Originally ill-fated and now much-upgraded sort of MMO Fallout 76 is having its moment in the sun at last. It’s still not the best Fallout game on the block, but it’s not someplace you’d be utterly embarrassed to invite your mates. To that end, Bethesda are running a free-to-play weekend starting this Thursday. Now that the online Fallout game has made its way to Steam, it’s just that little bit easier to wheedle a Fallout-liking friend into giving it a try with you.
If you give it a go, the good thing about about the big human NPC migration back to Fallout 76 is that there’s no level requirement to see the new bits. There are new folks to talk to straight down the steps from your vault exodus and a main quest to pick up just down the road.
Given a weekend, you could likely saunter your way through the first main quest chunk of the update in which you get in the middle of a gang of bandits hassling the new local bar. I did as much in my first couple days after my return. Or you could just wander out into the wasteland swatting bloodbugs and getting gnawed on by deathclaws. Your choice.
As for whether or not Fallout 76 is worth your time now, Nate comes around in his Fallout 76 Wastelanders review to an assessment I mostly share. It pretty much comes down to your relationship with Fallout itself.
“I really respect how much it’s improved, and I’ve tried my hardest to enjoy all that Wastelanders has to offer. But at the end of the day, Bethesda have worked their arses off for eighteen months in order to make a game that is alright. For devotees of the Fallout series, it’s probably upgraded to ‘pretty decent’. With another expansion or two in this vein, I’d tentatively say Fallout 76 could be… good. And for the players who’ve stuck with it since day one, Wastelanders must seem like an utter triumph.”
In any case, if you’d been sitting on an irradiated fence about trying out Fallout 76 at last, at least for this weekend it will only cost you your time and not your caps.
You can download it over on Steam or from Bethesda’s launcher. It’s priced at £35/€40/$40 but you can play for free from Thursday, May 14th at 5pm BST / 12 pm EDT until Monday, May 18th at 5pm BST / 12 pm EDT.