Free 2 Play Online Games for PC

Free 2 Play Games
Free 2 Play Games

The change in the way we play games on the PC

There are still amazing games that are released every year for many of the platforms in the market. Games for single-player, games with co-op options and even with some multiplayer on online servers or by Lan, can be fun to play a game that has a rich story, good game play and graphics.

In the last couple years, the gaming Industry started a new approach to sell their games. This was more noticeable on MMO games. Games like World of Warcraft, EVE Online and others to name a few, started to allow gamers to download for free and keep paying a monthly subscription.

This new way of playing, in a way, force the player to dedicate much of his / her time to a particular game; to skill up, making credits, forming friends (and enemies) inside the game, managing clans and so on. It takes time depending of the style of game. In the meantime the player keeps funding the developers to get new content and better game play experience.

Free to Play - A new approach

Free to play, most commonly referred as F2P in short, is a new approach by many companies to develop their games.

The biggest advantage for a gamer is the ability to download the game and start playing for free. For the companies, it's a less headache to deal with illegal downloads such as torrents and pirated games that most of the big companies have when they sell their games. It is no secret, that if someone wants that new cool game that cost around 60 bucks on the store, it's easily downloaded from sites that give a pirated (cracked) version of the full game.

The free to play concept avoid this, simply because it gives the game for free. There are nothing to crack simply because the player just makes an account in the game, download the client and start playing. This avoid illegal downloads and the ability to strike back at pirated games.

Games that you can play for "free"

In this article, I will give you some examples of games that you can play for free. Notice that in the title I put quotes in the "free". If there is something certain in this world, is that nothing is 100% free.

Many of the Free 2 Play games always have a catch. While providing the game for free where the player download a client to connect to the game servers, the only thing a player have to do is to register in the website of the game and create a new account. The way this is done may differ from game to game or company but it is always the same way.


The catch is, all the free 2 play games, have a virtual store that sell virtual items. Players exchange real money for "credits", "gold", or whatever virtual currency the game uses. With this, the player have access to many virtual items to enhance their gaming experience.

From packs that allow the player to get more xp (experience to level up) to unique items that cannot be acquired by normal ways (looting), there are many items to sell in those virtual stores to make the player spend is money in a product that is "free 2 play".

Do not get me wrong, I do not have nothing against this way of business and the way it allow me to play or test some games without spending a single dime in a purchase of a game.


The "pros" and "cons" of Free 2 Play Games

While it is a good way for people getting games, and if someone really likes one in particular, there is always good and bad things in this kind of gaming business.

Some of the "pros" are of course, you get a game for free, you do not have to worry about monthly subscriptions and you can play forever whenever you want or at least the game company decide to close the door (like it did happen with Sony with their great game Star Wars Galaxies).

Also, since most of this games are MMO based games, there is always a great community behind it, some are very useful others they are not. It all depends the mature audience the game calls. if you play a game where most of the players are kids, you can expect a kid's playground with no rules and no sense of morality.

This kind of approach also makes a game company to keep updating the game with new content and new stuff for the player to do, otherwise they go broke since no one wants to keep doing the same thing over and over with no end.

The "cons" are basically lack of support. I'm not saying that all free 2 play games are like that in terms of player support, but some companies really do not care much about their player base except if they the keep spending money buying virtual items in their stores.

Just a quick note:

I know there are thousands of free games that you can play on your browser, many are just for fun, while others follow the process of client games that you download. I will not talk about browser games since I do not play any, but if you have a good experience with a great free 2 play browser game, please leave your comments at the end of this article.

Explore strange new worlds

Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online

Been a huge fan of the Star Trek franchise myself, I have to start with this one.

Star Trek Online, toke years of development and delays until it was released more or less 5 years ago. At the time, the game was on a subscription only model, designed and developed by Cryptic, the game become the dream for all Star Trek fans, geeks and gamers around the world.

It was when Cryptic was sold to Perfect World that the game changed a bit, and keep changing even more. The original idea of the game, was to get the players in teams aboard a ship where everyone would develop his or her character to a certain profession in the game. This change in the development and turn into a basic MMO with the Star Trek looks.

I play this game for a long time, and sometimes I still get online and go kill some Borg, but with so many changes i got bored because it was getting repetitive to me. That does not mean you wont get bored. In fact there are thousands of players still playing the game.

When Cryptic was bought by Perfect World, a Company that already have many games in the free 2 play model, Star Trek Online become free to play with a twitch: From the beginning the player always had the chance to buy a lifetime subscription that opens many options in the game, options that for a free 2 play gamer are not available except if he buys it on the C-Store, called today the "Zen Store" since the virtual currency "Zen" can be used in all the games of Perfect World.

