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Fallout 76 VATS system seems to be underwhelming and unfinished

Published: 18:24, 09 October 2018
Updated: 18:25, 09 October 2018
Fallout 76 image spoofed to make it look like it's in VATS
Fallout 76

Bethesda-era Fallout games all featured VATS system that would either completely freeze the time or just slow it down. Such time altering abilities would be game breaking in a multiplayer game so Fallout 76's compromise may have ruined it.

Bethesda had a tough task in front of them when presented with the VATS challenge - how do you incorporate such a system into a real time multiplayer game? It would suck for the game's pacing if 30 or so players paused the game or slowed it down for everyone each time they felt the need for Vault Tec Assisted Targeting System.

Well, Fallout 76 has real time VATS, but it really feels out of place. For example, everything will keep moving and fighting as normal, but the RNG chance to hit will go wild as your target keeps moving further away or closer to you. If it moves behind a cover, your chance to hit will go down to zero and then ramp up again if it moves into the open and players will need to hit the target at presumably the moments when they have the highest chance to hit.

If the description above gave you an impression of playing whack-a-mole in a Fallout setting, you wouldn't be wrong. When you finally find a suitable mole to whack, where the proverbial moles are body parts, you will need to unload your weapon as soon as possible, before the simplistic AI accidentally runs through a cover.

In best case scenario, VATS will simply be a tool for players who get stuck with gamepads and are not able to aim precisely or quickly enough in the frantic close corridor fights with ghouls or other fast moving enemies.

Bethesda Screenshot from Fallout 76 trailer where a player is killing someone named PGarvey Fallout 76 - Get rekt Preston

Others will most likely just ignore the system altogether, since it no longer offers those awesome slow motion cinematic moments of the bullet that made a super mutant's head explode like a melon. Even worse,  the system seems to be unfinished, as the equipped weapon will not track the movement of its target and it will look like you're shooting into thin air, but still have 53 per cent chance to score a head shot.

You can see it in action in the embedded video above, but be warned - it could cause contempt-induced Fallout aversion, so watch at your own discretion.

Bethesda's Fallout 76 releasing on 14 November 2018

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
During the E3 this year we had a chance to see Todd Howard present the new Fallout 76 where he talked about the location, map size and more. Beta was announced for early summer while the official release will be happening 14 November 2018.

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