Dragon Ball Super: Broly | The Voice Of Goku On The New Movie And 30 Years of Dragon Ball

The upcoming film Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the twentieth movie in the Dragon Ball franchise, and the first in the Dragon Ball Super series. Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama is heavily involved in the writing and character design of the film, and will give us a fresh new take on Broly–the main villain of the film who will face off against Vegeta, Frieza, and Goku.

Legendary voice actress Masako Nozawa, who has voiced Goku since 1986, will play the role once again in the new film. During a panel for Dragon Ball Super: Broly at New York Comic Con, Nozawa told a crowd of fans to expect a lot of action and top-notch fighting scenes in the new movie. She also sat down with GameSpot at New York Comic Con to talk about the new film and how she feels about Goku after all these years.

Voice Actress Masako Nozawa at New York Comic Con
Voice Actress Masako Nozawa at New York Comic Con

How does it feel going back and being a part of a reimagined take on Broly?

Masako Nozawa: So, in the Dragon Ball universe, I have what I call the family. And I feel like Broly, even though whether they’re a villain or not, that he is kind of part of this original family, so that’s kind of this interrelationship I have with him.

What can you tell us about Goku in Dragon Ball Super: Broly?

I think in terms of Goku, he really hasn’t changed his goal and what drives him to make this world a better place. That is a constant throughout all the Gokus in the past.

Can you say anything about Frieza in this new movie?

I think Goku might consider Frieza almost like a friend at this point, and he’s who pulls Frieza up. But [Frieza’s] he’s another helpless guy, he’s a selfish guy, he’s kind of helpless sometimes.

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How do you feel about Goku after all these years?

I think Goku really is kind of like a clone of myself, and he always has been. I think he will continue to be.

What was it like playing a dark version of Goku with Goku Black on Dragon Ball Super?

I think a lot of talent, they really try to get into the character and really focus in their minds. But with me, I saw the image, the character design of Goku Black. That’s how I kind of get into character, I see what the illustration looks like and then figure out how I should act from there.

Which version of Goku has been your favorite to play? Being serious, being silly, or some kind of other version?

I think for me, I love Goku when he’s helping people. And I know it’s not… he’s always helping people, he doesn’t help people with the intent of going out to help someone, he just does it so naturally; and his nonchalant way of just bringing everyone around him up is the aspect I love about Goku the most. He just wants peace, that’s all he wants.

And lastly, do you think that Goku is Vegeta’s secret best friend but Vegeta’s too proud to admit it?

Oh yeah. Vegeta would never accept that, but yeah.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly hits U.S. and Canadian theaters on January 16, 2019. Before you watch the film, you can catch up on Dragon Ball Super in Japanese on Crunchyroll and in English on Funimation. You can also watch our interview with Sean Schemmel, the english voice of Goku, where he discussed Dragon Ball Super: Broly at SDCC 2018.

Battlefield 5 Story Trailer Is All About Rising To The Occasion

Battlefield V returns to World War 2, which means a lot of focus on the heroism of a just cause, the Greatest Generation, and all the imagery that entails. The single-player story trailer embraces that spirit wholeheartedly with a cinematic presentation that intermingles personal sacrifices with the bombastic moments that come in a theater of war.

In it we see a variety of characters as the globe-trotting campaign features War Stories from different regions’ soldiers taking part in the conflict. It doesn’t shed much light on the particular arcs of these disparate characters but we do get a good idea of the variety of backgrounds and settings for the battles.

Battlefield this year is introducing Firestorm, a new Battle Royale mode with a 64-player max. It’s also taking its time to make some adjustments following feedback from the open beta.

If you’re itching for Battlefield and you just can’t wait until November 20, EA is giving away all four expansions for Battlefield 1 through October. The first two are free now, and the second two will likely swap out as the freebies later in the month. You can also find the game itself relatively cheap on all platforms, if you don’t have it already. Of course, if nothing but Battlefield 5 will do, you can also play it a little early with EA Access–as long as your platform of choice is Xbox One. Check out our pre-order guide for more details.

Arrow Season 7 Premiere: Showrunner Explains That Massive Cliffhanger

Arrow is back, and that Season 7 premiere sure dropped a bombshell. There was a lot happening in the episode, between Oliver (Stephen Amell) stuck in jail, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and William (Jack Moore) being attacked by Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), and a mysterious new Green Arrow making things difficult for the rest of the team to move on with their lives. However, none of that had quite the impact of the final moments of the episode.

