Earlier this year, Bethesda released an elaborate Fallout 76 roadmap, which provided an overview of the game's planned content for 2019. Included in this Fallout 76 roadmap was a new game mode, titled Nuclear Winter, which is scheduled to launch this summer. While the developer has not yet provided official details on exactly what this Fallout 76 Nuclear Winter game mode will be, a new leak seemingly offers some big hints on the matter.
As shared by Reddit user Gearsthecool, a number of audio files connected to Nuclear Winter have recently been located in the Fallout 76 game files, and they have since been extracted and uploaded to Soundcloud. While these audio files do not explicitly detail the forthcoming Nuclear Winter game mode, they certainly seem to point to it being some sort of arena-based PvP offering.
Those that listen to the files discovered in this new Fallout 76 leak will hear the voice of Vault 51's ZAX, a type of supercomputer that fans of the franchise will be familiar with. This ZAX continually refers to the player as a "candidate," and it suggests that a battle to the death against other candidates, apparently inside of Vault 51, is the only way to determine who is "superior." There is further indication that this "test" is an attempt to find a candidate fit to be an overseer.
Additionally, the audio files seem to suggest that this battle in Vault 51 will occur over several rounds, and there is some indication that teams can be formed in Nuclear Winter. For example, the ZAX makes specific reference to things like "winning as a group," but there are also hints at the idea that a player must go solo in order to become the overseer.
With respect to weaponry, it appears that players may be able to use Fallout 76 nuclear weapons to deal devastating blows in Nuclear Winter. Again, the ZAX mentions "warheads" and a "nuclear briefcase" directly in these Fallout 76 audio files, and it tempts players to "utilize the weapon that brought about the end of [their] civilization."
Notably, prior to the Fallout 76 release date, Bethesda did express interest in bringing a 12-vs-12 deathmatch mode to the game. While this should certainly be considered speculative at this time, it does appear that the Nuclear Winter game mode may pickup on that idea in particular.
Fallout 76 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.