It's time to throw your wallet into the garbage disposal as we run down the best, weirdest, and free-est F2P games from Gamescom 2012.
In case you hadn't noticed, free-to-play games are a pretty big deal these days. And at a PC-focused show like Gamescom, they're an especially big deal. Luckily for you, we've spent countless hours looking through the weirdest, craziest, and scariest games on display here at Gamescom to bring you the Gamescom Free-to-Play Award Showcase Spectacular!
Most Historically Educational Way to Destroy Planes
Winner: War Thunder
From Gaijin Entertainment comes this WWII-based vehicular combat game where one half is a player-versus-player massively multiplayer online game that has players filling the sky with dueling airplanes (and ground vehicles to follow in a later update) while the other half is a campaign that lets you reenact battles such as Peleliu, Guadalcanal, and more. Learn the ropes of aerial combat while taking part in some of history's most memorable conflicts, and then start blasting rival planes from the sky when not decorating your plane with era-specific pinup girl decals.
Most Terrifying Depiction of American Crime From a Korean Developer
Winner: District 187: Sin Streets
District 187 is a scary vision of urban crime in America. In this first-person shooter, crime is so prevalent that street gangs and police SWAT teams are locked in a perpetual turf war, stealing money away from each other in game modes like Bank Heist and outfitting their weaponry with increasingly deadly attachments as they work up through a COD-like leveling system. Clearly, no citizen is safe. But it's probably their own fault for moving to a place called District 187 to begin with.
Most Compelling Reason to Hope We Don't Find Ancient Treasure on Mars
Winner: Star Conflict
Also from Gaijin Entertainment is this space combat MMO game about a future where man has discovered the treasures of an ancient civilization in a distant galaxy. And subsequently, as humankind so often does, we all just end up fighting over it. In this case, though, that fighting is done using powerful spaceships that you can upgrade through absurdly detailed tech trees. So, on second thought, maybe we should find ancient treasure on mars.
Above: Star Conflict (left), Defiance (right)
Best Reason to Watch Syfy that Doesn't Involve Giant Sharks Fighting Robotic Dinosaurs
Trion Worlds and Syfy have pooled their resources to create a postapocalyptic world that spans both television and video game. The aim for this union is to have both sides influence each other in interesting ways. For example, a character in the game may steal an important item from the player only to have that item pop up again in the show. Or a character in the show may digitize themselves into the game, where they are then spawn camped, and the whole operation is brought to a screeching halt.
Best Game Based On a Game Show About Murdering People for Fun
Winner: Bullet Run
In the near future of the Bullet Run universe, a revolutionary new "Synth" technology lets people reincarnate themselves into new bodies upon death. This groundbreaking, scientific achievement--which skirts the edges of divinity--is put to use fueling the latest reality-TV craze: Bullet Run. Just imagine Big Brother, but with a lot more guns and a lot less…everything else. Here, the goal is not only to win, but to hype up the crowd with fancy kills and strategically deployed taunts. Plus, you can play right now.
Best Submarine-Based Game That Doesn't Involve Sean Connery
Winner: Silent Service
Ubisoft's stable of free-to-play, browser-based games includes the hardcore submarine sim Silent Hunter Online. Life on a submarine is anything but riveting, and to Silent Hunter's credit, it manages to reflect that sentiment quite well. Of course, once a dozen or so friends join in, one-on-one naval battles quickly scale to epic, explosive exchanges of torpedoes. As the captain of your vessel, you must manage your crew efficiently and pay close attention to the numerous gauges and displays surrounding the periscope. Should you fail in your mission, you may find yourself in a steel casket on the bottom of the ocean before you know it.
Best Way to Play a Ubisoft PC Game That Doesn't Involve Waiting a Month After the Console Version
Winner: Anno Online
Ubisoft's city-building sim gets its first multiplayer release in the form of a browser-based, Flash 11 game, but there is little sacrificed in the way of scale, or detail, in the transition. Friends can work together to create gigantic empires that are indistinguishable from those found in the retail releases, and if you wish to speed things up, a tiny donation to Ubisoft will help speed things up. With the help of hundreds, if not thousands, of other players, your civilization has the potential to grow to a massive scale through cooperative efforts and trade, rivaling the enormity of empires found in other games in the Anno series, if not the entire world-building genre.