Through the installment, titled “Inmate #4587,” viewers were treated to what looked like a new set of flashbacks to Lian Yu, the island that was blown up in the Season 5 finale. The first five years of Arrow relied heavily on flashbacks to fill in the blanks of Oliver’s life, but after Lian Yu was destroyed, that way of telling the story was over–or was it?

In this new flashes, another young man arrives on Lian Yu in search of something, before eventually stumbling upon the grave of Robert Queen, Oliver’s father. In the end, it was revealed these weren’t flashbacks. Instead, these were flashforwards to the year 2040. The young man in question is Oliver’s son William, now an adult played by Ben Lewis (The Handmaid’s Tale).

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We don’t find out why he came to the island in the episode, but he does come across another familiar face–Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), now a much older man. To attempt to get to the bottom of the flash forwards–and their place on the show going forward–GameSpot and a small group of other outlets were able to ask showrunner Beth Schwartz about this new storyline.

“We’re gonna keep [the flashforwards] all season and series,” Schwartz admitted. When it comes to how they’ll factor into character development, she explained, “Part of what I think made this series so successful in having the flashbacks is that you were able to really get into your characters. Especially with Oliver, you knew how he became the way he is. And now with the flashforwards, you’re able to see what is happening in the present day, how that affects the characters in the future.”

What Schwartz wasn’t willing to divulge is the answers we need. Why is Roy on the island? What brought William there? What’s happened to Oliver at this point?

These are the questions that will help drive the flashforward storyline this season, but they also shine an interesting light on the present day storylines. With a mysterious new Green Arrow unleashing vigilante justice on the streets of Star City and the resurfacing of Roy in the future, is it possible he’s taken up the hood without Oliver in the picture?

For answers to these questions, we’re just going to have to keep watching. Arrow airs Mondays on The CW.

Netflix’s Daredevil Season 3: There Were Other Villain Options Besides Fisk

Now that Netflix has canceled Iron Fist, and we’ve gotten a firsthand look at Daredevil Season 3 in all its glory, our hype for the original Netflix-Marvel universe show is higher than ever. Of course, that’s in large part thanks to the return of everyone’s favorite Daredevil villain: Wilson Fisk.

Wilson Fisk–AKA the Kingpin–is up there with the best villains who have appeared in the Netflix Marvel universe, including Jessica Jones’s Kilgrave and Luke Cage’s Mariah Dillard. Heck, Fisk ranks among the best villains in the live action Marvel universe, period, from the shows to even the MCU films. At the end of Daredevil Season 1, Fisk was locked behind bars, but it’s always been clear that he wasn’t out of the fray for good. In many ways, Fisk’s return in Daredevil Season 3 has seemed inevitable for a long time.

But it turns out that’s not actually the case. Fisk’s return may be the best case scenario for fans, but it wasn’t the only option, Daredevil Season 3 showrunner Erik Oleson told GameSpot during interviews at New York Comic Con over the weekend.

“When I walked in the door, Marvel had a number of ideas as options for me,” Oleson said. “For instance, the return of Wilson Fisk. They knew that Vincent [D’Onofrio] was interested in coming back.”

Given fans’ love of the villain during his previous appearances in the Marvel Netflix universe, including in Daredevil Season 1 and Season 2, it’s not surprising that D’Onofrio was willing to return to the role. What is surprising is that Oleson considered other options.

“[Marvel TV head] Jeph Loeb had some cool ideas about it even before I walked in the door,” Oleson explained. “There was also the possibility of using another major iconic character from the comics in the show. And I took kind of a bunch of options away to my writing cave, and I came up with what I thought would be a really cool story, and something that meant something also, and then brought it back to Marvel.”

Oleson didn’t give any hints to who that other character was. But once he’d decided Fisk would make his triumphant return in Daredevil Season 3, there was just the matter of how the Kingpin would come back. After all, in the real world, going to prison tends to be somewhat final. As Season 3 trailers have already hinted at, Fisk is going to broker a deal with the FBI that will get him moved to more luxurious living conditions, although he’ll remain in custody.

