Fallout 4 blasts another free trial weekend

Going anywhere nice this weekend? Have you considered the irradiated ruins of post-apocalyptic Boston? You might fancy a crack at Fallout 4, as this weekend Bethesda will hold yet another days-long free trial of the full game. The speedrun record is under one hour so you certainly could ‘complete it’ in one weekend, but myself I like the sound of wandering aimlessly. While I find Bethesda’s open-world RPGs quite flat and have never finished the main quest of a single one, I do always enjoy spending a while pottering and seeing sights. That’s my weekend sorted.

The trial weekend lets everyone play the full version of Fallout 4 (minus its paid DLC) for free through Steam. It started just now, at 6pm UK time on Thursday, and will run until 9pm on Sunday the 4th (1pm Pacific, if that’s your thing). Head on over to Steam to download it. It’s about 25GB to download, or a whole lot more if you also want the big ol’ official high-resolution texture pack.

If you want Fallout 4 for keepsies, it is on sale until 6pm on Monday too. The regular edition is £9.99 on Steam, while the GotY Edition including the DLC is down to £23.99. Most of the DLC is a bit bum but, even with individual DLC packs on sale separately as well, it doesn’t cost much more to get the lot than to just get Far Harbor, the one which Jack de Quidt told us is quite good.

Saves will carry over from the trial to the full version too.

This is regular Fallout 4, to be clear, not the gogged-up new Fallout 4 VR which is somehow sold as a separate game. If you are curious about that, hey, our Alec called it “technically impressive” but “gimmicky” so no great loss.

I know I’ve said before that I wanted to explore Fallout 4 during a free trial weekend, but I really mean it this time.


  1. Konservenknilch says:

    Oh goodie, time to check if it will run acceptably on my craptastic machine (Athlon X4 880K, GT1030).

    Yes, I will upgrade soon. No, I will not upgrade as long as GPUs cost more than the rest of the system combined.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Ditto – though my own Prof. Bongsquire’s Craptastic Machine does run a surprising lot of the current fare, so what I’m missing out is few and far enough between that it’s still easy not to upgrade. I consider myself a huge Fallout fan, but I’ve been in no rush to pick up 4, cus I know it’ll mean me being addicted for the next few months to what I’m sure I’ll join the rest of the world in agreeing is at bottom a mediocre game. Mediocrity aside, though, I have no reason to believe I won’t be completely hooked again, because precedent has shown that’s just what these games do. I don’t really like swords and fantasy, I only played and enjoyed Morrowind because it was sufficiently different from all the usual fantasy stuff, and yet I *still* got super hooked on Skyrim and spent hundreds of hours on it (all without ever finishing the main quest) just the same.

      Basically, I know what it’s going to do to me. It’s like I’ve been clean for years and I’ve got a packet of heroin just *being there* in my nightstand, like a phantom limb. All because the dealer cooed, “The first one’s always free-Steam-weekend…”

      • DEspresso says:

        Once upon a time there was a free weekend for some Saints Row. On Saturday I noticed (from the achievements) I already finished half of it, on Sunday I finished, did some optionals and grew pretty sick of it.

        It was in a humble bundle a while later yet I so ‘overdosed’ on it I never found the urge to reinstall it. Last Time played: Sometime in 2014..
        Cured by over exposition.

        So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to finish the game. You have 48 hours.
        Good Luck Commander!

        ( Don’t)

    • Agamemnerd says:

      If it makes you feel better: my 32gb RAM / 4ghz i7 / M2 stick steam game drive / 1080 NVidia SLI setup will play Fallout 4 (with native HD pack + 4 modest mods) under latest Win10x64 for about 20 minutes before crashing out hard. Looks great for that 20 minutes, though.

    • Konservenknilch says:

      Update: Fuck, it’s playable in 1080p mid details. Bought the full the full version. Fuck you, Bethesda. Bethesda never changes. Seeya in a couple of months.

  2. NailBombed says:

    I found FO4 to be mostly enjoyable, the Far Harbor and Nuka World DLC’s being IMO pretty darn good. Not as good as Old World Blues mind you but still good stuff.
    The settlement crafting can also be fun enough (especially when I figured out certain settlements which were built under overpasses could have stairs all the way up to and on top of said overpasses), but the constant nagging to guard the settlements is a bit meh.

