One of the best video games of recent years is free to play this weekend 8 months ago

One of the best video games of recent years is free to play this weekend

Compensate for a lonely Valentine's with 73 uninterrupted hours of Overwatch gameplay

Overwatch, 2016's game of the year, will be free to play this weekend - in its entirety.

The hero shooter owns its genre and despite a release in May 2016 is still widely played. This strong stable of players, and the income generated by their paying for loot boxes, has allowed developer Blizzard to continue updating their title for free.

(Credit: Blizzard)

Online only, the team-based multiplayer shooter is worth anyone's time, with a softer gameplay style more reliant on strategy than the clutch play typical of Call of Duty's franchise. If you haven't played it yet, now's the time. Gamers unfamiliar with first person shooters will be comfortable playing several of the characters.

Available from 7pm this Friday February 16 until 8am on Tuesday February 20, players will be granted unlimited access to all of Overwatch's 17 maps, 26 heroes and three game modes over these 73 hours.

Overwatch will be available for download on every platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You'll need PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold or a Battle.net account respectively, though. Overwatch is online only.


(Credit: Blizzard)

Progress made during the free-to-play period will carry over if you decide to buy the game later, and pre-download is available from 7pm today (February 13) on PS4 and Xbox.

FOR WINDOWS PC (February 16):

Step 1: Download and install the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app, if you haven't already, and launch it

Step 2: Create a FREE Blizzard account, or log in with an existing account

Step 3: Click the "Overwatch" icon, located on the left-hand side of the Blizzard desktop app

Step 4: Select your region from the drop-down menu, then click "Install" to begin the installation process

Step 5: Once installed, click "Play" to begin


FOR PLAYSTATION 4 (Pre-download starting at 7pm on February 13):

Step 1: Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user

Step 2: Go to PlayStation Store and select "Search" from the top menu

Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch"

Step 4: Select "Overwatch Free Weekend" from the search results and then click "Download"

Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Start" to begin

FOR XBOX ONE (Pre-download starting at 7pm on February 13):

Step 1: Turn on your Xbox One and log in to your Xbox Live account

Step 2: Go to the Xbox One Store, then select "Search"

Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch"

Step 4: Select "Overwatch: Origins Edition" from the search results and then click "Free Trial"

Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Launch" to begin