“I wanted to treat Wilson Fisk like a spymaster this year, somebody who understood the dark arts of tradecraft, and had an expertise in the arts of manipulation,” Oleson explained. “That came from, like, my dad worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA–I grew up in that world, and I know a significant amount about operational thinking and creating the conditions for certain things to happen without leaving your fingerprints on it. And I wanted to combine that with Wilson Fisk.

“So in the beginning of the season, he manipulates his way into becoming an FBI informant against other criminal organizations in New York City, and cuts a deal just to get physically out of prison itself,” he continued. “And that start his journey of a multi-step process where we begin to understand that he has a much bigger game afloat, and he has orchestrated events in certain ways that leave no fingerprints, but which will pave the way for his ascent and re-ascent to power.”

As always, Fisk is going to be quite a bee in Matt Murdock’s bonnet.

“He is a highly manipulative mofo,” Oleson said. “Hanging out with Wilson Fisk is not going to do anybody any good. It’s spiderweb meet fly. Just stay away from that dude.”

Wilson Fisk will make his long awaited comeback when Daredevil Season 3 hits Netflix on October 19. Read on about how Daredevil Season 3 is getting political.

Black Ops 4 Update: Patch Notes Cover Changes To Blackout, Zombies, And Multiplayer

The first update for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has arrived. It introduces changes, tweaks, and fixes across the shooter’s three main modes: Blackout, Zombies, and Multiplayer, with Zombies getting the bulk of the attention in the form of a notable balance pass.

The update increases player health for Casual, Normal, and Hardcore difficulty options by 50 points, which should help you survive longer. Developer Treyarch has also made adjustments how fast you earn points and to the cost of shield repair/replacement, among other things.

Moving to multiplayer, the update changes the pre-requisites to unlock active camo on signature weapons, while it also fixes a bug that prevented Scorestreak kills from counting towards progress for some challenges.

There are a number of PC-specific changes and further information that you can see below, while all platforms also received changes to make the game generally more stable and less prone to crash. The full patch notes can be seen at the bottom of this post, as revealed by Treyarch on Reddit.

Black Ops 4, which beat Red Dead Redemption 2 to become the most anticipated game of the the holiday in the US, launched on October 12 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It broke sales records for Activision and PlayStation. Keep checking back with GameSpot for our full review of Black Ops 4.

Black Ops 4 Patch Notes:

  • General

    • General stability and crash fixes across all modes.

  • Zombies

    • Gameplay Balancing

      • Increased player health in Casual, Normal, and Hardcore Difficulty in Classic mode by 50 points.

      • Balance adjustment to rate at which players earn points.

      • Balance adjustment to Tiger attacks.

      • Balance adjustment to Hellhounds (spawn radius, speed, and frequency).

      • Balance adjustment to Hellfire Special Weapon.

      • Reduced cost of shield repair and replacement.

      • Resolved an issue where some players experienced a crash in the Laboratory.

  • Multiplayer

    • Create-a-Class

      • Mastercraft camos can now be properly unlocked.

      • Adjusted unlock requirements for the active camo on Signature Weapons (MX9, Strife).

    • Gameplay

      • Prevented Scorestreak kills from counting toward progress in certain Challenges.

  • Blackout

    • Characters

      • Addressed an issue that occasionally prevented players from unlocking Ajax.

PC-Specific:

  • Blackout

    • Fixed an issue where Trauma Kits would occasionally not work properly.

Here are some of the hot topics we’re currently tracking and/or working on for a future update:

  • PC Crashes

    • We’re tracking a number of these across several different configurations, and the team at Beenox is working to identify and fix these as they come up. Watch /u/TreyarchPC and @TreyarchPC on Twitter for PC-specific Black Ops 4 updates, and please be as descriptive as possible when reporting crashes (for example, “error code Negative 345 Sky Wolf”) and what was happening in the game at the time of your crash. Every bit of info helps the team track and squash these issues.

  • Map Spawns

    • We adjusted spawns in Domination in yesterday’s update, and have seen reports of map spawn issues across other MP modes. We’re investigating these now and will address as necessary in upcoming updates.

  • Progression Issues

    • We’re investigating reported issues where some users have experienced a temporary loss in some progression stats, while others have reported Hardcore wins not counting toward Challenge progression, and/or losing a match already in progress counting as a loss. Our teams are on it.