    • indociso says:

      Having to constantly look after your settlements was annoying. It reminds me of the checkpoints in Far Cry 2, in the sense that it’s something that is stopping you from enjoying the rest of the game.

      I enjoy modding equipment, though, even if that means I do spend most of my time looking for duct tape and wonderglue.

      • Premium User Badge

        Qazinsky says:

        Yeah, defending settlements in Survival mode is hell, especially before finding that way to travel faster. How many times had I not travelled for days from closest safe base and then being halfway into clearing some location when the warning for some settlement across the whole map that needed defending.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      I agree with this, some of the theme parks in Nuka World could have been better, but all in all, the atmosphere and style of it made me want to visit Nuka World before everything went haywire.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I quite liked Fallout 4, even if I’ve played it to death at this point.

    Nothing useful to add. I just liked the game.

    • ReluctantlyHuman says:

      Same here. I beat the main story within a few months of coming out, but decided to revisit to check out the DLC a few weeks back and have been having a blast. I finished off Far Harbor last night and might make a new character for Nuka World (I can’t imagine any of my existing characters going along with the plot of Nuka World). I’ve also made a new character to focus exclusively on settlements (mostly by using the great Sim Settlements mod to do the work for me), so that’s been pretty great.

  4. Grizzly says:

    I wonder if my saves from the previous free weekend are still intact… I had a lot of fun with it back then, but not enough to warrant buying the game.

  5. Cross says:

    Fallout 4: A farewell to roleplaying. In hindsight, I dislike it.

    • Konservenknilch says:

      At this point, I like to to think of Bethesda games as a genre unto themselves.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Yeah Bethesda open worlds may be pretty “diet” as far as being RPGs, but their cast success doesn’t seem to threaten the existence of genuine RPGs elsewhere. If you see nothing on the horizon for “serious pants” RPGs, I’d recommend getting into Kenshi. (The RPS coverage of Kenshi is from a time/build version before I got into it, so I’d say their lukewarm write-up doesn’t do it proper justice – I say this in case you read only that and decide it sounds iffy – it’s a tough nut but a worthy one..!)

        • Konservenknilch says:

          Haven’t heard of Kenshi before, but it sure looks intruiging. I’m not really into early access, how playable is it in the current state?

  6. Moonracer says:

    I’m pretty bitter about FO4 as a progression of the series (and Bethesda in general) but there is still plenty of entertainment to be had. Also, going to plug my Loot Logic and Reduction mod from the Nexus (my other mods are good too, but this one I feel is a must have).

  7. Zenicetus says:

    I enjoyed it, because the one thing Bethesda does well is create these funky post-nuke settings. Combat is meh, storylines are meh (with a few sidequest exceptions), but I do like wandering through rubble and post-apocalyptic settlements.

    The best DLC was Far Harbor, in part because Nick is my BFF and it’s basically built around his history. The robot DLC was okay, nothing special. I only got partway through Nuka World because I didn’t like the choices for my character. In my head canon he’d never want to lead a gang, and it didn’t make sense to bring my favorite companion Nick. It was a strange way to end the game. I may go back and finish it, just wipe everyone out for kicks.

  8. Doug Exeter says:

    Hated it. Got about 30 hours in before I realized I was playing something I didn’t like at all. Even my hardcore Fallout friends put it down in record time. I’m done with 3d Fallout at this point.

  9. Vandelay says:

    Would love to get the VR version of this, having not got the standard one, but I’m not paying £40 for it, when the Game of the Year version is nearly half the price.

    I accept that there is obviously going to be a premium on such a product, but it really does feel like greed on the part of Bethesda. There isn’t even a discount for those that have already bought the original game!

    They either need to add in all of the DLC or reduce the price to at least £30, probably £20, before I will be considering it.

    • fish99 says:

      They also locked out the Rift, which is quite a petty thing to do and presumably relates to the legal disputes between Zenimax and Oculus. Nice way to shaft half your potential playerbase.

      There’s ways to get round it, but apparently control issues remain. It’s also not supposed to be an especially good VR port from what I read.

      • Feeesh says:

        They didn’t actually lock out the Rift, they just don’t officially support it. They’re not Oculus, they didn’t add in actual HMD check and block. You can use a few tweaks and play on the Rift just fine.

        • fish99 says:

          That’s not what I’m reading on Steam. Someone had to make a remapping tool, and it’s still far from perfect. Also the initial release version apparently wouldn’t run on a Rift at all without a third party tool.

