hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Free-to-play

Dirty Bomb photo
Dirty Bomb

Dirty Bomb is hitting open beta on June 2


It's not quite Brink, but it could be
May 28
// Joe Parlock
I’ve mentioned this on Destructoid before, but I’ll be damned if I’m missing the chance to mention it again: Brink was a great game, people were wrong about it being bad. I bring that up, because Brink devel...
Pokémon Shuffle photo
Pokémon Shuffle

New Pokemon Shuffle update makes the game slightly less sleazy


But it's not enough
May 27
// Chris Carter
One of the biggest problems with Pokemon Shuffle, beyond its exploitative item system, was the energy mechanic. In short, you could only play a scant five rounds at a time before you had to wait 30 minutes per round to rechar...
Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle reaches 4m downloads, celebrate with Shaymin


Love that Shaymin
May 25
// Chris Carter
I've moved on from Pokemon Shuffle (Pokemon Rumble World is my jam now on 3DS), but it still continues to be supported by Nintendo in the form of the occasional special event. To celebrate four million downloads, they've...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Tychus' cigar isn't in Heroes of the Storm


I need someone to hold me... please...
May 25
// Joe Parlock
STOP THE PRESS. We have received word of possibly the most important, most groundbreaking, lifetouching and soul-rending story this website has ever seen. Your life will never, ever be the same after reading it, so please do...
Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Crossy Road developer working on Pac-Man 256


I must have missed about 250 Pac-Mans
May 22
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Now we have a trailer and screenshots! Disregard snark at the bottom here.] In its ongoing celebration of Pac-Man's 35th anniversary, Bandai Namco has said that Pac-Man will show up in unexpected places. The first c...
Smite photo
Smite

Smite's now in closed beta on Xbox One


Oh goody! Gems! My favourite!
May 15
// Joe Parlock
Hi-Rez’s free-to-play MOBA Smite is now in closed beta on Xbox One. If you want it, you can sign up for it here. While being retooled to fit better with a controller, the game’s also had a few updates from i...
Wildstar photo
Wildstar

Wildstar might be going free to play in August


Just as predicted
May 14
// Joe Parlock
Look, I’m going to try and not be smug about this… but I was right. A few weeks ago, Wildstar was pulled from the shelves in Australia, leading to speculation it might be going free to play or Guild Wars­-st...
TERA photo
TERA

TERA has finally come to Steam


Only took it three years
May 07
// Joe Parlock
Aaah Tera. The little free-to-play MMO that featured action-based combat and some really rad non-human playable races (and some pathetic pieces of nipple-covering string for women’s armour). It’s been sat on Steam...
AGAIN! photo
AGAIN!

No scope dinos for a dollar: Three years fixing a broken game


AGAIN!
May 04
// Steven Hansen
Ya got me. I noticed an email subject in our tips line, "In 2012 we released one of the worst games on Steam." Always lead with your best foot first. At least that's what my uncle always told me (he made and sold prosthetic ...
Dota 2 Compendium 2015 photo
Dota 2 Compendium 2015

New Dota 2 Compendium revealed, up to $15M in stretch goals


Hot off a game-changing patch
May 01
// Patrick Hancock
The newest Dota 2 Interactive Compendium has been revealed for this year's upcoming International tournament. Just as in past years, 25% of each Compendium purchase goes towards the prize pool and stretch goals. This yea...
Happy Wars photo
Happy Wars

Happy Wars is on Xbox One (for real, this time)


Don't worry, be happy
Apr 24
// Jordan Devore
Earlier this month, Toylogic accidentally released Happy Wars for Xbox One. The cartoonish medieval multiplayer action game was pulled from Xbox Live, but not before some people managed to download and play it. Doing so locke...
Dirty Bomb photo
Dirty Bomb

Dirty Bomb's grenade launching class is ingeniously called Nader


Someone get them the Nobel Prize in character naming
Apr 24
// Joe Parlock
Have you been enjoying my news posts on Destructoid so far? Well hold on to your undercrackers because after this paragraph you sure as fuck won't: I loved Brink. I pre-ordered it, I played it to death, I got a character to ...
Conker photo
Conker

A better look at our beloved Conker in Project Spark


DLC releasing April 23 for $9.99 / 1,000 Tokens
Apr 16
// Jordan Devore
That last trailer for Conker's arrival in Project Spark didn't go over so well. There was no getting around the disappointment of seeing a long abandoned (but never forgotten!) character return not in his own adventure, but ...
EA's F2P photo
EA's F2P

EA's pulling the plug on four free-to-play PC games


On life support for three months
Apr 15
// Brett Makedonski
Electronic Arts has its landmark franchises that are instantly identifiable with the publisher -- the sort of series that receive near-annual (if not yearly) installments. Battlefield, Need for Speed, and FIFA are three ...
Happy Wars photo
Happy Wars

Free-to-play Happy Wars released on Xbox One, promptly pulled


Early trigger finger?
Apr 13
// Chris Carter
Happy Wars enjoyed a certain degree of success in the past few years on Xbox 360, reaching six million players -- they're not all paying customers, but to have that many people download your product is still impressive. It ap...
Xbox One  photo
Xbox One

Xbox boss: 'Xbox One preview is going to get interesting'


Also preview rewards!
Apr 07
// Jed Whitaker
When asked on Twitter what to expect in the upcoming Xbox One preview update, head of Microsoft's Xbox division Phil Spencer replied "Preview is going to get interesting in the next few months. The members do a great job wit...
Pokémon Rumble World photo
Pokémon Rumble World

