Free Play Friday: Steampunk Beta Codes, Superheroes, Automobiles!

Justin Calvert checks out three games that you can play for free right now. Guns of Icarus Online beta codes up for grabs.

I spent a good chunk of this week searching zombie corpses for canned goods in DayZ. Very few games (or even basic human needs and bodily functions, for that matter) are able to tear me away from Dean Hall's excellent ArmA II mod right now, but that doesn't mean I haven't played anything else this week. The all-too-short Sleeping Dogs demo piqued my interest enough that I went out and bought myself a copy of the game, and I got into some fun betas and revisited a free-to-play MMO as well. Assuming you don't have Guild Wars 2 early access plans for the weekend, or even if you do, you'd do well to check out any of the following:

Guns of Icarus Online (PC) Beta

Steampunk airships are conspicuously absent from most online shooters, a deficiency that hasn't gone unnoticed by developer Muse Games. In the upcoming Guns of Icarus Online, player captains with modest player crews of gunners and engineers will pit their airships against each other in team-based skirmishes and, sometime next year, against AI enemies in a persistent Adventure mode. Guns of Icarus Online is currently in closed beta, and while I haven't had an opportunity to play the game myself yet, I did watch Kevin VanOrd join a crew with some of the game's developers for a recent live-stream.

A release date of September 30 has been confirmed for Guns of Icarus Online, and if you preorder the game on Steam right now (with a 25 percent discount at the time of writing), you get instant access to the beta that's scheduled to run until launch. Alternatively, you can get into the beta simply by grabbing one of the 10,000 access codes that we're giving away via the link below.

Guns of Icarus Online Official Site

Guns of Icarus Online Beta Giveaway

DC Universe Online (PS3/PC)

Like so many MMOs, DC Universe Online is a game that I jumped into when it launched and then, perhaps because I didn't feel like I was playing enough to justify the monthly subscription fee, fell out of within a month or two. The game has since benefitted from the release of four expansion packs, and not too long ago a fifth titled Hand of Fate was announced for release next month. Less than a year after it launched, DC Universe Online also introduced a free-to-play option that reportedly saw its player population spike 1,000 percent.

This week I finally got around to playing DC Universe Online again, but rather than reinstalling the PC version and picking up where I left off, I opted to check out the PlayStation 3 game. The free download from the PSN store weighs in at a hefty 18GB, so I had to delete a bunch of stuff from my launch console's 60GB hard-drive to make room for it, but I'm glad I did. While the PS3 game doesn't look as impressive as its PC counterpart, DC Universe Online's combat was clearly designed with controllers rather than a mouse and keyboard in mind.

There appear to be plenty of other player heroes and villains going about their business in the cities of Gotham and Metropolis, though since I created a new character I'm not yet at a level where I've felt the need to team up with any of them. I also haven't given any serious thought to spending money within the game yet; there are some cool-looking customization options available for purchase, and I like that spending $5 gets you permanent premium status. There's also a legendary account option available for $14.99 a month; it comes with plenty of benefits, but unless I end up with a high-level character that I play regularly there's no danger of me subscribing.

The PS3 version of DC Universe Online can be downloaded for free via the PlayStation Network store. If you're interested in the PC version, click the big "Play Free" button on this page:

DC Universe Online Official Site

Auto Club Revolution (PC) Beta

I don't care what the GameSpot review says (sorry Alex), I liked the original Big Mutha Truckers a lot when it came out in 2003. That game, and plenty of more-traditional driving games that I've enjoyed since, was developed by the good folks at UK-based Eutechnyx who, right now, are working on a free-to-play racer titled Auto Club Revolution. The game has been in open beta for a while, but after briefly taking it for a test-drive during the closed beta earlier this year, I only got around to revisiting it this week.

Auto Club Revolution plays like a finished game already, and after checking out some news items on the game's official site, I'd wager that most of the features still being worked on are those that surround the gameplay proper. It's clear that not all of the vehicle customization options have been implemented yet, for example, and there are some oddities in the pricing of premium items and currency that suggest those things are still work-in-progress. Got $4.99 to spend? For that you can buy 550 E-Bucks or you can buy 550 E-Bucks, a Ford Focus ST, three additional color options, and a tribal decal pack. Regardless of your feelings about Ford, the choice seems a little too obvious.

Upon setting up my new Auto Club Revolution profile, I was presented with a bright red Opel Corsa OPC that, while clearly not one of the more desirable cars on the roster, is fun to drive. Playing through the tutorials plus one or two single-player time trials was enough to add a Mazda RX-7 Spirit R to my garage, and I'm sure additional free cars will come my way if I keep playing. I doubt those cars will include the Bugatti Veyron or the McLaren F1, though, because those and 40-plus other cars are available for purchase from a showroom that deals exclusively in the premium currency of E-Bucks. The aforementioned rides sell for 1,995 and 995 respectively so, depending on the quantities that you purchase your E-Bucks in, the Bugatti costs around $15.

I've yet to try my luck in any multiplayer races, largely because most of the other players in the lobby appear to be using vastly superior cars. The credits I'm earning in-game are fine for upgrading cars that I already own, but as far as I can tell there's no way to spend them on new car purchases, which is unfortunate. Regardless, Auto Club Revolution is a racing game that I think I'll be sticking with for at least a short while. Keep an eye out for me if you decide to check out the game for yourself via the link below:

Auto Club Revolution Official Site

Previous Free Play Fridays

August 17, 2012 - Guns, Guns, Guns, Medic!
August 10, 2012 - Beta Codes, Shooters, A Story About My Uncle!
August 3, 2012 - Wizards, Robots, Strategy, Bullets, Codes!
July 27, 2012 - Rocket Jumps, Through Balls, 15,000 Porsches, Codes!
July 20, 2012 - Awesometacular Beta Code Giveaway Edition!