  10. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Bought it and refunded it within 2 hours. It just doesn’t feel like Fallout anymore. The shooting is better than New Vegas (at least in terms of lack of reliance on VATS) and the power armor mechanics are a nice touch, but everything else just feels worse.

    My biggest concern is that the success with which the game was met will lead other developers on a similar path.

  11. Stargazer86 says:

    I bought it during the Christmas sale and loaded it up with mods almost immediately. Sim Settlements makes settlement building less of a boring chore, for sure. Unfortunately my save corrupted at some point and I had to wind progress back to a previous save, uninstall my 40+ mods, reinstall the game, and go through a bunch of crap just so I didn’t lose all of my progress.

    Plus it already runs like something of a potato on my older machine. Still, I’m enjoying it for what it is.

  12. SaintAn says:

    Just make sure not to pay money for it. Get it other ways. Don’t support paid modding and boycott all Bethesda Zenimax products.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I’m a disillusioned Skyrim modder who grew up on games like Daggerfall, and I’ve watched Bethesda go from being a genre-defining pillar of innovation to a cautionary tale for all devs. There’s no way in hell I’ll ever pay for another Bethesda product.

      As a reminder, people, Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be released in less than two weeks. If you want open-ended RPG adventures, why not give your money to the people who are actually working to earn it?

    • pookie101 says:

      A lot of the content they released for the creation club has been overpriced and frankly substandard but the last release was a good one. new location, and gear. not to mention the donut workshop pack is awesome fun along with the arcade pack :D

  13. Sandepande says:

    I’m sorry. I paid full price back in 2015. And full price for every DLC.

    For some of us, Bethesda’s take on Fallout does not a) represent the end of all that is good in the world and b) make the old Fallouts disappear.

    But that is true that it’s no longer a CRPG as much as it is an FPS with crafting, bullet time targeting and conversations.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      It’s not fair to trivialize our objections as histrionics, nor are they wholly based on the transition from CRPG to FPS.

      Once upon a time, Bethesda took an RPG genre that was largely undeveloped (ie. text adventures and what would today be termed roguelikes) and blew our minds with possibilities. For the first time, we had nonlinear adventures set in pseudo-3D worlds, with robust character creation tools and amazing innovations such as quests tied to in-game calendars. They silently included wild ideas such as contractible vampirism and lycanthropy, gave us worlds the size of Great Britain, and penned a library of fantastic literature to flesh out these game worlds.

      Fast forwards to 2018. Bethesda is still building games off of the skeleton of an engine that was used to develop Morrowind in 2002, because they can’t be arsed to shell out for anything remotely modern. They are very blatantly releasing shells of games designed to be frameworks for modders to build off of, and then aggressively attempting to monetize those mods to fatten their own pocketbook. They are still using the same in-game literature they commissioned for Daggerfall in 1996, while adding only a fraction of that library in the 22(!) years that have passed since that game was released.

      Bethesda is a zombie company, kept alive by a lack of competition in the genre (to be clear, I refer to the ‘heavily modifiable first-person RPG’ genre here). Their business model is based off of exploiting the free labour of passionate modders – while constantly attempting to monetize said labour for minimal compensation. Gamers don’t enjoy their games; they enjoy the framework their games provide for people who actually give a damn to build off of. They are a parasite corporation, and they deserve nothing less than to be a footnote in gaming history.

      • Sandepande says:

        Whatever. I happily play Bethesda’s games unmodded, except Oblivion. Still, it is true that mods enhance many an aspect of their products, but that applies to any game.

        What I’m saying is that they are good enough for me and a few million others.

  14. Nolenthar says:

    Bethesda is producing excellent games (Dishonored 2, Doom, Wolfenstein). Developing them though ? forget about it. Just look at what Obsidian did with New Vegas, compare it to Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, and cry.
    They need to sell the franchise, or give it to passionate devs, produce it if they want (they do it fine) and let us enjoy the franchise again.

  15. pookie101 says:

    *Checks Steam* Only 2573 hours in it :D

    Fallout is one of my favourite franchises and I’m apparently the only person who has existed on earth judging from the comments who actually likes all the games in their own way.

    Fallout 4 lets me get lost in the world and roleplay a character who adapts to this new world in different ways, from a max endurance character who is a mutant to a high charisma character who manipulated anyone and everything into doing her dirty work to a former soldier who finds solace in the ranks of the Brotherhood of steel