Three years since the release of Fallout 4, and a decade since Fallout 3, Bethesda left a foretelling “Please Stand By” notice with a Vault Boy bobble head streaming on their Twitch channel. Fans in the tens of thousands, patiently tuned in since yesterday, awaiting the news that dropped just moments ago: Fallout 76.
What does this mean? Well for starters, Fallout 76 is most likely not a direct numeric sequel. It is more likely akin to a Fallout: New Vegas or something new entirely. Rumors about online play have also been mentioned, though little else is known in terms gameplay.
What is discernible is the setting: Vault 76. A vault briefly mentioned in almost every Fallout game since the series breakout Fallout 3.
According to Fallout lore, officially, vaults created by Vault-Tec were meant to service as fallout shelters in case of nuclear war. But the government, and Vault-Tec itself, had never actually believed it to be a real possibility. As such, most of the 122 vaults were to be used as experiments on pre-selected segments of the population. Some with the intention of eradicating disease (Vault 81) or perfecting the human genome (Vault 75). Others, were used for social experimentation. Like studying the effects of isolation after being locked away for 200 years (Vault 13). Or seeing what happens when you lock in a room: twenty men, ten women and a panther (Vault 43).
Vault 76 is one of the rare control vaults. Unlike many vaults in the series, it is supposedly completely normal. Set to open only 20 years after the nuclear fallout of the Great War. Speculatively, Fallout 76 could potentially be the earliest in the timeline of the series, which explains why everything in the trailer looks so uncharacteristically clean and less – end of the world like.
We will find out more during Bethesda’s E3 press conference, June 10th.