A month ago, we suggested where to buy video games without spending a fortune. There is another expensive production which, despite its excellent quality, does not cost anything. Our review of free-to-play titles will be like it found on winter holidays.
You have to have money to develop the game and maintain the servers, so producers of titles like the ones we described have introduced micropayments. Unlike mobile games, which can become unrecoverable at no extra charge, PC productions are usually more user-friendly. Buying virtual currency allows, for example, to change the appearance of an avatar or unlock a new character faster, but it is not necessary to enjoy the game for many winter evenings.
Each item on our list represents a different genre – something for yourself and for the enthusiasts of team shooting, and for the lone head breaking in card games. Most of the games listed by us can be found on the Steam platform (www.steampowered.com), a large part of them have a Polish language version. Both information is marked with icons next to the game description.
The best proof that the free-to-play model works is the most popular battle royalty. In November Fortnite gathered 8 million people at once on its servers! The clear assumptions of the game help at a great party. In the basic variant, a hundred avatars jump out of a flying “bus” and land on an island where they collect weapons, modifications and various boosters. They also collect materials for the construction of instantaneous fences or stairs. At the same time, the fight for the last person to stay alive in the ever-decreasing game area begins – and that’s all that matters, so you might as well lurk and kill only once. The micropayments in the game include the purchase of cosmetic accessories – the binding justifies the presence of bizarre outfits and accessories such as a disco ball as a pickle. Epic Games continues to run special play modes, such as the team deathmatch 20v20. Along with the December update, the game was enriched by, among others, planes and an editor, which allows you to change the map layout and the nature of the game yourself.
Genre: battle royale
League of Legends
The MOBA games have come off the poster, but the LoL does not give up and evolve. The basic, e-sport variant of the game has remained the same – the players divide into five-person squads and try to destroy the enemy base. The board is divided into three avenues, in which players are assisted by a squad of creatures, and between them, there is a dense jungle ideal for ambushes. Each of the 142 heroes has different talents and is often successful in many roles – the animated scarecrow Fiddlesticks can handle both lonely hunting in the jungle and as support for the quick killers. The multitude of team configurations and the equipment acquired during the match make every skirmish different, but it always rewards cooperation and the combination of skills into deadly combinations. You can also choose an additional play mode, e.g. ARAM, which is a quick bridge battle that does not allow you to choose a hero yourself. Microtransactions in LoL are mainly used to purchase new character skins.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Some fans do not like it, but one of the most important e-sport titles has just become free. Now everyone will be able to do a realistic shootout in which five terrorists are trying to plant a bomb and a group of law enforcement officers are trying to stop them. There are no superpowers and no jet backpacks; instead, there is a model of fire fighting which forces us to understand, for example, the effective range and characteristics of Kalashnikov spread. You die quickly, so you have to play “on the ear” and decide wisely how to spend the money you earn during rounds – weapons do not lie in the winter. With the transition to free-to-play, a battle royale mode was added to the game, in which up to 18 players fight for survival.
Genre: team shooter
World of Tanks
Since the update of the graphic design, the game of Belarusian Wargaming looks phenomenal, and half a year ago the popularity of production on the Vistula River was appreciated and the tank base was enriched with a set of Polish units. The title has a lot of strategic game in it – although each player drives his own tank and falls off after destruction, in the most popular mode two teams of as many as 15 units each fight against each other on large maps. Players have dozens of machines divided into “thresholds” of advancement – both light, fast tanks and slow, heavily armoured piers. The way in which the vehicle operates can be influenced by, for example, modifying the armour or selecting a specific type of ammunition, and developing the ability of the crew to pilot it. Ultimately, the ability to shoot with regard to the range and the mutual position of the attacker and his target, as well as blind fate have a decisive influence anyway, because to some extent the effect of a hit depends on luck. Regular skirmishes are the main type of fun today – a year ago, e-sport in WoT, played in 7v7 format, practically ceased to exist and is still waiting for a return in a new formula.
It takes seconds to find your opponents online, but this brawler – that is, the platformer in which we put our opponents on and try to throw them off the board – works even at home parties, because up to four people can play on one computer. After selecting a hero from a pool of individuals with different attributes, the game throws us onto a board made up of several flat surfaces. With the help of white weapons, grenades or traps materialising in random places and using several basic attacks of our daredevil, we try to eliminate our opponents without losing the ground under our feet. This can be difficult because the rapid attacks have to be combined with dodges and double jumps. In addition to the joyful brewing in style for everyone (up to eight people!), you can choose 1v1 and 2v2 ranking skirmishes, as well as temporary special modes such as triple injury brawl.
