A lot of gamers wish that they could play certain games well ahead of release. This is despite the fact that unfinished games are riddled with bugs, are extremely glitchy, and before the games go gold (which means that development is finished and the gold master disc is compiled) there are a lot of hang-ups, lock-ups, and general performance issues to deal with. Nevertheless, sometimes playing a game early isn't so much about experiencing it for its faults, but enjoying it for what it is because it's a dream come true. That's exactly what happened for a 12-year-old suffering from terminal cancer, who was granted the opportunity to play Fallout 76 months before its launch, thanks to Bethesda.
In a Facebook post, the parents of 12-year-old Wes -- a young child suffering from neuroblastoma -- explain that one of the things that Wes has been looking forward to is Fallout 76 from Bethesda. The game isn't due out until November 14th, later this fall, but Wes got a special surprise when Martino Cartier from Bethesda Software dropped by to let him play the game early.
Originally the Power Armor Edition of Fallout 76 was pre-ordered for the 12-year-old, but due to Wes' rapidly declining health, the boy was afraid that he would likely never get to play the game. Throughout September the cancer has gone from bad to worse, spreading through his abdomen , chest, and bone marrow.
Due to Wes' condition, it seemed unlikely that he would live long enough to play the game, but Bethesda decided to make a special exception and they brought Wes the Power Armor Edition of Fallout 76 to the 12-year-old, letting him play an early build of the post-apocalyptic game before anyone else.
Now the version that he was allowed to play was unfinished and they only got to put in several hours worth of gaming thanks to Martino Cartier and Matt Grandstaff, the later of whom drove four hours from Maryland to their house to watch Wes play the game.
Even though the post acknowledges that Wes didn't get to keep the game, his parents noted that having a few hours of enjoyment with one of this fall's biggest releases was enough to make him happy.
The story has been spreading rapidly, and even made international headlines. A lot of commenters on the post offered their support and sent their well wishes to Wes, hoping that he can fight on for as long as possible.
On the upside, Wes is one of the very first people to ever get his hands on the Power Armor edition of the game, and -- as indicated in the pictures available on Facebook -- he was able to try the helmet on for himself. It's a good fit, too.
While these sorts of stories usually don't have happy endings, in this particular case Wes was able to get in some time with a game he really wanted to play, and in his current condition that speaks volumes to his own inner strength. Unlike Wes, you'll have to wait until November to play the game on the Xbox One, PS4, or PC... but not on Steam.