Free-to-play FPS in 2012: Four First-Person Shooters to play this year


Pretty much everyone likes free stuff, myself included, so whenever a new F2P title hits the PC I tend to at least check it out to see whether they are worth a play through. Some believe free-to-play may be the way of the future, and with an increasing number of high quality F2P titles hitting the PC this year, it’s easy to see why some would think so.

The following list consists of the best (in my opinion) free to play FPS games hitting the PC this year.



1. Blacklight Retribution (Perfect World Entertainment)






This F2P FPS title from Zombie Studios and Perfect World Entertainment was launched back in April, and features fast paced action and sharp graphics that make good use of the Unreal Engine 3. The game features a variety of multiplayer modes, weapon customization and also futuristic mech robots to pilot. The game has over a million users, and was well received with critics. I have played the game for a number of hours and was impressed with the overall quality of the game, and the multiplayer experience which in my opinion rivals that of many store-purchased games.

The game ran well on my PC which is by no means a powerhouse, something I attributed to the adaptable Unreal engine. If you are a fan of FPS titles for the PC (Windows only at this time), then this game is a must try in my opinion. I have not found a more AAA-like F2P FPS experience than this title, it’s a solid download and you really don’t have anything to lose other than the hours you might spend playing it.


2. Artic Combat (Webzen)






Artic Combat is yet to be released, but this Webzen produced game might be one to look out for. From trailers, the game appears to be very Call of Duty like, in terms of both graphics and game play. It will be interesting to see whether the game is a F2P copycat, or if it offers a unique experience. The game appears to feature air strikes and other kill-streak like power ups, so it’s not hard to see why some are comparing the two in that sense as well. Either way, fans of these types of shooters may want to give this one a shot when it comes out. It is currently its closed beta stage, so expect an open beta sometime in the near future.


3. Warface (Crytek)




Well-known developer Crytek has gotten into the business of F2P as you may have heard, and they are promising that their first F2P title Warface will be a AAA level experience. The game utilizes the CryENGINE 3, which will allow for stunning graphics and explosions as well as a high level of compatibility on many computers. The game is said to have both PVE and PVP based content, which differentiates it from some of the other titles on this list which are PVP multiplayer only. PVP will reportedly be class based, and teamwork will be highly encouraged as opposed to individual efforts.

I have not played the game yet, and have only watched the released trailers, but I am impressed with what I have seen thus far. The graphics are high quality, gameplay looks smooth and fast paced, and the maps look interesting. Can the game compete with pay to play titles? One would hope so considering Cryteks good track record. You can head over to the official site now and register your ID and reserve a beta spot if you are intrigued.


4. Tribes: Ascend (Hi-Rez Studios)





This free to play extension of the classic Tribes series brought back jet-pack based shooting to the PC in style when it released earlier this year. Developed and published by Hi-Rez studios, the game featured a good level of polish and addictive game play that won over critics. The game has an aggregate score of 87 on Metacritic, receiving universal acclaim, something that is not quite typical of free to play titles. The game follows a similar formula as the classic Tribes titles, with revamped visuals courtesy of a modified Unreal Engine 3. The main two modes of play in the game are Team Deathmatch and CTF, and levels are typically quite large which allows for proper use of the jet-pack.

If you are a fan of the old games, or you’re simply looking for a high quality F2P FPS, you will want to check this one out if you have the time. I personally enjoyed the game and have a good feeling you might too.