Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role Playing Game was released on October 10, 1997—25 years ago, minus a week. That's the silver anniversary, which is a big one as these milestones go, and to mark the moment Bethesda is—among other things—making Fallout 76 free for the week.
Fallout 76 is very different from the original Fallout, an isometric RPG with turn-based combat set in a grim post-war world. I won't get into which one is "better"—I like old Fallout, I like new Fallout—but the current iteration of the series, a multiplayer-first-person game that focuses on action over roleplaying in a somewhat more lighthearted setting, is definitely a different sort of experience. It was very okay at launch, earning a 60% in our 2018 review as "a beautifully crafted but ultimately repetitive world," but it's come a long way since, racking up a reported 13 million players so far, and earlier this year Bethesda announced a "five-year roadmap" for the future.
While we're celebrating 25 years of Fallout all month long, take a look at everything that's coming this week: https://t.co/kS1XxrT3W3#Fallout25 pic.twitter.com/A9XENFItdBOctober 3, 2022
The free week of Fallout 76 will begin October 4 and run until October 11. To help newcomers get started, Bethesda will also put out a Post-Apocalypse Loyalty Simulator (PALS) questionnaire intended to help players find a faction that fits them. There will also be bonuses for Prime Gaming and Xbox Game Pass subscribers, a seasonal event called Invaders From Beyond, and an anniversary livestream on Twitch set for October 7.
Fans of the management side of nuclear holocaust survival are also in for a nice surprise: An update to Fallout Shelter will add new content to the game for the first time in more than four years. Full details on Bethesda's Fallout anniversary plans are up at fallout25th.com.