Steam Free Weekend-o-rama: Jets vs. Vampires vs. Soldiers

By Alice O'Connor on August 8th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Video games!

A trio of free weekend trials on Steam mean that all and sundry can enjoy what are, as I understand, three figures and ideals important to PC gaming: soldiers, vampires, and jetplanes. They all, naturally, do fighting. Not each other, mind–others of their kind. None of these games will let you e.g. pilot a fighter jet battling winged vampires. More’s the pity, really.

Multiplayer futureplane game Strike Vector and realish FPS Insurgency have respectable sales to accompany their free weekend trials, and technically human vs. vamp arenakiller Nosgoth does too but that’ll be free-to-play at launch so it’s less special.

Clicking this link will start downloading Insurgency while this one over here will get Strike Vector underway. Both of those trials will run until 9pm on Sunday. If you take a shine to either, Insurgency is down to £5.49 and Strike Vector is £3.59 until Monday.

[Oh hey! And reader PoulWrist points out Battlefield 4 is free for a week too.]

As for Nosgoth, its trial runs until 8am on Monday. Click this one to install it. The packages of free-to-play gubbins that also grant lasting beta access are on sale too, with the cheapest at £1.49.

Our Jim quite enjoyed Strike Vector, and it certainly is pretty, so that’s probably worth a look. I’ve heard good things about Insurgency from people who like their shooting tactical and their deaths swift. And Nosgoth, I have no idea. Would you recommend your fellow readers give it a go, gang?

, , , .

21 Comments »

  1. shinkshank says:

    Based on my brief experience with Nosgoth, I can say that it’s okay. It’s not world shifting, it’s not great, but it’s competently made and I had fun at least. In terms of gameplay, it’s sort of like L4D’s versus mode, if you don’t have any trash zombies, just the special infected. Classes of vampire and hunter, each with their own selection of abilities ( and guns if you’re a human ). I didn’t get to really experience how bullshitty the F2P mechanics are so I can’t really judge that, though there was definitely profile leveling, a secondary real money currency, and boosters. The game itself though is kind of fun, and on that level I enjoyed it, because player movement is pretty fun ( for vampires especially ), combat is fast and brutal, and it looks nice. It’s definitely worth the nothing I payed for it.

    • tobecooper says:

      I would say it’s great. I spent many many hours playing it, and enjoyed the game immensely. Well-coordinated vampire attacks are a pleasure to watch and take part in.

      The F2P model is OK. The real-money-only things are skins and boosters. New abilities which are always side-grades, never upgrades, are buyable (or rentable for very cheap) with in-game gold. If I lost in a match it was always because of a difference of players’ skill, not any in-game bullshit.

      Though the real problem is with still-work-in-progress matchmaking, and occasional players leaving the party – 3v4 always means a massacre, and so does meeting a level 30-40 player who knows every arena and character like a back of his hand.

      • Koozer says:

        This person is correct. I played about six games and had enough gold to purchase two alternate abilities (EDIT: waaaiit a minute, that’s just a temporary seven day pass, to permanently unlock would cost triple what I have), with each class having three to use at once. Matchmaking is quite horrendous though.

    • Tei says:

      Come here to say that.
      The game could have taken a bit more risk. It sort of feels like L4D versus where both teams are balanced to be not soo great and no soo crappy. Maybe some people will like it.

    • Turkey says:

      Yeah, I figured it wouldn’t be a terrible arena shooter, but it’s not even remotely what I want out of a game set in the LoK universe.

  2. Phasma Felis says:

    The title text on the image tickles me more than it probably should.

  3. Dodj33 says:

    So Nosgoth is a free-to-play game but you have to pay-to-play to play early but not this weekend as its free weekend.

    also Rise of Incarnates by Namco open beta on steam

    http://www.riseofincarnates.com/static/beta-direct/

    sounds like a MOBA but is actually a fighting game

  4. PoulWrist says:

    In other free news, Battlefield 4 is free to play the next whole week. https://www.origin.com/da-dk/store/free-games/game-time

  5. Cinek says:

    Vampires for me. It’s actually a cool game.