So fun to see an award show article that doesn't have the same boring categories, but makes up their own, with the obvious risk of going "This is so awesome (but doesn't fit anywhere) that we invented a category just to include it". As long as the article is this good, I dont mind this.
I don't like F2P games, because I like to have access to everything from the start when I pay for it, but maybe I'll look into one of these eventually (in 7 seven years or so, when I'm through my backlog of bought/installed/want to play games :P).
urrrr people who wrote this must be on crack........you forgot about PLANETSIDE 2 & Mechwarrior Online
@TERMINATOR-SSD Hawken >>>> Mechwarrior.
@chaosbrigade apart from both being Mech play both games are very different, Hawken is mega fast paced like COD but with mechs, nothing wrong with that, i cant wait. Mechwarrior is a slow based game where micromanaging your mech is key. I will play both and support both, as long as they wont be Pay 2 Win or Pay 2 Play structures.
I've played Bullet Run, crappy as hell. For some reason the shotgun only deals 20 dmg on a very close range.
"Serious, For Reals, No-Joking-Around Best Free-to-Play Game at Gamescom" I'm not surprised that this person likes Hawken best out of all of the free-to-play games at Gamescom. Only somebody who can honestly type "for reals" would think that generic shooter is better than stuff like Project Theralon and Planetside 2.
Am I the only one who read Most Official Unofficial "Chrono Trigger, Hidden Game" and got realy, really excited then bummed out?
Found a friend in World of Tanks and can't wait for World of Warplanes (too bad the acronym is WoW, but the World of Planes acronym may have been offensive to some in the WWII era).
Should be tons o fun when they are incorporated, two two two F2P's at one low price.
I'll be so glad when this F2P bubble pops... it's a shiny package on a terrible pricing model... the way most F2P games are set up 'Free' is the last thing they are if you actually want to play them... you can join most of them and be sheep for those that have paid for the power ups and boosts and all the other gates passes to the gates they throw up to make people want to pay money and in the end if you were to keep playing one of these 'free' games you may have spent more money then on a normal freaking game.
@Unholy123 No it's not. There's a difference between pay-to-win and free-to-play done right.
In very successful F2P Games (Like Team Fortress 2, that started making 20 times more revenue much once they switched to the F2P model), the items are mostly cosmetic and if you choose not to pay, you can get them by playing the game or through trading.
Tribes: Ascend and Blacklight: Retribution are other two successful examples of this. You can get anything 'buyers' can get by simply playing - buying is a mere choice for the 'lazy'.
Some people will spend a lot, some people will a bit, and some people spend nothing. In the end, all developers will earn bigger profits (because of the much larger communities the game will have for the simple fact that it's free.
Free to play is a great business model that gives the player more flexibility and CHOICE.
Let's not forget that with Free to Play games developers kick piracy in the nuts.
If you think it's stupid to spend money on those things, it's ok - I think so too. But you have to realize that costumers differ very much from each other, and not all of them will be thinking the same way.
@Unholy123 I couldn't agree with you more. Scary thing is I've read 2 articles recently with the opinion free to play is a future being pushed by some developers. I don't understand the mentality that invests in games piece by piece. Creates an imbalance immediately and feels like a fruit machine...just one more pound. Horrible.
@Unholy123 Sound angry, speaking from experience? You can always not give them money and leave.
I understand there are many many money pits out there, but the entire point is to make money, whether it's monthly or per transaction. At least you get to try before you buy with F2P, while AAA mmo games still have a no return policy no matter how much of a dud the game is or how long you play.
I am not saying one is better than the other, the AAA at $60 plus monthlies afford higher "quality" (as defined by graphics and pizzazz for lack of a better word), while the F2P offer more game play varieties and much lower upfront prices, but require more time or money to see all content.