  • Weapon Camo Issues

    • We’ve seen reports of instances where certain camos can cover up the Optic on your weapon. This is on the list for a fix in the near future.

Mysterious Avengers 4 Image Released As Filming Finishes

The fourth Avengers movie has finally finishing filming, directors Joe and Anthony Russo announced on Twitter. That’s an exciting and important milestone in the film’s production, but perhaps the more intriguing element here is the image that that brothers shared.

The mysterious image depicts a bright blue light that apparently has some kind of connection to something that happens in the untitled fourth Avengers film.

The follow-up to Infinity War is set to hit theatres in April 2019, following the release of the Brie Larson-starring Captain Marvel in March 2019. The new Avengers movie will seemingly wrap up a years-long story arc following the dramatic events of Infinity War.

Chris Evans, who plays Steve Rogers/Captain America, recently talked about his emotional final day on set. Some Marvel fans believe Cap might be among the characters who could be killed off in the new Avengers film.

According to ComicBook.com, Evans recently recalled at the ACE Comic Con in Chicago how the final line he recorded for Avengers 4 was “something really stupid” that he cannot talk about. Importantly, this was a scene he came back to set to film as a pick-up, so it’s not the final line his character says in the film. “It might have been a line to Paul Rudd. He wasn’t there, but it was a stupid line. The line wasn’t memorable to me [laughs]. The day was more memorable than the line,” Evans said.

Writer Christopher Markus said the next Avengers film will be very different, summarizing it as: “We broke your heart. Now we’re going to blow your mind.”

Venom Stays On Top At The Box Office

As expected, Sony’s Venom was again the weekend winner at the US and Canadian box office. The movie pulled in around $35.7 million in the US and Canada this weekend, which represents a modest and expected second-week decline of 56 percent from its record-breaking opening the week prior. It’s now made $142.8 million domesitcally after only 10 days.

Venom made $69.7 million at the international box office this weekend, and now the movie has made $378.1 million worldwide. All of these figures come from Entertainment Weekly.

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The movie had a reported budget of $100 million, so it appears Venom is already a commercial access. This makes the already expected sequel even more likely. For more, you can read GameSpot’s end-credits scene breakdown here to learn more about where Venom 2 might go.

Venom received a very poor reception from critics. The film has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes and 35 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic–but audiences enjoyed it more. The film’s B+ CinemaScore rating suggested that word-of-mouth would help its second-weekend box office continue on a nice pace, and with a drop off of only 56 percent, that’s exactly what happened.

Venom outpaced the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga musical A Star Is Born for a second weekend in a row, while it also beat out newcomers First Man starring Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong and the Jack Black family comedy Goosebumps 2.

October 12-14 US/Canada Box Office:

  1. Venom — $35.7 million
  2. A Star Is Born — $28 million
  3. First Man — $16.5 million
  4. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween — $16.2 million
  5. Smallfoot — $9.3 million
  6. Night School — $8 million
  7. Bad Times at the El Royale — $7.2 million
  8. The House With a Clock in Its Walls — $4 million
  9. The Hate U Give — $1.8 million
  10. A Simple Favor — $1.4 million

Where Is Xur? Destiny 2 Xur Location And Exotic Items Guide (Oct. 12-16)

The weekend is upon us, which for Destiny 2 players means that Xur–the mysterious merchant who’s here to either delight or disappoint you–has arrived. He’s got another slate of Exotic items for sale, which you have a limited time to buy. Here’s where to find Xur and what he’s selling for this week.

Xur’s Year 2 appearances have seen him return to his same old locations, and this visit is no different. Right now, you can find Xur on Titan. Head to the The Rig landing zone, turn left, and make your way through the open building. Once you reach the next wide open area, turn left again and drop down one floor. You’ll find Xur hanging out in a building, as seen in the map below; you can also watch our video above for guidance on how to reach him.

In terms of items, it’s the standard lineup: one Exotic armor for each class, and one Exotic weapon. The weapon is Tractor Cannon, the Portal gun-looking shotgun that prevents affected enemies from using abilities and makes them take more damage, especially from void. More entertainingly, however, it also blasts enemies backwards.