They also have a monthly subscription that gives some benefits against free 2 play players, for example, your personal bank is not limited to 10 million credits, while a free 2 play gamer must bought the option in the store to unlock this feature.

Inventory space is not free also. In the lifetime subscription or monthly subscription, when you start a new character (you can actually have a lots of different characters in the game) every time you level up, in this case, when you are promoted to the next rank, you get more storage space and more inventory space among many others gifts. A free 2 play gamer must buy these things from the store.

Not state of the art graphics but it suits the game well

Star Trek Online - Graphic Engine - Inside Deep Space K7
Star Trek Online - Graphic Engine - Inside Deep Space K7

Star Trek Online "Pros & Cons"

Like many games, Star Trek Online is one of those games that promised many things but fail completely. Still is a very addictive game and have the Star Trek feeling well implemented even is some things are a bit exaggerated.

Pros:

  • It's Star Trek!
  • Build a character human or Alien, chose your traits and profession. Each with their strengths and special abilities. Enroll in a Tactical, Engineer or Science Officer Career in the Star Trek World.
  • Chose from 3 sides to play, with all the know species related to each side; Starfleet, Klingon or Romulan, all with their special abilities, ships, HUD's and the atmosphere related with each side.
  • Many missions to play like in a Star Trek TV series, follow each story well written and advance even more on the ranks. Discover new races, ships, many planets. Do it solo or in a team with your friends.
  • Excellent space combat with many powers to train and chose from. Use the abilities of your officers to get extra firepower, special science powers or greatly improve the resistance of your ship with special abilities from your engineer officers.
  • Ground combat with many items to use. Phaser pistols, Rifles, klingon disruptors and much more.
  • Form a fleet (clan) and build your own Starbase with many special items to equip your character armor, shields and your ships.
  • Fluid space and ground combat, great detail in graphics and special effects.
  • Ability to select everything to arm your ship: Pick your favorite Warp Core, Shields, weapons, tactical, science and engineer consoles and take advantage of the role of your ship.
  • Great sound effects, with warnings from the computer like in the series, torpedoes, beams and cannons.
  • Many know worlds to visit and explore. Follow the story or do your thing.
  • Easy leveling up a character from level 1 to 50. Leveling is done so easy that when you finish 1 or 2 episodes you are already ready to fight the big boys (almost).
  • Great community in the Forums and in the game, will help you with anything you need.
  • New content added regularly.

Cons:

  • Lack of support. if you ever need support you will have a terrible experience. Probably one of the worst customer support service that I ever saw in a game, and it does not matter if you are a paying gamer or a free 2 play one.
  • While been a lot of fun building and having goals in the game, it gets repetitive.
  • Many hours of griding.
  • Not your average MMO, the learning curve is great. It might be a con or pro?
  • It follows the traditional MMO style with Star Trek as a background, you have you tanker, your wizard and your killer, or whatever you wanna call it.
  • Clicking feast! Many screens where you have to confirm even your basic actions. Many pop up windows to click. In fact STO is a spam clicking answers windows.
  • It can be laggy at peek hours, also no matter how good your machine is, in battles where there are too many players you have a huge loss of FPS.
  • Not a very good engine design. Don't trust the "recommended" specifications on the site", in fact, double it!
  • Poor PvP.

Star Trek Online - Inside Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Online - Inside Deep Space Nine

Conclusion

Yes, Star Trek Online is a great game and it could be even better if not some weird philosophy of Perfect World bosses. Korean style at their best!

Even with some bad things in the game, there many few bugs that usually are more an annoyance then anything else, but sometimes a serious one might pop up related with the virtual store and purchased items. Fortunately it has become very rare these days something bad happens.

Despite all this, if you are a fan of Star Trek the game is lots of fun. It has some great features to be explored and tested. The ability to setup you ship(s) the way you want with hundreds of different gear is a must. The design of the ships are amazing and well detailed and it is even possible to change a bit their "custom" look.

Star Trek Online is not 100% perfect but it's not all bad too. In any case, you can try it for free and decide for yourself, just be prepared for a big download of over 25GB with all sectors and scenarios downloaded (which I advise strongly or you will find yourself in the game downloading some section because you never went there).

if you like the game, and you feel it is a game that you will play every day, I advise to pay at least 2 months of a subscription to get all the free perks, then you can just ignore any payments and your game revert to free 2 play without losing what you already had, except the limit of how much money you can have.


My Ratings*

Graphics: 4

Game play:4

Sound: 4

Support: 1

Content: 5

Learning Curve: 4 (higher means more harder)

Have fun and register at: startrekonline.com

*This is just my personal opinion, these ratings should not influence your personal opinion of the game, what I consider good, some people might consider it bad.