It's a choice. Some people get offended on the money wasted on duds, like Star Trek Online or FFIV and like you some get offended at falling into money pits they don't see coming.
@Unholy123 FF XIV ;)
Oh its the same person commenting and and you did a reply edit... my bad I didn't get why you just wrote "FF XIV" Yeesch Gamespot an edit post button would be handy
I never said you had to give them money, I said they were set up to make you want to, and if you don't you run into gates on their product. I don't understand why you would tell me I don't have to give them money when I never said you did but whatever maybe next time read abit more thoroughly then you won't have to tell me I don't have to do something I allready wasn't doing lol.
Also not angry if I was there be alot more censored parts of my comments :p and please dont tell me I get offended at falling into a money pit when you don't know that and are simply implying it to try and make it look like im all bitter about F2P when infact you don't know if I've ever spent a single dime on them I just don't like how they are like a skelton frame of a good game and you have to pay to get the real meat of them instead of just bones.
"Best Game Based On a Game Show About Murdering People For Fun"
UM? No. That Bullet Run is a complete generic piece of crap. To be honest, Super Monday Night Combat should get that since it's many times more then what Bullet Run is.
If you have not played Super Monday Night Combat then I'd have to extend an offer for you guys to try it out, you can fight as an intelligent mafia Gorilla with a oversized Tommy gun. Just try it.
F2P the cousin to overpriced DLC's, like: "hey you can unlock dark-hair for your barbarian in D3 for just $5.99". in Civ5 "hey, for $5 you can unlock a new country... we really don't add anything to the game, but we made sure to overpower them so everyone in multiplayer must own them". Ya, F2P games try to hit you up every turn if you want to keep up to the ppl who are being suckerd into opening their wallets. Just take a look at shooter games, instead of it take a week or more to unlock everything you wanted it can take 30mins so you dominate the competition(and the game just got released), I can't wait for BF4 to get announced its F2p.. thats why EA is hustling it to get released so soon after BF3. Eventualy the mass of addicts will see just how terrible it is if their favourites go from spending just 50-60$ to spending 100$+ over the year to stay competitive with the rest of the suckers. Its like paying to cheat but what is the point if everyone else does the same?, these dev's are suckering ppl sooooooooooooooo bad; and thats what is really getting me fired up, cause Im a good guy and I don't wanna see ppl using underhanded shit on other ppl.
@Master_Vexov I agree. I dont agree with F2P model.Hell I dont even agree with DLC.DLC should be free, when we pay 60$ for a game we are paying for the beginning to the end that includes DLC and every other patch needed.
F2p games are getting alot of praise, for reasons I fail to see. Give me a game with a good story and good gameplay, that lasts for more than 5 hours and I will be happy to buy it. is this what gamers really want? lets just do away with games like Fallout,darksouls,crysis,skyrim,dragons dogma,koa,the witcher,borderlands,darksiders,zelda,mass effect,dead space,splinter cell,heavy rain,red dead redemption,gta,assasins creed,etc etc etc etc etc..... and we will all play castleville on facebook.. lol just trying to be funny
War Tunder and Star Conflict are great games considering you can play them for free :).. I think War Thunder is the better out of the two and if you love WWII planes and combat then you need to pick this up. Graphics are awesome as well adn that helps a lot. plus it was a great reason to dig my joystick out as well :)
Only other one I have tried on the list is Bullet Run and well err tere are better games out there...
I am very tired of publishers and tabloids pushing the wicked F2P model down our throats. I want to OWN my games and I have enough money to do so, I don't need any pay2pwn games, thank you.
i agree, Im getting really sick of all this f2p nonesense i havent found a single f2p game that i thought was very good and I honestly dont understand the hype... And what is this shit about f2p is the future, are they kidding.
