The launch of Fallout 76 was a definite fail for Bethesda. Game crippling bugs, an empty world, server issues, just a generally bad launch. Now that Fallout 76 has had time to bake, we would argue it is almost the game it was meant to be way back when it launched in 2018. The world doesn't feel as lifeless now and while it is still not at the same level as previous Fallout single-player experiences, it is well on it's way.
It's a strange situation as Fallout 76's graphics are very similar to the last Fallout 4 but with a few more bells and whistles. The colors are vibrant and impressive and while we had some issues with the reflection in water, the textures and model work are as good as anything we've seen this generation. That's not to say it is a solid enough-looking game but the difference is nothing to be ashamed of. In terms of performance, the game runs like a dream in 64-bit mode on Windows 10 on a Core i7-8700k and a GTX 1080 Ti. Playing on the lesser Intel Core i7-8500 processor, it was smooth enough with only some occasional stutter.
Being in an online game was a brave move for Fallout and although it wasn't quite how we imagined it would be, Bethesda seems to be committed to making it work. It is very clear that they have been listening to all the fan feedback from Fallout 76 and we have seen the vast majority of them with the inclusion of friends lists, customization, and more to the game. This has been aided by a very competent and deep survival mode which pits players against each other and even brings in various post-apocalyptic monsters to make for a good time, until you die. It's great to see Bethesda showing they're committed to getting the game right and having access to the world means they can build upon what has already been shown and try new things.
Fallout 76 is a work in progress that shows that Bethesda has learned from their previous mistakes. The awkwardness of the early days of Fallout 76 can be felt and, while there is still a long way to go, the game does finally feel like the authentic Fallout experience that so many fans of the series were waiting for.