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Discussion

34 comments
disco_nnected
disco_nnected

terrible lag on the acr site atm...hope it aint always like this...very unresponsive...

daeknro
daeknro

Is it me or this guys at gamespot at clueless at playing. which is kinda ionic because I would have thought that people in this line of work should a little more good at this.

jessie82
jessie82

been playing DCUO since it went f2p and its a fuin game just gets repetetive at endgame having to collect tokens for each new tier set :(

 

+ im too busy playing GW2 now ^^

xNikitaz
xNikitaz

Ive been playing ACR for some time and its a really good game, not that awesome but cool game, and it is free eheh

eddyoshi
eddyoshi

ACR looks pretty damn good

eb8k
eb8k

I will  try that Auto Club Revolution

It seems to be fun

gintheplacetobe
gintheplacetobe

Can you still buy DCU in disc form to save some HD space? I'm sure if it's free to DL then the disc would be dirt cheap...

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

I waited and played DC universe online for free on my PS3 and while it has it's problems , its still a lot of fun and ill keep playing it for quite some time. its a cool game to play and as a gamer who doesn't have a PC that could play it in a million years, and a gamer who doesn't  like PC games besides Civilization 4,i'm glad its on PS3

suplax
suplax

I played DCU online for 8 months , great game.

But it's better if you can play with a xbox or a ps3 controller.

IAMTYLERDURDEN
IAMTYLERDURDEN

I was one of the SUCKERS that paid fifty bucks for DCU online when it was first released. It got really boring after about a month of playing. Might give it second go around with the new updates.

gorgeelow
gorgeelow

PC/PS3 DCU online is F2P since 2011.... what's new?

Technorch
Technorch

Justin, I recommend you check out Super Monday Night combat. It's a nice MOBA style game, packed with a lot of action and requieres a lot of team work. It's totally free and has a paid system similar to TF2. Most of the things you can buy are cosmetic stuff and some minor boosts which don't affect the gameplay whatsoever. So in essence, it's not free to play.

ninedot
ninedot

Although I personally wouldn't play any of these titles, I think this weeks "Free Play Friday" redeems itself from last weeks disappointment. 

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

That's nice, one car for $15.  I got 500 cars for $60 in Forza 4.  Am I going to drive more than 100 of them?  No, but I've certainly driven more than four, which is what four $15 cars in ACR comes to.  I dunno, free to play sometimes confuses me immensely... and you know idiots are going to pour hundreds into this like every other free to play game out there that survives for a little while.  I've seen real purchase records, I've seen people spend thousands a month on free to play.  My co-workers and I used to joke that we had oil barons playing our games.

DjKofee
DjKofee

Thanks for sharing beta keys for Guns of Icarus Online, Justin! It got me really interested! Thanks for the weekly free to play!

shinspikes
shinspikes

Thanks for showing ACR.  I didn't really like NFS F2P.  Since this has tracks, I might enjoy this more.  Justin didn't play online?  Does that mean there is no match making for beginners or same cars?

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @daeknro If you're referring to Kevin's live-stream of Guns of Icarus, he was very open about the fact that it was his first or second time playing in his commentary. Everyone has to start somewhere.

normpap
normpap

 @daeknro Pretty ionic? So where do you suggest Gamespot's valence electrons went?

jcopp72
jcopp72

 @gintheplacetobe

 even if you buy the disk version you still need to download the whole thing, I have the disk version and still had to download the 18 gigs

Kos1c
Kos1c

 @gintheplacetobe Play.co.uk are still charging like 20-30 bucks for the game in CD format. :O

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @Technorch Thanks. I loved the original Monday Night Combat so it's definitely on my list of games to check out. :)

Steba93
Steba93

 @Technorch Umm, if you can download and play the game for free, it is free to play. In about every free to play game there are microtransactions, bubt it doesn't make it "not free to play" because you still aren't forced to pay anything. I don't get what's so hard to understand about F2P, you don't have to pay to download or play, there is no "in essence" or anything else, it's just free to play.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @shinspikes I think there is probably matchmaking. When I looked through the cars of the other players who were online at the same time as me, though, they all seemed to have supercars. Hopefully enough new folks will start playing this weekend that it's easy to get into races with other guys in Corsas. ;)

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @Tripwolf The thing is--it *was* clearly designed with a controller in mind. The developers would tell you the same thing. This "bias" you speak of is in your head. 

Steba93
Steba93

 @Tripwolf In a game like DC universe you don't really have to be that accurate. I at least enjoy it more playing with 360 contoller than with keyboard and mouse. It's just personal preference and what you're used to. I haven't played that much with keyboard, to me it's kind of clunky in a game like DCU.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @Tripwolf What kind of bias is that? I do the vast majority of my gaming on PC, but DC Universe Online seems better suited to consoles in my opinion. That's all.

 

daeknro
daeknro

 @normpap  

Is it me or this guys at gamespot at clueless at playing. which is kinda *ironic because I would have thought that people in this line of work should **be a little ***better at this.

 

Hope that's all I missed:)

Kos1c
Kos1c

@jcopp72 @gintheplacetobe Yeah, that would make sense, since it's like every other MMORPG out there. Where they run from the Harddrive, and not from the CD. Also it's easier to update the game with bug fixes, and content updates. So you are looking to need to make space on your harddrive, or skipping this game.