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Friday, April 22, 2011

Free to Play Rundown

There are so many F2P games out there that it's hard to pick out the game you want to devote your precious time, bandwidth and hard drive space to.  So, I have already done that for you.  Of course, I haven't played EVERY F2P game out there, but I'll list which ones stand out the most out of what I have played.

First things first though, most of these games are considered to be "MMO", but that is such a generic term that  essentially, anything with some kind of online multiplayer support falls under this category.  I'll go into the terminology of this more in depth in a future blog, but for now, do NOT assume when a game is a MMO, it's a WoW or EverQuest clone unless stated otherwise.  This mode of thinking is like saying every FPS game is a Quake or Doom clone.

Probably the best way to list the best F2P games I have played so far is in terms of their respective categories. The categories will be the following:
  1. Best Action/Adventure RPG
  2. Best RTS
  3. Best Anime Inspired MMORPG
  4. Best General MMORPG
  5. Best Shooter
**Please note that these games are in my OPINION the best games that I have played SO FAR. Thus, I have not played EVERY SINGLE F2P game of that genre. So, if there is a better game that you think not listed, it may be that I just haven't played that particular game yet.

1. Best Action/Adventure RPG

The best F2P action/adventure RPG I have played is most definitely Vindictus. This is actually a game developed in Korea originally named Mabinogi Heroes (completely different from the game Mabinogi) and localized for North America. The localization is really well done and looks really nice. It uses the Source engine, but is unable to have the Steam overlay which is quite odd imho. However, this game is mainly CPU bottlenecked unless you have a really bad GPU like the integrated chip sets.

The easiest way to describe this game is that it's essentially Monster Hunter Online with physics puzzles and traps. For those of you who haven't play Monster Hunter (NOT Monster Rancher), it's a hack and slash RPG title that focuses more on timing of attacks and combos vs. just spamming your attack button. It's more like a 3D fighting game than a traditional hack and slash game such as Dynasty Warriors.

Overall this game is very polished, has good gameplay and is the best in its class. Later, I'll go more in depth on this game and create a more thorough review.

2. Best RTS

The best RTS styled F2P game that I have played thus far is League of Legends. This is probably one of the most popular F2P games out there. Essentially, this game is what many are calling the DotA genre of games where it's a combination of an RPG, but also an RTS. If you played DotA this game is very similar and has very similar game mechanics like last hitting and pushing.

This game is constantly updated and has tons of content/features being added regularly. I highly recommend you check this game out if you are into games such as DotA or any of the Dawn of War games.

3. Best Anime Inspired MMORPG

There are quite a few games out there that fit this genre, and many of them are so similar to eachother that it's hard to determine which one to play. However, the one that stands out from the rest of them is Iris Online.

Although the gameplay is uninspired (auto-attack WoW styled gameplay), it is very well polished and several mechanics built into the game that are fairly nice. However, be warned, if you HATE WoW (not because that it's popular, but because you just don't like the gameplay) then stay away from this like the plague. Otherwise, if you don't mind the WoW mechanics, like anime themes, then this game is for you.

4. Best General MMORPG

There are quite a few in this category, and when I say few, I mean a crap ton. So, I'll just list which ones stand out from the pack:
  • Runes of Magic(RoM)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online(DDO)
  • Allods Online
RoM and Allods are essentially WoW clones but are FREE. So, if you want to play WoW, but NOT pay $100+ for the games & expansions themselves AND pay a monthly subscription, then these games are for you.

DDO however, is quite different from most other MMORPG's out there in that it's not a WoW clone. If anything, it's more like Guild Wars, but D&D inspired. It takes the rules from the 3.5 edition of D&D and translates that into a real-time RPG. It's very well polished and HIGHLY optimized graphically speaking. It has a ton of content and has a huge player base. If you are into D&D and all, I highly suggest you check this game out.

5. Best Shooter

I just want to note that I HAVE NOT PLAYED MANY F2P shooters. I have yet to play S4 League and things like that, so what I'll say is the best shooter is just from what I played.

So, the best shooter that I played is Global Agenda.  It's a Sci-Fi third-person shooter made by a relatively new game company Hi-Rez Studios.  This game just recently became F2P and is relatively unknown.  However, this might change now that they are a F2P game and have increased their player base quite a bite recently.

The best way to describe this game is either Tribes the MMO, or Team Fortress 2 + Mass Effect + Jetpacks.  Although this game has some really high hardware requirements (mainly CPU issues) and is fairly buggy, it's quite a unique game and has tons of fun gameplay.  If you have the room on your HDD (it's about 12gb), I recommend at least checking this out.

Summary

  1. Best Action/Adventure RPG: 
  2. Best RTS:  
  3. Best Anime Inspired MMORPG:  
  4. Best General MMORPG:  
  5. Best Shooter:

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