By Janet Garcia
Bethesda has revealed Nuclear Winter, a new battle royale mode for Fallout 76 at its E3 2019 press conference. Players can get a sneak peek at the new mode from June 10-17, and Fallout 76 will get a free trial that same week across all platforms. This fight to the death consists of 52 players with a ring of fire slowly closing around the battlefield. You can “rank up, unlock new and exclusive Perks, deploy a C.A.M.P. and even launch nukes” according to Bethesda’s official website.
Moving up in the Overseer ranks will allow you to gain access to new areas of Vault 51 which have new mysteries to uncover. You can start with a new character or carry your Adventure Mode character into this mode. Either way, your character level doesn’t help or hinder you. Instead, its all about tracking down weapons and armor to help your chances of surviving. Creatures have been rebalanced in Nuclear Winter so they’re easier to take down and all armor pickups you gain from those kills contain a full set of armor, allowing you to get stronger faster. But killing creatures will also alert players of your position. C.A.M.P setups have also been simplified so you can just drop your creation into the map using your Blueprints from Adventure Mode – no resources needed. Doing this has no effect on your Adventure Mode C.A.M.P. Due to the simplification of C.A.M.Ps, adjustments have been made to keep gameplay fair “so players aren’t simply dropping in hundreds of turrets at no cost.” Nukes behave a bit differently in Nuclear Winter too. The map is smaller so the Nukes have a smaller effect and area. But once a nuke is dropped its effect will remain for the rest of the match. Launching a nuke requires four nuclear codes and one launch briefcase. The only things that can completely carry over from Adventure Mode is your character design, cosmetics (to an extent), and all your base game S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, minus the passive bonuses. You can wear your favorite cosmetic items by marking them as a “Nuclear Winter Favorite” but you’ll have to find them in the course of the match to actually equip them. Nuclear Winter has 73 Perk cards for you to unlock and equip; ten of these cards are for this mode only and cannot be carried over to Adventure or Survival Mode. Here are some of the ones included: Walking Arsenal: Combines all the weight reduction benefits for ranged weapons into one card. Frog Legs: Increases jump height. Briefcase Bloodhound: Helps you track down nuke briefcases. Fallout 76 had a bit of a rocky start. We said it had a “rich wasteland map […] wasted on a mess of bugs, conflicting ideas, and monotony” in our 5/10 review, and named it one of the worst games of 2018. Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has since said that the team knew the game would have “bumps” but feels things have gotten better since launch. Nuclear Winter is part of the second of its three seasons of extra content, with the next, Wastelanders, promising to be the most ambitious, adding a new main questline among other elements. For more on IGN’s E3 coverage, stay tuned to IGN’s E3 2019 hub. Be sure to also check out the list of confirmed E3 2019 games, as well as the list of games that won’t be at E3 2019. Janet Garcia is IGN’s associate guides editor. Follow her on Twitter @Gameonysus.