I know I'm being Captain Obvious saying this, but being a gamer is not a cheap hobby. With the price of petrol, food, rent, car payments, school fees, Telkom and everything else people need to survive, ring fencing R699 out of your paycheck isn't an easy thing to do. But we're a tenacious bunch, so we make do without some essentials, because COD is some important $#!T, yo! But you can only eat ProNutro for so long before a medical professional insists you add vegetables and perhaps a chop.
When moments like that come around, you need to start looking for alternatives to satisfy your gaming fix. Fortunately, in the last calendar year or so free-to-play games have seen a huge boost in quantity and, more importantly, quality. Some of them, could easily have been boxed retail editions and yet, they're not. So here's a selection of the best free-to-play games available at the moment.
By sheer coincidence, we did a run down of the best free-to-play games
almost exactly a year ago today and now we're doing another one. So I guess you can consider this the one year anniversary of that time we did 'a best of the free-to-play' games list.
World of Tanks
One of the things I like about World of Tanks
is how literal that title seems sometimes. The game is pretty much a whole lot of tanks shooting at each other with big cannons. The premise is really simple. Pick a tank, sign up with a team, and then go shoot the opposing teams tanks in some standard deathmatch modes. If you win, you get to upgrade your tank, so you can better frag on your enemies. It's a fantastically straight forward shooter that's executed really, really well. Plus no teabaggin' when you lose.
League of Legends
They say League of Legends
is the most popular game in the world. And it's difficult to argue with that statement: 12 million players worldwide per day, every day? Sounds legit to me. For the ignorant, League of Legends is based on an old Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
custom map, called Defense of the Ancients - which also led to another free-to-play game, Dota
, which you may also have heard of. With its large player base, League of Legends
can be an intimidating game to get into and theirs a lot to learn if you want to be considered good. But with effort League of Legends
can be an extremely rewarding game. And by rewarding, I mean cash money. Last years prize pool totalled $2,000,000, with a cool $1,000,000 going to the winning team.
The expectation is for when you combine the words 'mech' and 'shooter' is that you end with a slow burner of a game. You know what I mean. It's all big, lumbering blocks of metal lobbing rockets at each other. With Hawken
that really is not the case. Hawken
is a surprisingly fast-paced and nimble game that so happens to have giant robots. But just because it's quick, doesn't mean it's skimped on the main business of having giant robots in a game. The building of the the robots! There is a great level of depth to Hawken's
gameplay, which offers tons customisation option and versatility of weapons that make's it a fantastic full-on PC shooter. Even at that this stage - the game is technically in open Beta right now - there is a lot of game available here to play.
The inspiration for this article. I grabbed Warfram
e off of Steam on a whim and subsequently spent the next four hours kicking alien ass without really realising it. The game is reminiscent of Mass Effect 3's
unexpectantly good multi-player mode, in that you're teamed with three other players in a horde-like rounds. Unlike Mass Effect 3
, though, level navigation is much smoother and dynamic, which makes the gameplay very satisfying. That combined with its incredibly high quality visuals, make for one of the best free-to-play games around.
How is this game free? Someone please tell me? It is astounding that someone is giving away a game with this high a level of visual quality and depth of gameplay. An MMO shooter that pits three factions in a never-ending war with each other as they try to dominate the planet Auraxis. Thanks to its MMO nature, combat missions have more weight to them than just who wins the current match. Your victories impact the influence of your entire faction, which has consequences for you as soldier. Which is a good thing because once you get involved in this forever war, there's no going home.
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