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Roll out

World of Tanks
World of Tanks

World of Tanks

World of Tanks is just brilliant! Because of it's simplicity, Wargaming, the company behind the development of World of Tanks (WoT) made a game very addictive and really fun to play.

Following the same concept of free to play, with a virtual store also, the game focus on team PvP matches of 30 players 15 per team driving the most amazing and detailed tanks of the second world war.

Due to it's simplicity of playing and learning curve, no wonder the game is know almost in every country in Europe but also in the US and the rest of the world.

With detailed tanks from the 7 countries that consist the major powers in tanks and in the history of WW2 (Germany, USA, UK, Russia, China, Japan and France) the detail of each tank, the physics involved and the amazing simple way of playing the game almost in arcade mode, made World of Tanks growing very fast in terms of player base and success.

Wargaming also has another title that recently came out of Beta, World of Airplanes, with the same quality of WoT but with planes. Still, is World of Tanks that is still the King. Also in production, believed to be released around next year is the most awaited World of Warships. World War 2 is always the historical focus of their products, this is what pull most of the people to their games.

German Tiger - A high Tier Heavy Tank

World of Tanks - German Tiger
World of Tanks - German Tiger

PvP was never so fun

In World of Tanks, there are no quests, no character to level up and no storyline. This is a pure PvP (Player vs Player) action - simulation / combat game.

They pick up in the best PvP matches of many FPS games like concepts of capturing the flag, defense and so on. In World of Tanks, each team, always composed of 15 players per team, will be mixed up with several different tiers of tanks in a matchmaker. Players can drive light, medium and heavy tanks of different tiers (tiers in WoT are a kind of level for class of tank, the higher the more powerful and deadly the tank is).

Depending of the type of tank you play, there is always a strategy involved. A light tank for example, is no match to move against a heavy tank (sometimes) but it's roll is to scout the terrain and discover enemy tanks in the field of battle that other team mates can spot and kill at a distance or flank.

Is this kind of game play, that brings not only a great action to the game, but also a strategy and to take advantage of any tactical moment that can happen in the heat of the battle.

Each player must know his own tank, what it can do and what's the best roll for it. For example a tank destroyer is good at snipping, and usually is a tank that is hard to kill due to it's strong front armor.

World of Tanks - Soviet Heavy Tank KV-1
World of Tanks - Soviet Heavy Tank KV-1

Progression in World of Tanks

When you first start playing World of Tanks, you will have access to any of low tiers, in this case Tier 1, light tanks. Usually, most of them are free. Pick up one of the 7 countries tank tree and start your way.

Each battle will be different. In the first battles you make, is very often to find other players with the same tanks, but will be variations that can be in country, Tier 2 tanks, type of tank and so on.

The game modes are various, the most usually is having 2 bases one for each team. The match will end when one of the 3 possible conditions will happen: Your team wins by destroying all the opponents tanks, your team manages to capture the enemy base (this is done by holding a large area for a time while a countdown starts, the more tanks are in the enemy base the faster it will be captured) or both team have a draw when the time limit for each battle ends. This is rare to happen, since most battles are resolved in about 5 to 10 minutes.

Victory is always want you aim for, of course, since this will bring you credits to buy more gear to your tank, consumables that you can use during the battle and also to buy a new tank after you research it.

The research tree is the most important thing in the game. Carefully selecting each tank, researching each part and see what gives what for the next tree. This is made with experience points you make in battle. The more XP you make in battle the easier will be. Also, if your team is the wining one, you will get more XP and more credits to spend.

Every tank needs a crew to operate, they also gain experience that is shared between them. The more experienced your crew gets, the more effective your tank will be. Crew can be acquired for free when you purchase a new tank, their training is at 50%. if you spend a few thousand credits (credits are free currency that you make playing the game), you can increase their training to 75%. When a crew member reaches 100% experience it will unlock various perks that can be added for increased performance for that crew member.

For example, a Commander that gets a perk called Mentor, will add more experience to the rest of the crew at each final battle.

When researching a Tank, you will need to gain credits and experience while playing, you then spend XP points on new engines, Suspension, Turrets and many other modules. Also, if you want to equip them, you then buy them with the credits you make. When you research everything in a particular tank and you are ready to start a new one, that tank will achieve the status of "Elite". Elite tanks do not need any more experience to research since everything is done, so, by been Elite, all the experience gained during the battles will be added to the crew if there are not still at 100%. This is helpful since you can train your crew much faster and start to unlock those great perks.

World of Tanks Trailer

Conclusion

World of Tanks is amazing to play if you are into games of tanks. Still, do not expect a total tank simulation game. While the realism of World of Tanks is excellent, the way it uses armor values for each tank to calculate if a projectile will penetrate the armor and cause damage or just bounce it is very good, the physics of the game are very well implemented also, drive into a slope too fast or cause your tank to jump and you can get a broken track.