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For armor, Titans get the Synthoceps gauntlets, which increases how far you can lunge with a melee attack and provides you with more melee and Super damage when surrounded by enemies. Hunters can pick up the Gemini Jester leg armor, which provides your dodge with some added perks: it disorients enemies and causes their radar to disappear temporarily. Warlocks can grab the Sanguine Alchemy chest armor; this buffs your Rift to provide you and allies with some enhancements. This includes being able to see your radar when aiming down sights and visual markers being placed on powerful enemies. You might already own this armor, but bear in mind that these are Year 2 versions that feature more perks than the versions from Year 1 you might have.

  • Tractor Cannon (Exotic Shotgun) — 29 Legendary Shards
  • Synthoceps (Exotic Titan gauntlets) — 23 Legendary Shards
  • Gemini Jester (Exotic Hunter leg armor) — 23 Legendary Shards
  • Sanguine Alchemy (Exotic Warlock chest armor) — 23 Legendary Shards

Alongside these specific items for sale, Xur offers the Fated Engram. This is expensive, at 97 Legendary Shards, but it guarantees you a Year One Exotic you don’t already own, so it’s a good way to fill out your collection, provided you can afford it.

Although this week didn’t bring with it much in the way of new content, aside from the latest Ascendant Challenge, there is a lot coming soon. Tuesday, October 16, will see the release of the first of two big updates launching for the game this month. This patch will coincide with the debut of Festival of the Lost, Destiny 2’s Halloween-themed event, as well as the next instance of Iron Banner. Unlike the first instance of the multiplayer activity after Forsaken’s release, this one will have easier bounties, and each one will offer a piece of Powerful gear as a reward. For more on what’s new in the world of Destiny, check out our guide to the latest weekly reset.

Fallout 76 Hands-On: A Very Different Kind Of Post-Apocalyptic RPG

Ever since Bethesda Game Studios announced the next game in the Fallout series, it’s been difficult to get a sense of what Fallout 76–an online-only RPG–is all about. While the concept of an online Fallout experience is enticing, it also comes into conflict with the series’ typical brand of role-playing. Though Fallout 76 does lessen those traditionally single-player details to a noticeable degree, it offers up an alluring opportunity to explore uncharted, irradiated territory with other players online.

With the pivot to multiplayer, Fallout 76 focuses a lot more on exploration and survival in West Virginia’s Appalachia, with all its regional oddities and newfound horrors coming in large doses. Recently, we played three hours of the game ahead of the game’s upcoming October beta, and spoke with developers from Bethesda Game Studios about the particular challenges of making a different kind of Fallout.

Set only 25 years after the bombs dropped–making it the earliest game in the series’ timeline–Fallout 76 gives itself plenty of distance from previous games to show off the freshly devastated wilderness. In traditional fashion, you leave the safe confines of the Vault to venture out into the wasteland–bringing with you a sense of determination, and also the naïveté that can come from living in somewhat comfortable isolation. After a quick introduction, you create your character, get accustomed to the new controls and systems, and venture out to the surface. However, what sets this game apart from the others is that you’re one of many survivors. And once you’re outside, it’s every Vault Dweller for themselves.

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During the first hour, I got my bearings by taking a tour around the immediate area, even joining a group to take in all the sights. Fallout 76 has the familiar RPG mechanics and sense of exploration that the series is known for, but it also has more of an amusement park vibe–with several key attractions and locales clearly highlighted on the map, such as The Greenbrier Resort and the Top of the World ski-slope. While exploring Fallout’s take on West Virginia, which is several times larger than the Commonwealth of Fallout 4, I got the feeling that I was sort of experiencing the greatest hits of all things Fallout. First came the familiar weapons and armor found from previous games, then came the feral ghouls, the Super Mutants, and references to the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave.

Still, the new location in West Virginia feels totally different from Fallout 4’s Capital Wasteland and the Mojave from New Vegas, which quickly introduces its own brand of locales and strange monsters that reside there. Along with weird monsters like enlarged ticks, three-headed possums, and even Mole Men, there are other monsters that reference West Virginian urban legends. This includes the headless, hulking Grafton Monster and the enigmatic Mothman, the latter of which is revered by the hostile cabal of Scorched, heavily irradiated humans who eventually evolve into ghouls of sound mind.

