Combat is fun but also challenging at times. Weapons are scaled pretty well and actually create even more tension, especially if you mess up or panic. For example, the fire axe deals lots of damage, but it's quite slow so you can't just expect to hack everything up. You can't switch weapons during attack or reloading frames, so you have to make every single shot and hit count.
I found myself trying to control my blows while in combat rather than madly swinging just to soak up the EXP. Resource scarcity also amps up the tension especially when you're playing alone. Not having enough food or stimpaks makes you play the game differently, as does having a near-broken board. There's a sense of urgency when playing alone, but with a group that feeling is dramatically decreased and it's more about how much time you can spend versus how much skill you need.
VATS is janky, but that's to be expected given its real-time. Honestly, I don't think VATS needs to be in the game at all really. Maybe it's super useful at higher levels, but I haven't found a real good use for it yet other than closing distance between myself and enemies when I attack.
Of course, I've mostly been using melee weapons and haven't messed around too much with guns. Maybe VATS will become more handy when I make that switch.
Enemies themselves are scaled in MMO fashion. As a level 6, I was able to kill level 10-11 creatures without any real problem, and the world itself scales properly if you're in a team as well.
Graphics and Performance
Fallout 76 can look lush and vibrant at times, but overall the graphics aren't too amazing. There's jaggies here and there, and texture pop-ins are prevalent, but this is to be expected given an online-oriented world. The visuals aren't bad at all (well sometimes they can be) and but aren't fantastic, and the world looks and feels like a Fallout 4 mod of sorts.
At 1440p I noticed some serious FPS drops in specific areas, mostly where enemies popped up en masse or where there was a lot of lighting and other visual/environmental effects. Knocking the resolution down to 1080p helped a bit and I retained 50-60FPS through most of the game.
Lag wasn't a big issue, but the FPS drops can be super frustrating when fighting bigger monsters or running away from a horde of scorched.
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