The game play is easy, the controls are easy to handle and of course, with personal experience comes the best way to play.

Some pros and cons:


Pros:

  • Good game for a casual player or a more hardcore one;
  • 100% PvP game. No stories, no quests, no stuff to mess around;
  • It's simplicity is what makes World of Tanks great;
  • Good graphics and lots of special effects almost real;
  • Many tactics to learn and to use.
  • The terrains is not just a pretty thing where you play, hills, bushes, houses, all can be used to hide or destroyed;
  • Good support team always ready to help the player;
  • Great community in the forums and very active will help a newbie with the best advices;
  • Good bug hunt from the devs;
  • Lack of bugs; (they are there but you can hardly notice)
  • Regular updates and with new features, maps, re-worked maps and new Tanks (this last not so often and when it shows up, usually is a Premium Tank that you have to buy in the Gold Store);

Cons:

  • Some battles can be very frustrating when your team acts like "Rambo mode";
  • Low progression in the research tree due to the high of XP needed to unlock new tanks;
  • Some maps can lag due to the scenario objects causing a bit of loss of FPS. Not an issue if you have a good machine;
  • Some tanks are really hard to get, very expensive in credits and in XP.


Personally, since I am an avid World of Tanks player, I find the game worth of playing. It is not a easy game, the first time you play, expect to last at least 2 or 3 minutes (maybe less) in the battle. That is normal, learning the maps, watching your team and paying attention to the enemy tanks takes training and time. Also, it's not just aim and fire, each tank have it's strongest and weakest points and sides, in general, the front side of a tank have a strong armor, while is back is very low and the sides can cause damage to the tracks.

My ratings*

Graphics: 4

Game play: 5

Sound: 5

Support: 4

Content: N/A

Learning Curve: 3 (higher means more harder) - while it's a easy game to play, it is hard to get the knowledge to be effective in battle. This is much more harder then it seams. It requires learning your tank and the other tanks. This takes time. There is lots of information and the forums are a great place for research.

*This is just my personal opinion, these ratings should not influence your personal opinion of the game, what I consider good, some people might consider it bad.

World of Tanks Game Play

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Entropia Universe

Entropia Universe is a very addictive game. MindArk, the company behind the game, had the brilliant idea of taking the MMO style to another level.

MindArk do not like to name is game "game", but instead it is considered a Virtual Universe with a real cash economy. You read it right, it has a virtual cash economy where you deposit real money to be converted into the currency of the game PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and use this money to hunt, craft, mine and many other things. While it is free to play, and I mean, totally 100% free to play, without any kind of "gold storage" or something like that, this is a game where many people can dream to be rich.

Many players that have played Second Life for years, will no doubt feel some similarities. While Second Life is more of a pvp interaction game in a virtual environment, Entropia Universe goes much more far in this concept.

The model behind Entropia Universe

There is no doubt that Entropia Universe is an amazing experience, in a virtual world where the maturity of players are around between 20 and 60 years old, you will find many people with a different mentality playing. While for example in games like in WoW that are populated by kids and some more mature people, Entropia Universe sets apart due to the real cash economy.

At any given time, a player will be forced to play in a certain "disorder", every action in the universe while using items like a weapon or a tool, will cause decay to those items. This is the biggest constant of the game. Many items can be repaired at special terminals inside the game where MindArk makes it's profit. While it is possible to play without deposit a single cent into the game, it is something that will take time to evolve and it becomes more a job then an entertainment. Depositing some money will help any helper, from newbie to experienced to keep evolving his/her Avatar in terms of skills and be more efficient with the use of the thousands of items available in game.

Amazing graphics and game play

Coming out from beta in 2004, with the name at the time of Project Entropia, the game has come a long way. A couple years ago, Mindark introduced the amazing graphics engine Crytek, the company behind Farcry, this gave Entropia Universe a distinct look and feel of the world around you. From Avatar creation, design of Armors, clothes, animals that you hunt and so on, the game improved a lot. Today it is much easier to start playing with the addition of small quests that introduce the new player to a huge Universe to explore.

Playing myself since 2004, and still today in game, I am a huge fan of Entropia Universe. The social aspect of the game is like I never saw in other MMO's, that and the real cash economy was what attracted me to play Entropia Universe for so many years.

In a more personal note, I can say, I made good friends in game, and become an honored and trusted Entropian were I could try amazing armors that can worth more then a house in real life.

The continuous evolution of Entropia Universe

Explore the beautiful and dangerous planets of Entropia Universe

Visit the official site, create an account and live your virtual life.

More games coming soon. Keep checking this page for updates.


Thank you for visiting and do not forget to share. -:)

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