With the Game Developers Conference having come to a close game news still seems to be flowing thick and fast. The Free To Play revolution took a major step forward during the GDC this year.
Many free to play games were announced during the conference but we are going to concentrate on the three major first person shooter announcements. Crytek’s much anticipated Warface is nearing completion with the beta program well under way, Tribes Ascend promises to get the heart rate going is also currently in beta, with the full public release in April. Finally MechWarriors are making a free to play come back with larger than life online battles, and explosions that match the massive weapons.
Three pre-release trailers have been included for your viewing pleasure. If they don’t wet your appetite for destruction then check your pulse.
Warface: Classes Trailer
One of the most anticipated free to play games of 2012 has opened for a closed beta, and approaches it’s public release. Expected Crytek’s Warface to make its full debut first in South Korea very shortly, the game is obviously very close to ready for prime time.
Warface may be the best looking free to play game of 2012, impressive for Crytek’s first foray into the Free To Play model, they aren’t holding anything back. Using the excellent CryEngine@ 3, which is already producing outstanding results for Crysis 2 and Microsoft’s Ryse. Crytek are going for the full first person experience with Warface, this is not a cut back demonstration of a full commercial game.
The in game graphics strongly resemble Crysis 2, with the full FPS experience on offer. Heavy on detail and physics with facial expressions, explosions, fluid movement, the list goes on. The fact that Warface has such strong similarities to it full price commercial brother is in this case a massive bonus.
The game features PVP play, as well as a five-person co-op PVE and a choice of four classes to; Rifleman, Engineer, Medic, and Sniper. In co-op mode teams will need to work together to survive the hoards of enemies and gunfire.
The game will run at an impressive 60fps on fast gaming PC’s but may tax slower machines. The game should roll out in the next month in South Korea and become available to the rest of the world through the rest of 2012.
From the Warface website: Crytek’s first online FPS called Warface is a military shooter in a near future setting. It offers a cinematic experience with next gen visuals, AI and physics based on Crytek’s proprietary CryENGINE® 3 game development solution. Warface provides gamers with a constantly updated extensive PVE universe full of dramatic multiplayer co-op missions, a full set of class based PVP and will be available for PC. This new Crytek IP is developed by Crytek Kiev and co-produced by Crytek Seoul and Crytek Frankfurt. Warface is supported by a free-to-play business model.
Crytek has described Warface as AAA freemium, it is an undeniably beautiful thanks to the CryEngine 3 in action.
Tribes: Acend – Gameplay Trailer
Tribe Ascend’s Homepage
Hi-Rez Studios has made the beta program for Tribes: Ascend open to the public at the moment, the full free to play game will be available in April. The beta has only been available for two weeks and it has already welcomed 400,000 players.
Tribes: Ascend claims to be the fastest moving first person shooter on the market, built using the Epic’s Unreal 3 Engine the graphics are bright and amazingly fast, they may just be right.
Following on from the successful Tribes: Vengeance the very cool JetPacks and Skis offering the trademark Freedom of Movement that the game is known for. Tribes: Ascend champions fast paced action turned up to 11. The JetPacks and suit of armour the player wears also has quite a resemblance IronMan, no bad thing the game looks great.
Continuing the Capture the flag tradition of the franchise Tribes Ascend keeps the strategy to a minimum, emphasising team play and constant movement. Don’t be caught wandering along looking for adventures here, you will surely become scrap metal quickly.
The game requires a well equipped PC to be fully enjoyed. The recommended system specs are Windows 7 64 bit, Quad core processor, 10GB of free space and 1GB mid range video card.
Tribes Universe, an MMO is also said to be in the works.
Reference: Tribes Ascend
The first official free to play game in the franchise, MechWarrior Online is bringing battling human piloted robots to the masses. Team based MechWarrior simulation meets first person shooter to provide action on a massive scale.
Using the CryEngine@ 3 MechWarrior Online will have the graphics prowess to compete against commercial games for in game graphics. No malee combat will be included in this PC only title but full customization of your Mech will be possible. From it’s paint job and decals to equipment will all be upgradeable.
The game will be entirely played from the Mech Pilots point of view, only allowing the first person view, no third person view or getting out of the Mech this time. But that is the beauty of free to play, these limitations may be changed in the future and you just keep playing. MechWarrior will be one of the rare free to play that doesn’t abuse DLC – down-loadable content -, future expansions and updates will be provided free of charge as a part of the ongoing patch system they have created.
Produced by Infinite Game Publishing Mech Warrior is due out in 2012, no official release date has been set and no formal hardware recommendations have been made.
MechWarrior Online will not only bring many back to this well established franchise but it may actually succeed in winning over a whole new generation of players.
Reference: MechWarrior Online