Gung-ho shooters, both first-person and third-person have been the bread-and-butter of a lot of gamers’ diets for well over a decade now. The genres have been the driving force behind many advancements in graphics, physics and online play over the years, and now it seems there are more frantic shooters on the shelves than any other genre.
The only problem with shelves in shops is that you’ll have reach for your wallet if you want to play – and here at MUO, we’d like to save you some money. To supplement our great free FPS article, here are 5 more top-notch shooters that won’t cost you a penny.
Still in beta at the time of writing, All Points Bulletin: Reloaded (or APB for short) is the re-release of a full-price canned PC title that disappointed players in 2010. Developer Realtime Worlds went into administration, forcing the closure of servers and sale of APB to K2 Network who soon announced that APB would return – for free!
Taking on the third-person perspective, APB: Reloaded allows you to play as a criminal or an enforcer in the city of San Paro. Depending on your class, it is up to you to cause havoc and raise as much money as possible (as a criminal) or bring justice to wayward players (as an enforcer).
APB: Reloaded is a massively multiplayer game that embraces customization and character development. Players are able to customize their appearance, clothes and vehicles and even create their own music. With plenty to unlock, an open city and PvP galore, APB: Reloaded might just appeal if you’re sick of those goblins ‘n’ potions MMOs…
Initially released as a full game in 2004, Full Spectrum Warrior (FSW) is now free to download and play. Initially developed with the US Army as an experiment into using software in training, FSW is a shooter where you don’t actually do the shooting yourself.
Instead the player commands two squads – Alpha and Bravo – through various missions and warzones. At no point is a member of the squad directly controllable, instead commands are issued using the cursor to move your soldiers around.
Tactical, pleasantly different and still looking good, Full Spectrum Warrior is definitely worth checking out now if you missed it the first time round.
Last year the fourth game in the Mechwarrior series was released as a free download for Microsoft Windows, after its initial debut on the platform in November 2002. If you’ve never played a Mechwarrior game, now is the time!
Jump into a huge, customised “mech”, parade around a desolate, sparsely populated wasteland and fire an arsenal of lasers, missiles and old fashioned lead into your opponents. Your actions affect your choice of missions so you might want to avoid killing civilians and innocents.
Completing missions earns you money which you are able to spend on much-needed repairs, upgrades and new weapons for your war machine which you’re going to need if you have any hope of seeing one of the 3 different endings to Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries.
Featuring plenty of game modes, character customisation and a free-to-play model, Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA) is a Korean FPS with plenty of variety. Currently listing 8 game modes (and a new Infection mode that looks very Left4Dead) and a heap of maps, AVA is also a pretty good looking online shooter.
If you’re really bowled over by the game then there are optional purchases, including perks and items that beef-up your warrior. If you’re a sucker for levelling then you’ll also enjoy your journey from trainee to level 5 Colonel.
Alliance of Valiant Arms strikes me as somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades first person shooter and whilst it doesn’t really do anything particularly new, it won’t cost you to find out if you like it or not.
Team Fortress 2 (Also Works On Mac OS X)
The big one. The “most fun you can have online” according to PC Gamer, a game that has come through the ages and survived as one of the most popular online activities in the world right now. Team Fortress 2!
Lucky for you if you’ve never played TF2 before, Valve have put together a FAQ for newbies as well as a FAQ below for seasoned veterans concerned about the influx of n00bs and griefers. The core game is identical to the premium version, it’s the extra TF2 bits and bobs that are limited in this free effort (screenshot below).
The game is simple – choose a class and cause trouble for the other team. Team Fortress 2 features plenty of maps and several different game modes: capture the flag (only the flag is a briefcase), control point (recapture/control a specific area), payload (detonate your bomb in the enemy’s base) and arena (team deathmatch).
Utilising the Source engine, this highly stylised release from Valve is easy to grasp from the get-go but will take you much longer to master.
Five games, five different action packed shooting games and five ways to de-stress. Whatever your gun-toting poison, be it an open-world MMO, round-based tactical combat or classic capture the flag fun then it’s all here, and all free. If you have any particular favourites or any other suggestions then we’d love to hear them, as well as your thoughts on the games in this article!
Any favourite online shooters? Any favourite oldies released for free? Let us know what you think in the comments.