Checking in from a hotel room a dozen or so floors above QuakeCon, Justin Calvert suggests some free gaming options for the weekend.
I'm certainly not complaining, but traveling to Dallas for QuakeCon has cut into my free-to-play gaming time this week. As a result, I wasn't able to play one of the games detailed below or spend any time with the intriguing A Story About My Uncle. Hopefully I'll be able to rectify that situation before next week's feature. Let me know in the comments below what you think of this week's suggestions if you decide to try them out, and don't forget to claim your free Bullet Run gun and/or your beta code for End of Nations!
Bullet Run (PC)
Released earlier this week, Bullet Run from Acony Games is a free-to-play first-person shooter that rewards style and showmanship as well as slayings. In gameplay terms, that means you earn extra points for things like headshots, taunts, kill streaks, and even successful active reloads. The game's two modes (Team Deathmatch and Dominion) are playable on six different maps and, in keeping with Bullet Run's reality TV show theme, cameras and commentators are everpresent. (The latter aren't always great at calling the action, but their occasionally accurate back-and-forths at least reinforce the idea that this is a sport of sorts.)
Bullet Run, like many free-to-play games, places some emphasis on the option to customize your character with various vanity options that--if you're not patient enough to earn them in-game--can be purchased with real money instead. There are already a lot of options available for hairstyles and clothing, but many can't be equipped until you either reach a certain fame level or sign up for a platinum membership that, depending on which subscription plan you sign up for, can cost as much as $14.99 a month. Fortunately, while being a platinum member affords you plenty of perks, they mostly just involve letting you level up faster, buy premium options at a discount, earn credits faster, and equip customization options regardless of level restrictions. In other words, you really don't need a platinum membership to enjoy Bullet Run.
With that said, the MP5 (submachinegun) and 92f (pistol) loadout that you start with gets old after a while. At the time of writing there are a couple of addons in the store that are available at a 100 percent discount (i.e. free), so you can augment those weapons with a single shot trigger and a high capacity magazine respectively. What you really want, though, is a new weapon. Right? Of course it is, that's why we've teamed up with Sony Online Entertainment and developer Acony Games to give 10,000 of you a free DE 50 handgun along with an optional aim point attachment for it.
If you think you have what it to takes to compete in Bullet Run, you can sign up for a free account and download the game here:
If they're not all gone already, you can claim one of the 10,000 DE 50 handguns that we're giving away via the following link:
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (X360/PS3) Demo
I've been looking forward to Transformers: Fall of Cybertron since I saw an early version of the game several months ago. I have no great love for the titular robots in disguise, but I like the idea of controlling a number of characters with very different abilities. Two of those characters, Bumblebee (car) and Vortex (helicopter/jet), feature in the Fall of Cybertron demo that was released on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network earlier this week.
The demo also offers a taste of the upcoming game's multiplayer, and lets you create your own Transformer using parts from four different classes (Destroyer, Infiltrator, Scientist, Titan) for use in online Team Deathmatch and Conquest matches. I'm at QuakeCon this week so I haven't had an opportunity to check out the demo myself yet, but I'll play it before the game's release on August 21 for sure.
You can queue up the Xbox 360 version of the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron demo for download using the following link:
If you need them, instructions for downloading the PlayStation 3 version of the demo can be found here:
Realm of the Mad God (Web/PC)
I've been meaning to check out Realm of the Mad God for ages; ever since Kevin demoed it during a special Steam-themed episode Now Playing. Part dual-stick shooter and part massively multiplayer RPG, the game can be played both in your browser and via a client downloaded for free from Steam. Your characters are persistent across both.
Playing Realm of the Mad God for the first time you're only able to select the Wizard class, which is one of 13 currently featured in the game. Get him to level 5, though, and you unlock the Priest class. The remaining classes (which include necromancers, paladins, assassins, and the like) are unlocked in a similar fashion. My Wizard made it to level 11 before he died (permanently) at the hands of a night elf warrior. In the 45 minutes or so that he was alive, my wizard slayed dragons, visited a pirate cave, killed gelatinous cubes of many colors, and teamed up with other players to tackle giant crabs and the like. He also picked up plenty of loot from fallen enemies and visited an area called the Nexus; a hub world of sorts in which players can form guilds, choose servers to play on, and buy premium items.
I'm currently playing with a priest who, as you might expect, has less firepower than the wizard but is able to heal himself and any nearby players. I've only spent a couple of hours with Realm of the Mad God at the time of writing, but it definitely seems like a game that can be played almost indefinitely without ever spending any money on it. That's good, because most of the premium options are overpriced in my opinion: a second character slot costs $6 right now (the regular price is closer to $10 apparently), extra chests to store items in cost $5 each, and a pet pig (which I'm guessing serves no real purpose) costs close to $9.
Unlike most of the free-to-play games I enjoy, Realm of the Mad God is one that I think I can safely say I will never spend a cent on. It's a lot of fun, and I definitely plan to play more of it, but none of the premium items really seem necessary. If you decide to check it out--and assuming he isn't dead yet--keep an eye out for my priest named Kildal.
You can play the browser version of Realm of the Mad God via the following link:
Alternatively, you can queue up the Steam version for download (as well as check out a great trailer for the game) here:
End of Nations (PC) Beta
A late addition to this week's Free Play Friday, End of Nations is a free-to-play strategy game that supports battles between an impressive 56 players! There's a closed beta event running this weekend, and if you claim a code via the link below you can get into it and into upcoming closed beta events.