For the most part, combat and general movement handle similarly to Fallout 4. However, the new mechanics and survival systems at play felt somewhat overwhelming to get a handle during our introduction. In 76, much of the tutorial happens in a trial by fire scenario in the open world, where you’ll have to follow the early moments of the quests closely in order to learn the new mechanics, all while fighting off enemies and scavenging resources. While I appreciated the quick pace at which players are whisked out of the vault, picking up some meager supplies along the way, I felt that the on-boarding process could be a bit more detailed–it made me feel mostly unprepared as I was scrambling to find any weapon I could get my hands on.

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With the new online focus, some returning mechanics have seen some changes. For instance, Fallout’s iconic V.A.T.S.–allowing you to target enemies and fire off precisely-aimed shots–now operates in real-time. It acts more like a real-time lock-on–with your weapon’s hit-rate adjusting depending on the enemy’s movement or their surroundings. This style of V.A.T.S. definitely took some getting used to. Mostly to the fact that enemies move around often, and combined with the awkward focus of the V.A.T.S. camera, it was jarring to actually use it during a fight. Because of this, I mostly stuck with standard aiming and shooting, which felt more reliable during engagements. While you can upgrade V.A.T.S. with perks to make it more effective, it feels more like an option that should be used sparingly.

Fallout 76’s survival mechanics take many cues from Fallout 4’s more challenging Survival mode. In addition to keeping your character well fed on a regular basis, you’ll also have to avoid ailments and diseases–such as contracting the oddly named but still troubling Rad Worms. Some enemies and locations even carry specific diseases, which create added risks to watch out for when exploring. These illnesses range from diseases that sap your maximum health, action points, and the general damage resistances for your character, to even increasing your susceptibility to radiation.

With a large emphasis on survival, nearly every item and resource you can get your hands on feels much more valuable. Nothing really lasts too long in Fallout 76–even the buffs from Bobbleheads and skill magazines only last a short time–so every tool you have will inevitably be discarded for something new. As you’re scavenging through the open world, you’ll find junk items, scraps, and crafting plans that can be turned into new gear and building materials for your constructions. Some of these materials can create bizarre weapons like the Heated Pitchfork or Ski-Sword–a single ski sharpened to form a blade. But over time, weapons and armor will eventually need to be repaired or broken down into materials for other items. Moreover, cooking and chem stations now have a greater importance, allowing you to prepare meals and craft support items.

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Character growth is still the core part of Fallout 76, and it offers an impressive amount of variety and flexibility. After leveling up, you can place points into the familiar categories of the SPECIAL system, each of which boost areas of your character’s raw stats. Eventually, you’ll acquire a pack of Perk Cards that can offer special buffs in their assigned categories. For example, the Gladiator perk card is a Strength card which increases damage with melee weapons, while Lead Belly can decrease the radiation from drinking contaminated water. The more points you have in a category, the more Perk Cards you can potentially slot in, giving you a whole suite of added buffs. At any time, you can swap out your set of Perk Cards to readjust your character, to better prepare for different challenges.

In keeping with the game’s focus on pioneering, the building mechanics from Fallout 4 also return. Now known as the C.A.M.P. system, you have in your possession a mobile construction device that allows you create a building at any time–provided that it doesn’t overlap with existing structures. You have free rein to construct whatever you like, whether that be subtle safe-houses for you to stash supplies, or even larger mega-structures that house turrets and a dedicated place to relax. If you ever want to pack up and move elsewhere, you can save your structure as a blueprint and dismantle it. This can come in handy if your chosen spot becomes too popular with other players.

The biggest point of contention with Fallout 76’s online nature is its lack of NPCs and slimmed down story, now serve to highlight the focus on moment-to-moment engagements with enemies and other players. This lack of traditional interactions and storytelling felt more noticeable the deeper we dove into the world. While you’re certainly free to play solo and avoid other players–and we definitely took the opportunity to strike out on our own, leading to those familiar moments of solitude and wanderlust, you’ll always be a potential target within the online world.

Having said that, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued by the re-focus here. Lore and smaller doses of story are still in surprisingly ample supply, but told passively through the environment and journals scattered about. While there are no active NPC characters to find–with exception to roaming robots that can offer trades and intel–you’ll eventually stumble across the bodies of long-dead survivors who have had a notable presence in the world. In their possession are special holotapes known Survivor Stories, detailing the last moments of their lives in the irradiated wilderness.

These stories told some interesting tales for the characters in Appalachia, which had some poignant and heartfelt moments to them–which was reassuring given the fragmented nature of the storytelling in 76. Speaking with design director Emil Paglliarulo, he elaborated on their refocus to make Fallout more about engaging with others players.