For a long time, no really successful and honest free MMORPGs have been released, so it is better to look for such games among classics. If you don’t like the frequent “Asian” genre, you should download Neverwinter. The production boasts a licensed world known from the “paper” textbooks of RPG – Dungeons & Dragons – covering both the title city and the title city, and for example, a Barovia that fits the horror movie. Our avatar, a representative of races and professions as iconic as paladins born as devils, we run a number of feature campaigns. Each adds new open areas, tasks and team escapades for five-person teams – there are hardly any raids in the game. Instead, there are extensive stories, smooth, pleasing fighting mechanics, skirmishes between players and – a unique thing – playable role-playing modules built by the community itself. The setting is not stunning anymore, but it has not aged ugly.
Path of Exile
In December, the game will see another expansion, and in February, the best hack’n’slash will go to PlayStation 4 – and it will probably overshadow the high-budget Diablo 3 once again. Players appreciate, among other things, the freedom to create a hero, resulting from the spread of the development tree and the link between abilities and the action of stones placed in the weapon. From the richness of abilities, the fireball modified by a combination of crystals will turn into a wave of slowly moving burning bullets. The pace of the game development is also impressive – although micropayments mainly affect the appearance of the avatar, the Path of Exile receives successive updates on an ongoing basis and the quarterback leagues, in which the rush to the highest level takes place on increasingly different principles. Apart from that, the assumptions of the game are standard – alone or in the company we visit dark dungeons and noble legions of hellish beasts, partly inspired by mythology, stopping for a long time only on bosses. The power of randomly generated equipment and the strength of the hero is constantly increasing, but there are as many as ten acts to go through, and there are also numerous special areas, e.g. randomly generated, bottomless mines.
This fishing simulator allows you to “soak the rod” in twelve places in North America, from a lake in Texas to the Everglades swamps in Florida. In terms of mechanics, fishing seems easy, but you just need to spend a few hours and the challenge will increase – for a successful catch, you need to choose the right place, because, for example, pike is easier to catch in shallower water with dense vegetation. Each species reacts differently to lures and fights when pulling out of the water, so it is easy to break the line. One should also take into account the time of day, temperature and state fishing rules. There are other anglers around the lake, there are also competitions, e.g. trout fishing competition.
Species: Angler simulator
With the smoothness of the skirmishes, performance and charisma of Overwatch’s heroes, his free competitor is quite pale, and the effect is made worse by aggressive attacking with micropayment proposals. Nevertheless, Paladins also provides great team fun by making five-man teams of individuals fight, such as the bouncing water pirate Dredge and the Grover Sparrow Sparrow, armed with an attractive vine. The roles in the team are similar to those in the Overwatch – one goes in front, helping to push a loaded car or defending a point, the others try to inflict damage from the flanks, someone takes on the responsibility of treating their mates. Apart from coordination and accuracy, the proper construction of the hero helps – during the game we choose passive abilities and buy equipment to modify the statistics. Interestingly, already in January, the producer will make it possible for PC players and those using PlayStation 4 to have fun together.
Genre: hero shooter
Younger QCs may come as a surprise. In few of today’s shooters, players move so fast, not to mention the oddities of shooting themselves underfoot from a rocket launcher to get through the corridor faster. The game tests individual talent and although in this part of the series the characters differ in statistics and special abilities, still everyone has access to a set of weapons such as a super shotgun and a blatant ‘welder’. There are team games as well, but QC still hasn’t got the capture the flags mode – so team deathmatches count. In December, the model of microtransactions was remodelled – visual additions can be won without a draw, playing, but the characters still have to be unlocked.
RaceRoom Racing Experience
Lovers of racing do not have much choice if they simply do not want to buy a new Forza Horizon, for example. A good choice seems to be RRRE, a simulator cooperating with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality systems. Credibility is also important for developers outside the driving model, so we will adjust many aspects of the car’s behaviour: from gearbox operation, through suspension height, to traction control settings. Sometimes you play with your tyres and fuel consumption turned on, forcing you to visit the pit stops, and when racing you have to remember to stick to the track for a lap to be completed. Rivals can be found at tournaments, among other things, but then humour is spoiled by micropayments – most cars and trucks need to be purchased. For those who are looking for a less realistic experience, we recommend TrackMania Nations Forever – a title that is older but allows you to cover fancy, full of jumps routes.