Fallout 76 is very much a game of its time. Games such as Destiny, The Division, Day-Z, PUBG, Fortnite and the upcoming Anthem -- they're all online-focused video games with co-op elements. This is clearly Bethesda's attempt to hop onboard with that trend.
But expect something different. Bethesda's a little like Blizzard in that regard. If it turns its attention to a genre, it typically does a good job of innovating within that genre.
Other Fallout games have been a bit drab -- that's not a knock, it's simply the aesthetic. It's a post-apocalyptic wasteland, so it makes sense.
Fallout 76 is noticeably... brighter. It has more colour. Part of that has to do with the new lighting system Bethesda has implemented, but it also seems like a very conscious choice. For better or worse, this will almost certainly be the "prettiest" Fallout game yet.
Online survival games such as Day-Z and Rust are generally unforgiving. Bethesda has recognised this and it looks like making Fallout 76 accessible to all players is a high priority.
Bethesda describes Fallout 76 as a "softcore" experience. You don't typically hear that word used when discussing Bethesda games, but it makes sense. Bethesda is walking a tightrope here: The hook of survival games is often the challenge of surviving against other human players, after all.
You might say this subverts the "nuclear war is bad" message of Fallout as a series (and you'd probably be right) but this is a cool mechanic, particularly if you're looking to encourage co-operative play.
Scattered throughout the world of Fallout 76 are missile silos. Launch codes are scattered throughout the world and here's the trick: You can't launch a nuke with just one code, which means you have to co-operate in order to use them.