by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 5th July, 2018
Fallout 76 is now just a couple of months away and, once it comes, it will be the first multiplayer survival game both developed and published by Bethesda!
The good thing is that the company already has an MMORPG in their library in the form of Elder Scrolls: Online meaning that there's no worry Bethesda will screw up Fallout 76's multiplayer elements and that there will be serious server-side problems. On the other hand we do expect bugs aplenty but this time getting Fallout 76 completely bug free and super stable might be problematic because, while developers promised mod support (sometime after the game launches though) we cannot expect they will allow for players to install community patches (which usually ended up much better in ironing out the game than official patches) because of the game's multiplayer, shared world component.
Nevertheless, we are certain Fallout 76 will be one of the biggest titles of 2018, both hype and quality-wise and if you pre-order the game, no matter the platform (the game comes out for PC, PS4, and Xbox One) you will be given access to the game's beta testing. But if you really cannot wait for Fallout 76 to come out or if you simply want to try games similar to it (in other words multiplayer survival titles the games is based on) we constructed a list covering lots of different titles, each being pretty cool and each giving you a taste of Fallout 76. So, what are you waiting for, check out our list and find out lots of quality games to play while waiting for the next Fallout to come!
Okay, the first game you want to check out is Fallout 4. While Fallout 76 seeks inspiration in titles such as Rust, DayZ, and Ark: Survival Evolved, it is based mostly on Fallout 4. That means an epic story, lots of quests to embark on, a huge open world to explore and pretty different monsters and mutants to fight with.
Fallout 4 also features pretty nice graphics and superb gunplay. The game wandered off from a pure RPG experience, becoming more of a shooter with RPG elements where leveling up gives you perk pints instead allowing you to improve skills with perks being secondary, a sort of a bonus to main skills. Since Fallout 76 builds upon just that formula, we cannot recommend you to play Fallout 3 or New Vegas, despite them being excellent games. On the other hand, Fallout 4 is a perfect introducing to Fallout 76, it is basically that game but without all the multiplayer features.
You also can create whole settlements with the game's crafting system, a great way to prepare to create whole towns in Fallout 76 since the game will feature improved and much more powerful crafting system that debuted in Fallout 4. Fallout 4 doesn't offer shared world multiplayer but you can hang out with some NPC characters that can follow you in your journey. If you're looking for an experience that is similar to Fallout 76 sans multiplayer part, Fallout 4 is by far the best choice.
The Forest, while not directly mentioned as inspiration for Fallout 76, has lots in common with the game with one huge difference. This one doesn't feature any PvP content, at all. This fact alone makes The Forest a perfect match for everyone that got excited about a new Fallout game with survival elements but got disappointed when they heard that the game would feature shared world and PvP features. Sure, The Forest isn't a post-apocalyptic survival game, but it is an excellent survival experience for everyone who wants to play a quality survival game that features a story and has a definitive end.
You woke up after a plane crash and find yourself on a tropical island without finding any other survivors of the crash. Soon, you find out the reason why there are no other fellow passengers to be found after you meet the island's gruesome natives. For the rest of the game, you will try to do build fortress keeping you safe from mutated cannibals, trying to hunt for food while attempting to discover dark secrets and ultimately, escape this tropical hell.
The Forest features awesome visuals and the game simply perfected classic survival elements. You will constantly discover new upgrades, will never have enough materials to construct everything you need so will be in constant search for resources. And those horrid mutants feature an exemplary enemy AI; they straight attack you sometimes, but sometimes they will just watch you from afar, presenting a constant threat and a huge source of fear. Their unmanly screams will chill your bones, and their surprise attacks will leave you trembling each time you exit your base to go scavenging.
The game also features story missions that are pure survival horror and that will make you fall in love with The Forest. The enemies resemble nastiest ghouls of Fallout and the game also features that constant draw to explore further and further even though you are short on supplies and weapons, just like Fallout does. Try this one, and completely forget about Fallout 76.
Rust is mentioned as the biggest single source of inspiration for Fallout 76. The game is the granddaddy of all survival games and it is one of the few titles that started the trend back when it originally launched. It was in Early Access for more than four years, and during the time the game evolved from a simple survival game to a complex multiplayer survival title that puts human interaction to the front. If you want to experience a gritty form of multiplayer survival and think that Fallout 76 is wrong to limit PvP along with not providing rewards for killing other players, try this one.
Rust puts you in a world where you don't have anything for fend off other players and is a punishing game that asks from you to quickly scavenge resources needed to build your first shelter and secure yourself from dangers lurking outside. Each server is populated by many players who usually have one goal and that's killing every poor soul who thought they could enter the server unnoticed. Really, in Rust, it's all about trying to survive other players. So, we advise everyone to try forging alliances with fellow newbies, teaming up in an attempt to craft a strong base that is good enough to fend off strikes from other groups. Then the real fun begins.
After you become a part of the alliance it is time to hunt for animals in order to have enough food and to explore the game's complex craft mechanics. There are a huge number of things to build but you won't discover the tenth of it if you decide to wander on your own. The game features pretty graphics and visceral combat that looks as savage as most players populating the game's servers. Rust can be a perfect preparation for Fallout 76's PvP content. If you survive Rust and end up dominating your server, you won't have to worry about getting killed by other players in Fallout 76.
This's one's a beauty and one of the best survival games ever to be made. Though the game is primarily an FPS title, Call of Pripyat is a full-fledged survival experience at its core, like two previous Stalker games. While DayZ and Rust started the trend of pure survival games, Call of Pripyat features most survival elements without being labeled as a pure survival title. You have hunger and sleep mechanics, are constantly in short supply with ammo and are roaming an open world map filled with dangers; mutants that will kill you in a jiffy if you're not careful and other, natural dangers that will kill you even faster if not being extra careful.