    From paid/free point of view: Unlike most of the F2P titles – it’s not P2W nor have any enormous, mindless grinds in it that essentially: force you into paying or be slaughtered by those who already grind-paid their way to win. In 2 evenings you can easily unlock 2 new classes, 3 new pieces of equipment, and in general: have tons of fun. It’s also worth noting that gear unlocked through gameplay (you get 1 item for each 5 level of each class) has it’s own rechargeable perks that are unavailable for those who simply bought their way to the gear – that’s something you don’t see very often. And the buying itself is also very decently balanced – you earn enough gold to get permanent unlocks without sweat and temporary unlocks can be earned after 2-3 matches. Another cool aspect is that they actually give you a free skin once you reach some very high level for your character (that’s pretty much only aspect that feels grindy for me) – unlike in most of the F2P games where cosmetic items are available only through payments.

    And from gameplay point of view… it’s dynamic, quick, and really encourages team play. Actually – here I seen more team play than in most of the other F2P games like for example TF2 where people often run on their own not being bothered by anything or anyone. Animations are really decent, movement feels fluid, and graphics look surprisingly well for something that’s free.

    Overall it looks nice. It’s not an innovative game in any way I can think of, it’s not a game that got much to deal with Legacy of Kain – but on it’s own way: it feels right and fun.

  6. derbefrier says:

    Nosgoth isn’t terrible. There doesn’t seem to be much to it but its seem pretty well made and fun. I would say its worth checking out. I am more interested in insurgency but I didn’t get a chance to play it yet.

  7. SIDD says:

    Insurgency is absolutely brilliant and has one of the far best weapon handling/gameplay I’ve experienced in a long time; think ARMA 3 but less complex.

    Admittedly the engine is a bit dated and it shows but it doesn’t detract from the game being absolutely brilliant if small group urban tactical fighting is your thing – and at £5.49 it is an absolute steal!

  8. trjp says:

    Strike Vector may or may not have sold a few copies – but no-one EVER plays it. This free weekend isn’t a ‘Steam’ one either – it’s a developer-sponsored one and so it’s not as highly publicised on Steam itself.

    http://steamcharts.com/app/246700#1y

    There were 555 people playing when I just looked but it’s usual daily peak was more like 40-50 and whilst it peaked in the Summer Sales, it went back to the same numbers after (and so this deal will likely make no difference either)

    I wonder why developers bother making games which will stand-or-fall purely on gross-player numbers (e.g. games which don’t work with just a few friends) because there are SO MANY games people can play – you need to be OUTSTANDING and pretty lucky to get that mass of players behind a game nowadays…

    • Cinek says:

      It’s enough if you have budget for advertisement and a game that doesn’t suck. Strike Vector is rather short on money, so… that’s the result.
      Besides – mecha-spaceplane combat game that feels like a crazy plastic models sliding on a soap isn’t really going to be a popular mainstream game. It looks great on a concept arts, still lovely on a static screenshots of the environment, but the closer you get to the actual gameplay the worse it becomes.

    • fatgleeson says:

      I played Strike Vector for about 10 minutes this weekend, and there was three servers with people on them – 8/8, 3/8 and 2/8. So I played the single player for a bit and got bored pretty quick. I got it in the bundle with Strike Suit Zero, should I give that a go or is it worth it?

      From this article I might get Insurgency. I almost bought it a few months back but really the only game I play online is Red Orchestra 2 and I figured I didnt want to do the whole new game learning curve again for essentially the same experience (you know, gritty & unforgiving etc etc)

    • TimorousBeastie says:

      That’s the primary goal of F2P mechanics in multiplayer games though. MP games require player counts, and being free (initially) is by far the best way to get that without multiple millions in marketing spend. Everyone hates massively on F2P but for all it’s flaws it’s really the only way to go nowadays for an MP game unless you’re CoD or similar.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        So basically the “all or nothing” approach. Go all SP/story/heavily backed MP, or go the “free” MP/MMO/F2P model with little to no barrier of entry.

        Trying somewhere in the middle does not work. I think it was like £15 at some point, with cosmetic items for purchase, so still the right side of the consumer desire, but the wrong side of the economic drive.

  9. hideinlight says:

    People hugging the 32 player strike vector server…
    That game went from 40 concurrent players to 660 so yeah these Free Weekends does wonders to revitalize the player-base and get more people to try it which is the hardest thing to get people to do nowadays.

    When went on just a sale with front page it got to like 350.
    I think however mp games need to play the Free weekend card earlier in it’s life cycle though and more regularly, It’s the only viable alternative left for paid games that doesn’t want to sacrifice a lot for pure f2p.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>