The Fallout Legacy collection & the travesty of 76

As of the end of last week, the Fallout Legacy collection is officially out now in Germany and here in the UK, but with Bethesda’s recent history of trying to nuke its own fanbase, the question is surely this: is this bundle worth it, or is this just another case of a Bethesda trying to rinse its ever-wilting fanbase?

To answer this, we need to look at three things:

  1. Why do people hate Bethesda?
  2. What games are in the Fallout Legacy collection?
  3. Are these games any good?

First things first – why have people come to hate Bethesda?

The publisher and the game studio is shares its name with have a long history of releasing games that aren’t quite ready for release. Part of this is the studio’s tendency to really push the envelope with vast open-world games, the likes of which have never been seen before. Skyrim, for instance, will go down in history as one of the most incredible gaming experiences of its time, with more quests and play options than you can shake a stick at, and that’s certainly a reason to look forward to their work.

There really is a lot of love for Bethesda when they make games like this, but you have to accept or hope that most of the issues at release will get patched over time. Greatness can come at a cost. However – looking at Skyrim on the PS3 as a key example – other things never get patched and players have been left with a quagmire of broken code and unplayable garbage. The moral of this story is that buying a Bethesda game at launch is a crapshoot. You never know if you’re coming up sixes or you’ve just shot your budget and have nothing to show for it.

This brings us to Fallout 76, the latest entry in the Fallout franchise, and a pile of unplayable junk that a lot of people are still justifiably angry about. It was the first Fallout to be an online-only multiplayer game, it was riddled with issues at launch – to the point where people literally couldn’t play the game – and the apologies that Bethesda issues were scant at best. Those who bought into the premium editions didn’t get what was promised, and the apologies issued were, again, sub-par.

Some of the issues have been fixed, but most of what the diminishing fanbase has been asking for has now been released behind of an arguably overpriced Fallout First paywall that actively hurts those who use it. Even this was broken, with private servers not being truly private at its launch. Amusingly, Bethesda didn’t think to buy the domain falloutfirst.com, with angry consumer hilarity ensuing. The entire saga is the definition of a farse.

So you might be pleased that there’s no sign of a ’76’ in the Fallout Legacy collection’s contents. The bundle brings together Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, Fallout 3 GOTY Edition, Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition and Fallout 4 GOTY edition, with the notable omission of Fallout 76 and the free-to-play Fallout Shelter.

I think that’s largely indicative of what the legacy of the Fallout series ought to be. These are, by and large, respectable games. I’ve played and loved everything from Fallout 3 to Fallout 4 and highly recommend them to anyone with an interest in the franchise. Believe it or not, life as a Fallout fan was pretty good before the nuclear apocalypse that was Fallout 76, and you’re far better off returning to the franchise’s heyday than its current folly. The only good wasteland is the wasteland in one of the games in this Legacy collection.

So, do I recommend Fallout Legacy? Well, if you can find it. It’s appeared with next to no fanfare, as an exclusive on The Game Collection in the UK, and (though not really my area of shopping expertise) through Amazon Germany. At £34.99 or €39.99, it’s good value though, and it’s only during the regular sales that you’d be able to assemble a similarly comprehensive collection for less through Steam – by our maths, the Steam Halloween Sale lets you grab the lot for £29.16. Better yet, you can then pick and choose which games you want to play. It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure out which is better value.