I understand your reluctence to try a F2P game because of Pay-to-win or something like that or it is of poor quality. I recommend you take a look at planetside 2. One of the best looking games out there, F2P, and the only thing you would pay real world money for are for things COMPLETELY cosmetic. Everything that would effect gameplay in anyway can be bought by anyone whether they put money in the game or not. And if that doesn't convince you this may... 1,000 vs 1,000 player battles in a persistant world. All I ask is you check out some of their E3 stream and decide for yourself keeping in mind that it was in Alpha and only around 200 were playing at the time. And please, keep an open mind
Funny, Blacklight is a pay2win game. I never tried TF2 nor Tribes. F2P just scares me away cause every time it ends up with a "hey want some bonuses and MASSIVE short cuts over the competition?". If the gaming industry turns into some sort of cash cowing I would expect a large percentage to leave it. Currently over the past years they have been releasing games that are terrible and got nothing but hype and lies to get sells, and with that same "care" to the gamers they put out F2P games and overpriced DLCs. For you to actualy back them up on this... just wow >.<
@don_bidarian that's why I hate when publishers and tabloids push down my throat the whole "F2P is the future of gaming" crap.
Well as Luke already mentioned, F2P is focusing on multiplayer which is to lure in those who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars in order to win a match.
In future we might see AAA multiplayer games with F2P model, however it will be an incomplete game.Beside the basics you would have to pay for every single thing.I'm sure for most of the future F2P games, the actual cost for the player would be much more than the 60 bucks fixed price which we pay for regular games these days, not to mention the experience would be ruined for the players who wouldn't want to spend much on the game.
@Lukemaneiro what AAA titles are you comparing with F2P? CoD? It's useless casual junk, it was only a matter of time before people would stop paying 60 bucks for it. TOR? They pretty much cut out a lot of high-level content and significantly obstruct the PvP arena play. In MMOs the game only starts when you reach the level cap, so basically they cut out of the F2P the most important stuff.
It shows the tendency that I've outlined - simplistic, MMO and sub-par quality are the 3 pillars of F2P model. Every other thing is commercially nonviable and is destined to fail.
@Morphine_OD Hey, don't put words in my mouth, I never said it would be the same scale as Crysis 3.
I'm simply stating F2P games are getting better and better, and the gap between them and AAA titles is decreasing every year.
I don't see how you can have an argument against this, it's plain OBVIOUS. And the tendency, if you look at what all developers are saying about the business model, is that this phenomenon continues to happen.
The industry changes and finds itself new ways to keep going. Currently, this is their best shot.
You only mentioned singleplayer focused games when it is obvious F2P games are only focusing on multplayer experiences for now.
I never said F2P would take over ALL of gaming, I'm simply stating that is a great business model and that we'll be seeing AAA quality multiplayer titles coming out every year.
And honestly, as an obssessed HL fan (:P) neither of us have any idea of what they're doing with Half Life 3. Valve does the most unexpected things.
The industry will change like it always has. New business models will show up for singleplayer games as well in the near future. Will they be free-to-play? I don't know. Just have to wait and see.
@don_bidarian F2P is essentially providing the players with more flexibility and choice.
The products are getting better and the model is improving. Team Fortress 2, Blacklight Retribution and Tribes Ascend are a testament of that.
Just wait, you'll be impressed.
F2P huh? Aaaah good old Yakuza 4 and Vanquish.
No online access code multiplayer with hacking
No F2P or other weird stuff that makes your head spin.
Just real games.
Hawken looks amazing, but once its F2P Bullshit hits our eyes it will be all we can see. I hope Mechwarrior isn't F2P, that looked promising aswell.
@PredatorRules what is the difference between
War Thunder:World of planes
World of Warplanes?
@ShadowRun02 Made by different companies.. World of Warplanes done by the same people who do world of tanks. War Thunder was just called world of planes but i guess they got told off or somthing and changed it to War Thunder.As for HAwken being a competitor to MWO yeah i guess as both games are about big robots, but Hawken plays mroe like an FPS game where as MWO plays more like a big robot game hehe :)
what? no firefall? the most honest non-pay-to-win title out there right now with a massive pve world and an awesome pvp mode with esports tools?
As long as F2P games are this generic and require that you pay to win, I don't see a reason for people to get into it just yet.
