Fallout 76, the online multiplayer Fallout game that nobody wanted but got any way, will be free to play this weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Despite Fallout 76's disastrous launch - Eurogamer's Wesley Yin-Poole called it "bizarre, boring, broken mess" in his review - and a raft of staggeringly questionable decisions from publisher Bethesda since then (ranging from subscription-based private servers to pay-to-win microtransactions), the beleaguered online survival game has continued to grow.
It's gained new modes, including the PvP-focussed Survival Mode and battle-royale-esque Nuclear Winter; it's seen new gameplay additions, including photography tools, brewing and distilling, dungeons, and a range of new quests and encounters.
By far its biggest expansion, however, came in the form of April's Wastelanders update, introducing a new main quest line, new locations, new enemies, new weapons, and a new reputation system, plus, of course, the long-awaited addition of NPCs. So extensive were these changes, Wes, on recently revisiting the game, conceded it was now "actually okay".
Those curious to see if Wastelanders has managed to transform Bethesda's initially wonky offering into an experience worth investing in, can do so via Fallout 76's free weekend on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The event begins at 5pm UK time tomorrow, 14th May, and runs until Monday, 18th May. As an added bonus, double XP will be offered for the duration.
Despite Bethesda's less-than-stellar early handling of Fallout 76, the game has remained a constantly fascinating endeavour, in large part thanks to its invested, and remarkably creative community - which, to date, has brought the world the likes of murder churches, math camps, and Deathclaw mazes. And if sociopathic role-play isn't your bag, pets are coming soon too.