Following almost two years since its launch after having had a massive overhaul to address overwhelming issues, "Fallout 76" remains in shambles. Regardless of the amount of time and effort put into "Wastelanders," the long-overdue update that was supposed to miraculously save the RPG from its own wreckage, the prophecy foretold by parent company Bethesda was nothing short of a hoax. But why?

To put it quite simply, "Fallout 76: Wastelanders" could do little to nothing to salvage what was left of the base game because a clumsy Bethesda kept coming up short on the overall quality of its content.

A nuclear wasteland indeed

From the very beginning, Bethesda had been serving up a "nothing burger," to fans, with this massive undertaking, which is why this latest debacle seemed inevitable to some "Fallout 76" naysayers.

"Fallout 76" was Bethesda's most ambitious undertaking with a long-running IP and the company wanted everyone to think they were treating it that way. The game marked the franchise's departure from a single-player experience to one that can be shared with multiple players globally. As such, the company's developers Bethesda Softworks decided to give this new title a soft launch complete with a long-running beta phase for critical assessment.

The studio did so with some questionable design choices that include removing NPCs, enacting a bounty on grievers as a penalty, and making everything exclusive to their own platform the Bethesda Launcher.

However, despite all of these precautions, "Fallout 76" ultimately became a train wreck. The game launched with a barrage of bugs and exploits, some of which were by far the worst the franchise had ever experienced. Players were either driven away when the video game broke down from the glitches or drawn in with the prospect of selling in-game content on the black market acquired through exploits.

"Wastelanders" was a fitting title

"Fallout 76" wasn't a good look for Bethesda and the company needed a remedy and fast. The best that could be done was to give the title a "Realm Reborn" overhaul which is where the "Wastelanders" update came into play. But players would have to wait almost a year for this update to arrive due to many delays.

Once "Wastelanders" finally dropped in April, it seemed the RPG was finally saved. Or so had many critics believed according to early Steam reviews. Initially, the update did indeed deliver on some of its promises--introducing some much-needed fixes and additional content. The most notable and meaningful one being NPCs that were AWOL from the launch.

However, it was quickly discovered that "Fallout 76" had also brought with it new problems with the addition of these unplayable characters.

The NPCs were woven into the new quest system as expected with any Fallout game and were meant to breathe new life into a dying world as part of a wasteland reclamation movement in the narrative. Unfortunately, these unplayable characters lack the lively mechanisms that were expressed in earlier entries.

Typically, the NPCs provided quests and dialogues for players to grind through yet nothing beyond that. They were uninterested in what else was going on around them whereas players could attack them or steal from them without so much of a hostile response. Some newly acquired companions wouldn't even follow players on the quests. It didn't help that the voice acting also fell short, making NPCs feel all the more lifeless.

Players also discovered a new bug that lets NPCs loot their dead characters like scavengers. On top of that, they also discovered graphical performance issues that directly impacted NPC behavior. Bodies would inexplicably lose parts of their anatomies or phase through the environment similar to previous bugs.

Other graphical performance issues are being reported as of posting this. But the real slap in the face came when it was discovered that some of these new bugs were in fact recycled from older entries in the franchise.

It's no mystery that the game shares a lot in common with its predecessor "Fallout 4." since they were both built upon the same engine that came into existence with "TESV: Skyrim" in 2011. This fact makes this whole predicament all the more insulting to everyone involved and leaves a troubling question among the collective. How in 2020 is this company struggling to patch an engine that's been around for nearly a decade?

Bethesda doesn't seem to have any answers; throughout the years its representatives like studio head Todd Howard were too busy regurgitating the same boring slogan: "It just works." They also claimed that the state of the latest entry wasn't where they wanted to be.

Yet, "Wastelanders" became a new nightmare for "Fallout 76" players to experience.

The truth is they were expecting something serviceable that never was, to begin with. Hence, "the game was rigged from the start."

The future of Fallout

From here, it's anybody's guess on what Bethesda has in store for "Fallout 76" players moving forward. But what is certain at this point is that the company is gambling with its own future; pitting everything it has on brand loyalty and nothing on quality control. Undoubtedly, this decision is a recipe for disaster and one the company should reconsider.