The game is set inside the Zone around the infamous Chernobyl power plant and Stalker's world is a grimy world filled with fellow stalkers who are there to earn some money for their families, bandits who are ready to kill everyone they come across, mutants killing everyone, and many other dangers lurking across the Zone. This game nails the post-apocalyptic setting much better than any Fallout game. Roaming across the Zone and its ruined architecture will make you feel dreadful and empty, you won't find the colorful world of Fallout 4 here, just dread and a constant feeling of bleak and disintegrating world that crumbles and disintegrates in front of your eyes.
The game also has a strong horror element, with some mutants being much scarier than any enemy found in Fallout games. There are plenty of quests to embark on and the game features an excellent story campaign that builds perfectly, coming to its crescendo in the infamous Pripyat. Stalker: Call of Pripyat is a perfect title for everyone wanting a survival fix but can't wait for Fallout 76 to come out. The game looks decent even though it came out almost a decade ago and it features that rusted beauty that is hard to explain. If you look for a game that focuses on survival and features excellent gameplay in addition to the compelling story and decent visuals that is set in a post-apocalyptic world but is not Fallout 4, this one is a perfect recommendation. Also, it is an excellent game to play while waiting for Fallout 76, just don't expect crafting or multiplayer here.
The second game of the big three of survival games (Rust, Ark, and DayZ), Ark is an excellent title that introduces dinosaurs to the excellent multiplayer survival formula. You have your classic survival formula when you start the game; try building a shelter, try to survive and hunt animals to get food and then, as you advance through the game, build a bigger base and start farming crops and create your own self-sufficient little world. But here we have dinosaurs you can tame and ride! Yup, Ark is a perfect game for all dinosaur lovers (and we all love them, right?) that gives us a chance to ride these prehistoric beasts, which already is a huge recommendation.
But, this one features so much more. It is set in a strange world that seems like it hosted a mysterious civilization, so you'll be tempted to explore its secrets, as in Fallout games. And like in Fallout 76 you are able to team up with other players or to fight them. You can build joint strongholds and embark on co-op scavenger hunts, each of you riding your own dinosaur.
The game features many RPG elements, like the fact you level up and improve your stats, and it is more than pretty with a beautiful world and awe-inducing prehistoric beats. If you want a survival RPG experience that is more advanced than the one found in Fallout 76, and a game that offers a single-player experience along with multiplayer servers (something that won't be available in Fallout 76) give this one a try.
Fallout 76 was inspired by Rust and DayZ, and DayZ features the most gritty and unforgiving multiplayer survival experience of them all. You are sent to an island filled with millions of zombies, but they are not the danger you need to worry about. Other players are way more dangerous than the undead horde. You will have to be really careful when exploring on your own because the game is extremely hard and features many survival elements like hunger, diseases, a need to rest regularly and more. You can die if contract a disease and not treat it; you will die if fail to find equipment that will protect you against bad weather; you will die if start losing blood and fail to find blood for transfusion; you will die from a thousand causes.
The game's most infamous way to die is being hunted by a wandering group of other players and then being tortured for hours before being shot in the head. So, instead of wandering alone we recommend playing DayZ with friends. You can't craft in this one and cannot build fortifications, but DayZ is a great way to prepare for shared world mechanics featured in Fallout 76. If you and your friends survive the harsh environment and cruel bandit groups of DayZ, you will dominate the Wasteland in Fallout 76.
Miscreated is DayZ on steroids. The game, like Fallout 76, is set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by the Final War. Instead of nukes that made everything irradiated, the Final War brought a dangerous plague that turned most mankind into gruesome mutants. You find yourself thrown into the world with just a set of basic tools and a strong will to survive. Miscreated is great for those who want a Fallout 76-like experience but with multiplayer combat and without quests and a story.
The game features excellent combat, advanced crafting system allowing players to build complex bases that can look amazing, and pretty visuals along with a big map featuring towering, abandoned cities, lush forests, and farmlands filled with mutants. The game offers cars that can make traversing the map much easier than roaming on foot, and it comes with a couple of hundreds of weapons that can be crafted or looted. The only thing that can ruin your game is the fact that Miscreated has lots of cheaters so check out forums to see the state with hackers and cheaters before trying this one out.
Last, but not least is Conan Exiles. While Conan Exiles appeared too late for the game to be a source of inspiration for Fallout 76, it features many elements that are pretty similar to features that can be found in the next game set in Fallout universe. The game is set in the punishing world of Exiled Lands, the world of Conan the Barbarian. After Conan himself save you from certain death, it is up to you to survive these harsh lands. You start with literally nothing and have to fight your way into becoming a ruler of the land.
You will gradually discover new things to build and the game's powerful building mechanics will allow you to build whole cities. The system is similar to the one seen in Fallout 76, with a huge number of parts to build, allowing you a huge level of creativity when creating your own castle, or a town. Next, you can play the game on your own, in co-op mode (like in Fallout 76) or against other players in multiplayer. The game offers something for everyone and you can even play with friends in a multiplayer server, giving you an edge when fighting other players. Since Conan Exiles features amazing crafting mechanics, you and your friends can practice for building bases in Fallout 76 by constructing huge cities in this game.
You can also invade other player cities, and create your slave army by enslaving NPCs that can be found across the game's huge open world map. Like in Fallout 76, the game offers players to explore ruins of past civilizations and to discover many secrets while roaming ancient cities. Visuals are superb and combat takes cues from Dark Souls 3, creating a strategic and exciting experience that's quite complex but extremely rewarding once you learn how to fight like a man. Conan Exiles also features something similar to Fallout 76's nukes. Yup, if you sacrifice other players on an altar you can summon an ancient god that is basically a huge, towering entity you can take control of and then destroy whole cities. It's a lot of fun and the best thing about this game!