@SandRunneR No F2P game today is pay to win, you can pay to get faster progress - nobody throws you nowdays lv1 newbie against lv10 killers with advanced stuff
Really, cause some the latest F2P games have it so you can buy items that take the non-payer over a week to unlock. In shooters this is very appearent and also once you remove thoes items your likely to have to buy them again if you want to switch back. Also every F2P i tried has some sort of bonuses you can apply to your character for advantages "BonuseSSSSSSSSSSS". How else would they make their money, if this wasn't the case they would sucker themselfs... the only real F2P games are simply just free online(no subscription)
@Morphine_OD No it's not, it's up to level 50, get your facts straight, it doesn't help your argument if you're using false information. And with the level 50 cap you can finish the whole story for each of the characters.
You don't seem to take into account that if there are a lot of great free to play games out there, sales on normal-60-buck-AAA-titles wil inevitably decrease.
People buy Call of Duty for the multplayer, for instance. But now there are lots of free-to-play games that provide very similar experiences (Blacklight), and the tendency is for more and more games like it getting released, with higher production values then previous F2P titles, to a point in which the quality of a F2P title is comparable to a AAA.
F2P games have more content then multiplayer-focused titles. They are starting to have AAA-quality-graphics and sound. The communities are much larger.
The market is changing, open your mind to it.
@Lukemaneiro TOR is jumping into free-to-play only up to 20 lvl. It's the same thing as WoW or Diablo 3 - to hook you up.
Indy is an illustration of what can be done with which resources. There is no huge indy games not because they bring too little income, but because it's ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY TO SPEND MORE ON THE DEVELOPMENT.
"if they are making MORE money with the F2P model, why do you think their budgets would be lower then an AAA title"
BECAUSE WHY SPEND MORE IF YOU CAN SPEND LESS AND GET THE SAME RESULT. Do you actually understand business and monetizing models? How naive are you? F2P games will always be the same as now, because the formula has been already computed.
@Morphine_OD That's a poor comparison. Indy games, as the name implies, are independent studios with a much lower budget.
F2P games are being made by major developers now with mucher higher production values, and have a tendency to become better every year - I'm sure you don't think they'll stay the same?
And if they are making MORE money with the F2P model, why do you think their budgets would be lower then an AAA title?
MMO-like-click-fests? The Old Republic (which is a pretty big ame) is jumping into free to play.
Planet Side 2 is HUGE and it's going to be free-to-play. And don't forget the fact it's the biggest multiplayer fps EVER MADE.
In the beginning, they didn't know what results F2P would bring, so they spent a lot less to make a game. It was a risky investment.
Now that they know that they WILL make money, they will HAVE to spend a lot to create high-quality titles that wil stand out from the competition, which is getting bigger and bigger everyday.
@Lukemaneiro you're delusional. A lot of developers jumped a while back on the indy band wagon. Now it has absolutely INSANE competition, do you see any AAA indy games out there? I don't. That's because indy BY DEFAULT can't do what a decent AAA game can.
Same stuff with F2P - they will always be simplistic multiplayer MMO-like click-fests with sub-par production levels. Because producing anything that's not it IS NOT ECONOMICALLY VIABLE.
The gab between those AAA titles and F2P games is decreasing every year. This year you'll have DOTA 2, Command and Conquer, Crytek announcing that all of its future projects after Crysis 3 will be free-to-play, Ghost Recon Online...
Lots of reasons to be excited. All major developers are jumping in the F2P thing. That means they'll be competing in no time and you'l be seeing higher quality releases every day.
@Master_Vexov Of course not, look at Team Fortress 2, Tribes Ascend and Blacklight Retribution.
The game is balanced no matter what's your loadout. Most of the items you buy are purely cosmetic.
All F2P does is provide players with a more flexible model, in which they can decide what they want to do with their money.
There's a big difference between pay-to-win and free-to-play done right.
@PredatorRules That counts for pay to win scenario. We don't want that. It's unfair advantage for people who decide to give their money away while we could have great games without such money milking features and let the playing decide who wins or progresses faster and still not paying any extra.
@SandRunneR most free 2 games have yes mcirotransactions that makes game more easy but, you can do a lot with no money especiallyu in fps games.