Posts Tagged ‘free to play’

The Grand Tournament: Hearthstone’s Second Expansion

By Alice O'Connor on July 23rd, 2015.

“Parp!” is often used as onomatopoeia for a trumpet blast, but to me it’ll always be a blow-off. Imagine this post begins with whichever textual approximation of trumpeting you prefer, a grand festive blast. Point is: Blizzard have announced the second expansion for Hearthstone [official site], and it is a cause for trumpeting.

The Grand Tournament will arrive in August with 132 new cards as man and orc, murloc knight and parrot-riding pirate, all come together to show off in front of the Argent Crusade. It’ll be free, of course, in the usual Hearthstone ways.

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Twist Twist Stick – Hex: Shards Of Fate’s Third Set Out

By Alice O'Connor on July 22nd, 2015.

You'll meet an army of me.

What’s a CCG without ongoing expansions? Another stack of brightly-coloured boxes to sit beneath a big “SALE!” on a shelf behind the counter at your local tabletop games shop, waiting to surprise folks who didn’t realise so many of the were ever even made. The ’90s were a wild time, you guys. Anyway, the point is: Hex: Shards of Fate [official site] has received its third card set.

The ‘Armies of Myth’ expansion brings 250 new cards to the free-to-play virtual CCG, including several new card abilities and a new card type.

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Action-RPG-y Minecraftbut Trove Launched

By Alice O'Connor on July 12th, 2015.

If you fancy a game that’s like Minecraft but action-RPG-y, perhaps have a gander at Trove [official site]. After a stretch of open beta, Rift developers Trion Worlds released their own Minecraftbut this week. It’s like Minecraft but more of an AMMORPG (as we agreed we should refer to MMO action-RPGs), with character classes, abilities, dungeons, loot, and so on.

It’s free to play, available from its site.

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Wakey Wakey, Axe & Stakey: Path Of Exile Expansion Out

By Alice O'Connor on July 10th, 2015.

Diablo III was pretty disappointing when it arrived, but Blizzard were allowed plenty of time to fix it up into its current pleasant state because many clickfans found themselves distracted by Path of Exile [official site] anyway. Grinding Gear Games have continued to improve their free-to-play action-RPG all the while too, of course. Today (this very minute, if all goes to plan) they launch The Awakening, which they call “the biggest and most far-reaching expansion of the game to date”. Sez you, sunshine.

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Weigh Anchor: World Of Warships Plunges Into Open Beta

By Alice O'Connor on July 2nd, 2015.

Blammo!

After invading land of air, World of Tanks and World of Warplanes developer Wargaming has launched the third arm of their attack against free-to-play wargames. World of Warships [official site] entered open beta today, letting all and sundry in to roam the seven years blasting the heck out of each other for funsies.

I’m still impressed that they’ve made mainstream a type of game that was once quite niche (not that they’re sims, but y’know what I mean), and even more surprised that they’ve got away with the World of Warthings naming. I suppose a gnome isn’t much match for a shell bigger than they are.

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Rise Of Incarnates Punches Out Of Early Access

By Alice O'Connor on July 1st, 2015.

Bandai Namco’s Rise of Incarnates [official site] is a 2v2 multiplayer 3D brawl-o-fighter. Don’t be put off by them calling it a “battle arena”, don’t go thinking it’s a MOBA, it’s not: it’s a game where you and a pal duff up someone else and their buddy. They’re not Heroes, Champions, or Lords, they’re Incarnates – they don’t need AI-controlled creeps to help dole out kickings.

If 2v2 manpunching sounds like a lark to you, head on over to Steam, where Rise of Incarnates has now left Early Access and is free-to-play.

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Everybody Gets A Car! RaceRoom’s Free Weekend

By Alice O'Connor on June 27th, 2015.

Vroom vroom.

Looking back, I’m surprised to discover we’ve barely mentioned free-to-play race ‘em up RaceRoom [official site]. Our simulated man Tim Stone dug it way back in 2012 but since then… well then, let’s rectify that, as I’ve heard pretty good things about it.

This weekend, you can drive everything for free. Just like test drives at car showrooms, they hope you’ll be wowed and want to buy it. Just like test drives at car showrooms, I want to feel cool driving cars I can’t afford.

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Grrgkk! Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Big Update Out

By Alice O'Connor on June 25th, 2015.

