Fallout 76’s Skyline Valley update strikes right at the heart of what you love about single-player Fallout

June 12, 2024
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Fallout 76‘s Skyline Valley update certainly isn’t short on sights and sounds to tempt you from the comfort of its six-year-old Appalachia map. Bolted onto the southern reaches of the Savage Divide running down the centre of the map, the newly added Shenandoah region has a giant, ominous vortex swirling up into the sky for starters, and on approach, the air itself starts turning a distinct shade of very evil-looking red. Lightning streaks constantly across the clouds, and as you descend into the valley proper, the earth has been ruptured and ripped apart by savage-looking earthquakes. It’s your classic ‘end of days hellscape’, if I’m honest, but after spending two hours bombing through its new story quest last week, this isn’t what sticks in my memory the most.

Rather, it’s a little bunker that belongs to a timid man named Kevin. You meet Kevin in the Shenandoah Visitor’s Centre, where the poor sod hasn’t just locked out of his makeshift underground home, but has also managed to let in some Mothman cultists at the same time. Oh, Kevin. On dealing with said cultists and returning Kevin’s lost key, however, he’ll guide you to his humble abode, wherein you’ll yoink a replacement part for a weather machine you’re trying to fix. That eye-catching vortex of doom I mentioned earlier has been caused by an errant weather station gone haywire, you see, and working together with the (equally eyebrow-raising) residents of Vault 63 (more on them in a sec) to get it back under control again forms a major part of this update’s main storyline.

But back to Kevin. When you arrive in Kevin’s bunker, you’re greeted with a charmingly pitiful scene. Unlike you and other Vault Dwellers, it’s clear Kevin’s been on his own during this unsightly apocalypse, and the lack of human interaction he’s had is immediately apparent. On the wall, he’s fashioned his own ‘Galerie de Kevin’ of framed painted animal portraits he’s created. A dead skinned squirrel lies rotting on the table next to it, bloodstains splattered everywhere while a small gathering of flies hover over a bucket of gibs and guts. To your right is a mounted bear head, whose jaw holds an unopened whisky bottle, clearly on hand for a timely swig during Kevin’s nauseating food prep sessions.

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