I haven't had a chance to check out End of Nations myself yet, but if you guys haven't claimed all of the codes already when I get back from QuakeCon, I'll definitely be grabbing one. You can claim an End of Nations beta code using the following link:
Previous Free Play Fridays
July 27, 2012 - Rocket Jumps, Through Balls, 15,000 Porsches, Codes!
July 20, 2012 - Awesometacular Beta Code Giveaway Edition!
July 13, 2012 - Star Wars, Soccer, League of Legends!
July 6, 2012 - Cave Exploration, Turn-Based Strategy, and Tanks!
June 29, 2012 - F1, Battlefield, Magic, and Space!
Can please get some beta keys i wanna actually get involved with? planet side 2, mechwarrior online ?!!
@Master_I We already gave away some Planetside 2 beta keys during Comic-Con, but I do have an ask in for more. Mechwarrior Online codes should be coming as well. Sadly I can't give away keys before I get them. :)
Realm of the mad god is good fun! Anyone who needs more than one chest is taking it far too seriously imo anyways.
Soon we'll be asking whether games are worth our time instead of our money. The games above may be free, but there are lots of games which I'd rather spend my time on. Even if I have to pay for it.
Bullet Run is actually really good. But it's just like all the other free 2 play shooters. You gain xp, then use the xp on guns and other stuff. Xp boosters and other stuff. The level design is actually really good. They use power ups like in Retribution. But I find these power ups more useful then Ret. Ret I did not like because of the whole radar see through walls thing. That killed it for me.
@grove12345 I'm not even gonna type out a rant, you are stupid. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
found out i got an invite to the end of nations closed beta but it was after the beta so wasnt able to do it
tho tbh i couldnt be bothered to download the client anyway
Why is End of Nations under the Free to play friday...
The game isn't going to be free to play.
Also that's not even a beta key, you get put in the beta list queue with the key. Fail.
@x-TwilighT-x Wrong. End of Nations will indeed be a completely Free to Play game.
@x-TwilighT-x As far as I can tell, everyone redeeming one of the End of Nations keys is getting into the beta, there's just an hour or two delay between redeeming the key and receiving the email.
@x-TwilighT-x I am pretty sure End of Nations is a free to play. It says so on their site so unless they lied on their own site i dont see what gave you the idea it wasnt F2P...
Bullet Run is a terrible game. Don't waste your time or bandwidth.. watch some YouTube videos instead and you'll quickly get the gist of it and be glad I warned you. End of Nations and Realm of the Mad God, on the other hand, are both great games worth checking out.
Isn't the Realm of the Mad God video a bit old. I mean it wasn't made for exclusively for this blog or was it?
Bulletrun is bland and boring.
The guns sound like toys and it doesn't do anything to set it appart from other games.
I'll stick with Tribes and Blacklight: Retribution when it comes to Freemium shooters. It's like macaroni withotu any sauce or cheese.
God that Realm Of The Mad God drives me MAD (no pun intended), I was there playing my wizard during some time, then out of nowhere I died, and the character just goes to limbo, with everything. Exactly the type of game that's not intended to get you anywhere, perfect example of thing that I hate. YES I'M MAD D:<
@Reuwsaat Happens but I don't think u died "out of nowhere"...maybe a projectile or something
It's a really nice game for spending maybe a few dozens of mins on it
Plus free Steam achievements anyway XD
Bullet Run is in my opinion just not worth the bandwidth, outdated in every way, it has nothing to set it apart of the tons of other/better f2p shooters out there.
@J4m3sR4n0r72 It's a similar premise for sure. I think the commentary in The Running Man was a lot better though ;)
Realm of the Mad God is great. I've played close to 20 hours, and I only have 10 of the 13 classes unlocked. I do suggest buying one extra character slot because of the permadeath. That way you can continually build up one character while still unlocking more characters in the other slot.
Overpriced premium content isn't the point. It's a free game with facilities to support the developers. If you enjoyed the game and plan on playing more of it, think of the premium content as a donation to their hard work.
@adeathangel That's a fair point, and I do purchase plenty of premium content in free-to-play games, sometimes for no other reason than I want to contribute. I'm just not a fan of the pricing for such basic features as storage chests and character slots in Realm of the Mad God I guess--particularly since it's not possible to get those things any other way.
Hell yeah Bullet Run and End of Nations!
And @PredatorRules datorRules Its more of a Fall for BioWare seeing as they are the ones that made the game which means it will be them that suffer, Not EA as they just published the game nothing else.
Star Wars Old Republic soon will be on this list...
The huge fall of greedy EA games... I expect to it...
even free i find these games to be a complete waste of time and shame to the gaming world. its like saying its okay to watch crappy sci fi originals b/c its free
@grove12345 Except that none of these games are "crappy"
@JusticeCovert Actually I find a lot of free to play games to be Crappy. These here are not awful, but I wouldn't spend any money on them, guess that's why they are free.
@JusticeCovert C'mon Justin, they're F2P!
As far as demo's go I'd give Fall Of Cybertron a 8 out of 10
It's got 2 missions 1 Autobot and 1 Decepticon and multiplayer with progression and unlocks, all in all a solid demo, well worth playing especially if you play MP games a lot and are looking for something new to play or just a diversion.