll just stiick to Survival. And sure, that does make the game a more hardcore shooter experience, but you’ll probably never have those moments of inner turmoil of whether or not you should trust a stranger because if they weren’t instantly trying to kill you, they’d just be in Adventure Mode.

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Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way, and free added content is always good. Offering players a choice is a nice way of providing unique experiences that cater towards different audiences, but I have to wonder if the implementation of these modes isn’t just a little redundant at this point.

Last Updated: March 28, 2019

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