PlayStation 4 (version played), Xbox One, PC; Bethesda
Half-baked conflict and witless quests to unearth the dead – this soulless sequel is perfect if you enjoy picking up rubbish in a wasteland
In Fallout 76’s opening moments, you are urged to leave your underground vault and remake America after a nuclear apocalypse, adventuring through Appalachia collecting scrap to build with and weapons and armour to help survive the irradiated environment and the monsters, super mutants and robots that now call it home. You’re not alone in this endeavour: online, you can team up with, or attack, your fellow former vault-dwellers – or you can ignore them completely, treating the game as a solo experience (that nonetheless requires a constant internet connection). Rebuilding the world with strangers and friends is a tantalising prospect, but Fallout 76 has neither the fun social dynamics and communal sense of purpose that make other online multiplayer games enjoyable, nor the rich characters, stories and world-building that made Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 more than pointless walks in the wasteland.