The last 24 hours have been big for gaming announcements, with Nintendo announcing three Pokémon games and Bethesda releasing a teaser for Fallout 76. Inevitably with all of these announcements comes an avalanche of complaints and reservations, because you know, internet.
In particular, Fallout 76 has received backlash from fans surrounding Kotaku’s reporting that it will be a survival game. And before that you don’t really have to go back far to find more complaining, as Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go: Eevee! received their fair share of shade surrounding the game’s deviation from main series titles and the integration with Pokémon GO.
There’s two reasons these things are fruitless to be fired up about: 1 – We don’t know enough yet. 2 – Change is good for franchises, ESPECIALLY when it’s a spin-off.
In the case of Fallout 76, there is such little information from Bethesda on what the game will include it’s almost laughable that we’re seeing comments promising to skip whatever it is that comes out. I don’t doubt Jason Schreier’s sources, the guy has proven his chops in the past, but putting that aside for the moment – we still know nothing about it or what Fallout 76 could look like as a survival game.
Survival is kind of a big part of Fallout, and the survival mode update to Fallout 4 proved to be popular when it was released. Fallout 4 also introduced base building elements, which already tips the game in that direction. You could argue that Bethesda were testing the waters for a survival focused game with these inclusions years ago. And regardless of what you thought of Fallout 4, it’s best to wait until something is concretely terrible before harpooning it, not just theoretically terrible.
Personally I think a survival game in the Fallout universe is a smart move for Bethesda to make, and the fact it’s not a core series title (presumably) gives the developers room to create something that’s not constrained by expectations and can breathe fresh life into the franchise, taking it in new directions.
The same goes for Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go: Eevee!, which will be followed by a core Pokémon RPG in 2019. Having developers deviate from pushing out the same games over and over is good for these franchises, especially when they’ve been kicking around for decades. And even if you don’t like the spin-off games, just don’t buy it and wait for the next core title. Not everything has to be made for everyone.
Until we see how these game perform and play, can we just all agree to chill out a bit? If they do turn out to be trash, go nuts, just hold off and let new things happen until then.