fallout 76 power armor and scorchbeast

Gaming: Nukes nuke Fallout 76 servers; a big new trailer for Half-Life fans

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Nov 20, 2018, 9:31 AM EST

Fallout 76 hasn’t even been out a week yet, and already some dedicated fans are finding a way to coordinate spectacular late-game, apocalyptic nuclear launch strikes on a scale that Bethesda might not have anticipated — at least, not this early.

Nuclear detonations in Fallout 76 are supposed to be epic, well-earned, and generally isolated events, horizon-jolting flashes that spawn high-level enemies, irradiate the landscape, and open temporary opportunities for unique loot. In other words, they’re desirable, so long as your character’s tough enough to enter the blast zone. But they’re also rare… or, at least, they’re supposed to be.

Don’t tell that to a gamer who goes by Nickaroo93 on YouTube, though, who joined some friends in doing the legwork required to scare up the launch codes for not one, but three nuclear bombs. Partly as an exercise in testing the online game’s limits, they launched all three bombs at the same time — and promptly nuked Bethesda’s real-world game server in the process.

While overloading the server is no one’s idea of fun, at least the simultaneous blasts aren’t quite as apocalyptic for other players as it first sounds. “If a player is in a server when the nuke launches, and they don’t want to deal with it, they can simply leave their world and join a different one,” Nickaroo93 explained to The Verge.

Check out the mayhem in the clip below, and then stand clear. Fallout 76 gives plenty of advance warning before a bomb goes off, so remember: It’s up to you to prevent (or, we're hoping, to cause) nuclear annihilation.

Nickaroo93 on YouTube

While we wait for the first confirmed sighting of the abominable snowman, humankind’s first contact with an alien life form, and news from Valve that Half-Life 3 is finally in the works, we’ll settle for the next best thing — and in the case of Half-Life, at least the next best thing is pretty cool.

Black Mesa: Xen, the Valve-sanctioned, fan-made Half-Life remake mod that’s been in the works for a while now, has at last gotten its first trailer. And all it takes is one glance at the current-gen graphics to recognize that this is not the 1990s-vintage Half-Life that you remember.

Black Mesa on YouTube

For those who’ve followed the grassroots project from its origins more than five years ago, the new trailer feels like a long time coming. Started in 2012, Black Mesa eventually ended up being split in two, with development on Xen — the upcoming portion that’s featured in the trailer — delayed while the rest of Black Mesa went live on Steam back in 2015.

The Black Mesa team said in a Steam post that Xen is almost done, and should be available in the first half of next year. “Our goal is to release Xen on Steam in Q2 2019. This will allow us to finish Xen to a place where the entire product is stable, smooth, and most importantly... fun! We are already happy with the design state of Xen as it stands currently: almost everything is design locked and functioning as intended,” the post reads.

It’s hard to believe that Half-Life has been in the wild for 20 years now, but at least this meaty, six-hour fan expansion on Gordon Freeman’s world is a cool way to tide over all the fans who’d freak out if Valve actually announced a proper Half-Life 3 sequel. As it stands, we’re just stoked to be getting any new Half-Life adventure — especially one made with Valve’s full blessing.