Everyone loves to play video games, but not everyone can afford the latest titles right when they come out. At the same time, there are some games in the world, which are free-to-play. Most of the times Free-to-play games get a bad reputation, But still some of the biggest games in the world are free-to-play: eSports Earnings reports that Dota 2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends have all had tournaments offering prize pools of at least 1 million dollars. Despite its lack of eSports presence, Fortnite: Battle Royale is arguably the biggest game in the world, surpassing 30 million players in March 2018.
Let’s take a look at some upcoming F2P games that you should keep an eye on, and a few of which can be played in some form right now.
1) Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. The second installment in the Unreal series, it was first published by GT Interactive in 1999 for Microsoft Windows, and later released on the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast by Infogrames in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Players compete in a series of matches of various types, with the general aim of out-killing opponents. The PC version supports multiplayer online or over a local area network. Free expansion packs were released, some of which were bundled with a 2000 re-release: Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition.
2) Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering is a both a trading card and digital collectible card game created by Richard Garfield. Released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, Magic was the first trading card game created and it continues to thrive, with approximately twenty million players as of 2015. Magic can be played by two or more players in various formats, which fall into two categories: constructed and limited. Limited formats involve players building a deck spontaneously out of a pool of random cards with a minimum deck size of 40 cards. In constructed, players created decks from cards they own, usually 60 cards with no more than 4 of any given card. Magic is played in person with printed cards, or using a deck of virtual cards through the Internet-based Magic: The Gathering Online, or on a smartphone or tablet, or through other programs.
Gwent is a full game spun from the side game in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. You know, the one you either totally ignored or spent far too much time playing. It was like Final Fantasy VIII’s Triple Triad all over again: “I know the cockatrice kidnapped your son, but I’ve got to play this innkeep one more time!” CD Projekt Red has had Gwent in open beta for awhile now, and plans on releasing version 1.0 late in 2018.
Dauntless was announced in early 2017, and is the first game from development studio Phoenix Labs. This is not a complete newbie studio, however; Endgadget writes that Phoenix Labs is headed by Jesse Houston, who produced titles for Riot Games, Ubisoft, and BioWare.Dauntless is a cooperative action-RPG that puts each player in charge of a character called a “slayer.” The planet has been overrun by gigantic beasts called behemoths, and it is a slayer’s job to hunt these creatures in order to protect humanity. Players will need to work together to take out their prey, and a successful hunt will allow them to upgrade their stats and equipment to fight bigger, badder beasts.
5) Ascent: Infinite Realm
Developed by Bluehole, who brought us the insanely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and published by Kakao, who also published Black Desert Online, Ascent: Infinite Realm (or AIR) is a steampunk-inspired MMORPG that focuses less on grind and more on PvP Realm battles. The trailer makes AIR look like absolute chaos: gigantic beasts, huge mecha battles, airship combat, and more.
6) Total War: Arena
The first F2P game in the Total War series sees the game scaled down and simplified a bit, but still focusing on large scale battles and clever tactics. Total War: Arena features 10v10 battles, with each player controlling three units of up to 100 soldiers each. That’s 3000 soldiers per side, which is small fries compared to what the Total War series generally offers. However, with separate factions, units, and commanders to choose from, there is still a good deal of strategy to be had in this one.
7) Project TL
Let’s get the strange name out of the way first: Massively Overpowered writes that NCsoft officially changed the name from Lineage Eternal to Project TL when they also decided to switch engines and take a lot of other content back to development. This is a game that has been in development for a very long time, as it was first announced in 2011. It is a direct sequel to the original 1998 Lineage; 2003’s Lineage II was a prequel.
9) Soldiers: Arena
Available now (for a price) in Steam Early Access, Soldiers: Arena is developed and produced by Ukrainian publishing company Best Way. The game is scheduled to release in full sometime in Q2 of 2018, where it will lose the Early Access price and go F2P. It may look like a generic real time strategy game, but Best Way promises a lot of features that will make Soldiers: Arena stand out. Players can zoom in and take control of nearly any unit in their army from a first-person perspective. Environments are fully destructible, and explosions can carve out spaces in the ground that can then be utilized for cover. Even vehicles take modular damage, which allows players to target vulnerable spots and decommission priority targets.
10) Lost Ark
Lost Ark Online is a Korean MMORPG from developer Smilegate. Its main draw comes from the level of customization that the game will afford: seven classes, each with multiple subclasses, meaning there will be close to twenty available options for characters to start from. In addition, each character can be further customized with an emphasis in certain elements. These elements will change the effects of that character’s skills: for example, a Devil Hunter who has focused on the lightning element will see much different skill behavior than one who has focused on ice elements.
layers will also have customizable ships with which to explore the world, and can participate in dungeon raids, quest with friends, or enter a player arena for some PvP battles. It sounds like Lost Ark Online has something for everyone, and it looks really pretty while it’s doing it. Unfortunately, for the time being it is only available to those living in Korea. Steparu reports that developer Smilegate aims to bring Lost Ark Online worldwide “once it is ready.”
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