The first time I tried this, you didn’t believe me. I’ll try again: play Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies [official site] to marvel at the weird grab bag of modes Nexon have smashed into a free-to-play version of Valve’s dear FPS. You’ll find survival with scavenging and base-building, arena battles with floods of monsters and huge bosses, racing a chasing horde, Splash Damage-style vehicle escorting, co-op story missions, and so much more. I had a fun six hours just exploring what’s in this weird thing.

Heck yeah I’m excited a big update’s out with even more modes! One reminds me of Evolve.

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Killer Instinct On Win 10 With Cross-Platform Multiplayer

By Alice O'Connor on June 17th, 2015.

’90s fighting game Killer Instinct [official site] returned on Xbox One in 2013, through (I imagine) some combination of nostalgia and Microsoft wanting a fighting game series then realising they owned one through Rare. Now the monsters ‘n’ magic men punch ‘em up revival is headed towards PC for Windows 10.

“We don’t have any more to share at this time” said the terse announcement tweet. Okay then. A member of the dev team separately confirmed it’ll support cross-platform multiplayer. No one says whether it’ll be free-to-play, like it is on Xbox One, but I’d imagine so.

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Capture Tank Flag: World Of Tanks Domination Mode

By Alice O'Connor on June 3rd, 2015.

3, 2, 1, let's ram.

World of Tanks [official site] is hardly a simulator, but if you fancy pootling around in tank battles that are a little more arcadey, you’re in luck. Developers Wargaming have kicked off the free-to-play game’s Domination event, which for one month adds a new mode that has tanks zooming around trying to capture flags, with respawning, repair and ammo pickup points, nae friendly fire, and a selection of swish Tier 10 tanks that everyone gets to choose from.

Tank Fortress. Capture Tank Flag. Tank The Flag. Tank The Capture. Capture The Flag With A Tank (Which You Drive As An Avatar In An Online Video Game Space).

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Battle Come Down: Dirty Bomb Open Beta Launched

By Alice O'Connor on June 3rd, 2015.

I quite like the non-copyright-infringing Underground logo. It's very 2.0, and the kind of thing some daft mayor might do some day.

As promised, Splash Damage’s class-based FPS Dirty Bomb [official site] launched its open beta test last night. All and sundry and can now run, wall-jump, and shooty-shoot around the streets of Merrye Olde Londone in objective-driven action for free. Nab it from Steam.

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Sins Of A Dark Age Launches Out Of Early Access As F2P

By Alice O'Connor on May 11th, 2015.

Even by the time Sins of a Solar Empire folks Ironclad Games announced their MOBA Sins of a Dark Age [official site] in 2012, the genre was a little overcrowded. SoaDA was originally billed as a MOBA/RTS, but later dropped bits like base-building. It’s still trying to be more ambitious than you average Dote ‘em up or Loller, though.

Now, after a lengthy stretch on Steam Early Access, where it costs $5 (and it was $25 for beta access before that), Sins of a Dark Age is out free-to-play for all to manage lords. It’s on Steam.

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Premature Evaluation: Survarium

By Marsh Davies on April 20th, 2015.

Survarium may be one of several games claiming to be a spiritual successor to STALKER, but it offers one substantial twist: the apocalypse that has swept the earth is not one instigated by nuclear catastrophe; instead, the Earth’s very own flora has rebelled, wreaking ecological revenge upon humanity for its many crimes against the natural world. It’s the latest intriguing shift in the deployment of Soviet-era sci-fi motifs that have come to parallel the resonances that Godzilla has in Japan. Both are emblematic of the nuclear catastrophes that each culture has suffered and the overweening pride that impels humankind to create such forces of devastation, believing it can control them.

Each week, Marsh Davies stalks through the reality-warping anomaly of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or gets turned inside out by a pocket of non-euclidean space. This week’s precious artifact is free-to-play online shooter Survarium, in which the remnants of humanity tussle over abandoned radar stations and chemical plants, long reclaimed by nature (and other, less natural phenomena).

It’s to Survarium’s credit that I want to play a lot more of it. Alas, after a handful of hours, the game data corrupts and subsequent attempts at reinstallation are consistently halted by a recursive nightmare of error messages which can only be broken by pouring a half-pint of lamb’s blood onto my keyboard and calling forth the hissing spirit of Task Manager to devour the process in question. Survarium is not a finished game, then. But, being supported by a somewhat unalluring muddle of microtransactable trousers and gasmasks, neither has it cost me a penny. All the same, after this brief encounter, I am left wondering: how much less unfinished is this since Jim looked at it a year ago?

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