Some Fallout fans are upset that Fallout 76 will apparently seriously alter the history of the beloved Brotherhood of Steel faction.
For those who don’t know, the Brotherhood of Steel is a semi-religious faction that has been a part of the Fallout franchise since the very first game. Their advanced technology and somewhat ambiguous motivations (they’re not outwardly hostile towards humans, but they’re also not that interested in directly helping them) make them a fan favorite coalition that usually offers the best items in the franchise. For years, it’s been suggested that the first recorded history of the Brotherhood occurred in California sometime around the year 2134.
So how is it that The Brotherhood of Steel is featured in Fallout 76; a game that takes place in West Virginia in the year 2102? Fallout fans have been trying to answer that question ever since a scene in a recent gameplay demo of Fallout 76 seemingly confirmed that the Brotherhood is going to be in the game. Even if certain aspects of the Fallout lore are stretched a bit (who’s to say the Brotherhood didn’t actually exist in some form before 2134?) there seems to be no way that the Brotherhood could have made it from California (where they almost certainly began) to West Virginia in that time frame.
Bethesda has previously commented that they’re really not tied to the lore of a game that “somebody wrote 20 years ago,” but that they do plan on offering an explanation as to why the Brotherhood is in Fallout 76. A page on the Fallout wiki suggests that a detachment of soldiers was sent to the world of Fallout 76 to eradicate a creature known as the Scorchbeasts who are spreading a pathogen that turns people into mutants.
Why does any of this matter? Well, it certainly matters to hardcore Fallout fans, but even more casual fans of the franchise see this as an indication that Fallout 76 is very much not a Fallout game. The recent footage of the game that emerged from some press demos was met with a decidedly mixed reaction. That is to say that it looked incredibly rough and left many with serious doubts as to what Bethesda hopes to achieve with this game.
We’ll have to wait and see how Bethesda explains this Brotherhood of Steel timeline problem.
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Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.