“We started off with the premise where the only other people you see are the ones that came from the vault,” he said. “We’ve also never had the opportunity to do a game that’s set twenty-five years after the bombs fell, it’s always been two-hundred something years after. Now, we have the stories of the people that survived the initial war, and we’ve never been able to tell those stories before. Of course without NPCs or no dialog trees–which was a huge adjustment for our quest designers, as they were used to doing it a certain way–and now the lore-heavy stuff comes from holo-tapes, which now has its own tab in the Pip-Boy. That’s been really interesting for us. And what ended up happening is that we ended up having a much more lonely story than in Fallout 4. All of these people that you do [learn about] are dead already, and it’s almost like a weird ghost story. We didn’t expect that.”

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Whether you want to play solo or within a group, player interaction is a big part of the game. Encountering another person after rounding the corner or reaching the end of a dungeon creates some genuinely tense feelings–not knowing what intentions the other player in front of you has. To communicate with others, Fallout 76 features a variety of in-game emotes to use and proximity based voice-chat. During our session, however, we used Xbox Live’s party chat client to stay in constant communication with our group–which won’t be the case for most players online.

When playing in groups, communication is important, and the emotes and proximity chat are a great way to get your point across. This is especially vital when grouping up for some of the more active quests that task you with overcoming some bizarre obstacles, such as finding the keys to an armory in a makeshift town built out of a destroyed aircraft, or finding out a mob of “unruly golfer feral ghouls” at a ritzy resort that’s still maintained by protectotrons. This can lead to some humorous and equally tense moments where players are scrambling to rely on their team’s special skills to progress further.

Once you reach level 5, Fallout 76’s PvP systems open up. When you encounter another player that’s over level 5, you can fire your weapon at them to let them know of your intentions. If they return fire, then you’ll both engage in a duel, with the loser dropping their current haul of junk items–no caps or gear is lost after a defeat. When shooting at a player that hasn’t engaged in response, all damage will be cut in half, which gives them enough time to react. It’s possible to kill another player who is not into the idea of fighting, and appropriately enough, this backhanded approach will mark you as a murderer, painting a massive target on your back for all players in the world to see.

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Our group of level 5 explorers tried to take down a level-58 player in power armor in similar fashion, but it didn’t go over well at all as he easily decimated the group with a high-powered Tesla Rifle. While damage calculations scale for enemies, allowing low-level players to potentially take out monsters several levels ahead of them, it does not for PvP engagements. However, if you wish to avoid PvP, or if a player is bugging you too much, you can block them or fast-travel to safety fairly easily. So far, the system in place is a thoughtful way to overcome the potential harassment that can often spring up with this type of game.

To cap off our hands-on time, the developers launched a nuke, which obliterates specific areas of the map. We all had front row seats to the explosion, and then proceeded to jump into the ensuing fallout–with its heavy radiation promptly killing us off one-by-one. As one of the larger end-game goals in Fallout 76, activating a nuke can lead to new events in the irradiated areas, revealing rare materials and dangerous enemies to fight. It also highlights the more dynamic nature of Fallout 76, with many of its narrative touches informed by the player’s decisions in the world.

The scale of Fallout 76 seemed impressive based on the first few hours. The location of West Virginia–and all its oddities–was exciting to dive into, which felt refreshing after coming off of Fallout 4’s Commonwealth. However, much like previous Fallout games, there were a number of odd bugs and large frame-rate dips that occurred throughout. This was especially noticeable during larger fire fights against large groups of enemies, which brought overall performance down to a slog. The developers we spoke to, however, assured us that the performance will be improved in time for its November 14 launch.

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76 certainly isn’t like other Fallout games. After our three hours, I got the impression that Bethesda is taking a risky approach with the series in regards to its lore and its core gameplay. With its heavy focus on survival gameplay and the online experience, I suspect that this largely experimental take on Fallout will become a rather polarizing entry. Though the mechanics were somewhat overwhelming to get a handle of, I can’t deny that I enjoyed exploring the large map and engaging in the mysterious, post-apocalyptic take on West Virginia. Fallout 76 looks like it can flourish in the long-term, and I’m interested in what can come about after many hours in its off-kilter and ever-changing setting.