I have to admit that even I hesitated briefly when Bethesda announced that Fallout 76 would have no human NPCs. After all, the eclectic array of survivors (along with their equally eclectic stories, ambitions, and machinations) has always been part of the charm of the Fallout series. The more I thought about it though, the more the decision makes sense in ways other than just the post-apocalyptic timeline.
After all, Bethesda has been conveying stories through their extensive world design and eye for detail in each of their titles for years now.
In Fallout’s case: whether it’s a carefully placed skeleton clutching a dusty teddy bear in the dark of an abandoned bunker or hastily painted warnings scrawled across a boarded door, there is an entire world telling players more about their surroundings than any digestible, scripted dialogue with an NPC could.