Fallout 76 takes place before all of the other games in the franchise, featuring one of the control Vaults that was meant to re-colonize the surface after the radiation threat had passed. That puts it in a unique place that could run into continuity errors with the existing canon. Bethesda marketing boss Pete Hines explained to GameSpot how the studio is balancing its storytelling needs with the story so far.
“Our developers take things like lore and canon seriously and if they’re going to do something they’re going to make sure that there’s a real and defensible reason for it,” he said. “We have proven with Elder Scrolls games, we’re willing to say ‘Well lots of people will say things happened one way,’ and the opposite or something else could entirely be true. So there’s no question that we’ve gone back to change things to fit what developers have wanted to do and not be beholden to something that somebody wrote 20 years ago even in franchises that we created like the Elder Scrolls.
He continued: “But having said that, we don’t take it lightly to just go ‘Ah, we’re just going to do whatever the hell we want.’ There has to be a thought process–what is the rationale? Why would this logically work in this time? Why would there be super mutants, or the Brotherhood of Steel? How does that all fit and hold together? There’s absolutely reasons and explanations for how all that ties to Fallout 76.”
Bethesda previously explained that given the time period of Fallout 76, some factions like Raiders simply don’t make sense for the world. Instead, that enemy type has been filled by a new, half-feral race of Ghouls called the Scorched. Plus it reasons that some of the mutated enemies will be bigger and stronger than we’ve seen before, since it’s closer to the time when the bombs fell.
We recently had hands-on time with Fallout 76 and came away with a ton of new details, including just what it looks like to nuke your friends. The beta will kick off later this month, so check out more details on when you can join in.