Pokémon Rumble World free-to-play for 3DS April 8


Pokédiamonds for human dollars
Apr 01
// Jed Whitaker
Pokémon Rumble World is the next installment in the Rumble series and features over 700 Pokémon. Unlike the arena based combat in Pokémon Rumble U,  Pokémon Rumble World is more...
Shut down photo
Shut down

Sony shutting down Vita RPG Destiny of Spirits


Just over a year, in-game currency 'expiring'
Mar 27
// Steven Hansen
Sony's gotta-catch-'em-all Vita card game Destiny of Spirits will be shut down June 30. Apparently the "over one million downloads" were not enough to sustain the free-to-play Vita title and so Sony will be "ending service." ...
Halo Online photo
Halo Online

Halo Online doesn't look half bad in motion


Relatively speaking
Mar 26
// Jordan Devore
Yeah, this is about what I would expect from a free-to-play, multiplayer-only Halo game for Russia. That fast-forwarded run through the customization menu at 0:33 is telling -- rentable weapons, boosts, and "special offers."...

Dirty Bomb aims high with its focus on hardcore FPS action

Mar 26 // Alessandro Fillari
Dirty Bomb (PC)Developer: Splash DamagePublisher: Nexon Release date: March 26th 2015 (Open Access) "For us, we were kind of accustomed to shipping packaged products and retail games, so that within itself was a different mentality to production,"said Splash Damage co-founder and chief branding officer Richard Jolly while discussing their transition to developing a free-to-play title. "So you essentially get the game to what is considered open beta, which is pretty much the final game in most cases, and then the players will play it, release a few updates and a bit of DLC, and then you walk away from it. But with Dirty Bomb, we're kind of back to mod-making. It's constantly evolving, and the game we had in the alpha with our fans is completely different than what we had now. It's interesting to have that level of transparency with our fans, and that's really helped us because we're still actively developing the game." [embed]289520:57922:0[/embed] Set in near-future London, the city had been plunged into chaos after a mysterious "dirty bomb" released toxic gases and large amounts of radiation. In the years since, London is now an abandoned husk of its former self, and the only ones willing to venture into the decaying remains of England's capital city are mercenaries who see the opportunity where others do not. With valuables and other fortunes to find in London, those crazy enough to set foot inside will have to fight for their riches in order to make it out on top. While on the surface it feels like a grittier and more mature take on Team Fortress 2, there's certainly a lot more going on with Dirty Bomb than at first glance. In total, there are several unique characters with their own arsenals and backstories. While many of them share a similar archetype, such as the sniper, medic, and assault classes, they each have access to their own particular set of skills and weapons that are specific to them. There's a lot of humor and humanity found in Dirty Bomb, and the accompanying flavor text that describes each character and their motives for merc work did a lot to bring me in. When in battle, you can select a squad of three characters. These three are the characters you can switch off from during the game, so you'll have to choose wisely. I mostly stuck with Phoenix, Vassili, and Arty, a medic, sniper, and support group. Though I initially was confused on how exactly I could switch off between the character gear, I quickly picked it up after a few minutes of play. Essentially, the members of your squad are loadouts, similar to those in Call of Duty or Battlefield, and you'll have need to switch between them in order to stay ahead of your foes. During a match in the game mode Stopwatch, a neat mix between the standard demolition and capture the flag modes, I was able to switch off between the characters when they were needed. Set on the map Terminal, the attackers have to plants charges on a wall within the quarantine zone in order to gain access to the train station that houses valuable documents that the attackers need to destroy -- but of course, the data is being protected by another group of mercs who aim to keep them intact. Playing on both sides, I found that I needed to switch up my classes more often, as when I was attacking I had to stay healed more often. While on defense, I needed to pick off the oncoming threat from afar. I was really impressed with how the flow of the game motivated me to switch things up more often, as I usually just stick with one class in other titles. I felt I experimented more often in this title than in most other shooters. This aspect of experimentation was something that the developers wished they players would explore. "Games are always an evolution, right? Especially since we were making this for ourselves, before the publisher stepped in," said lead designer Neil Alphonso. "We wanted to really bring out the characters of the mercs. They look really cool, and we wanted to reflect that in the gameplay more. So far it's worked really well, we've had players come up with combinations that we would've never expected in closed testing that we never would've expected, and of course we're gonna have to keep adjusting to that." When you win matches and collect cash, you can purchase cases that yield merc cards that offer a different variation for each character. Spanning across different rarity types, each type of card will offer that specific character a new loadout and special perks. For instance, I found a found a bronze card for Vassili, which not only gave him a new sniper rifle with higher rate of fire, but also gave him the ability to throw his melee weapon. As you find rarer cards, you'll gain access to new abilities and weapons for your characters. Though lead and bronze cards are very common, silver and gold cards really change the game for your characters, as they turn your merc into an elite badass decked out with perks and other special gear. While it's possible to the find much of the content on your own without ever spending a dime by combining junk cards and turning them into rare ones -- there are many different options to take advantage of if you feel as though you want get content quicker. As credits can be acquired pretty easily, you can always be comfortable with what you have, and the developers were clear that Dirty Bomb is a game that will not be "pay-to-win." "If you're making a competitive shooter, something that's hardcore, then the first thing people want is a fair playing field," said Alphonso. "The way I look at it, and it's a bit idealistic, but you just have to make a game that people enjoy enough, that they want to give you money. Rather than they feel like they need you to in order to compete." It's not too often that we see a F2P title with so much openness and transparency from the developers. Generally, the free-to-play genre has somewhat of a bad reputation because of poor practices from certain titles. And while it's understandable that many players feel a bit apprehensive for upcoming ones, I can say that Dirty Bomb was a pretty rad title in the hours I spent with it. Though I kinda wished that the developers stuck with Brink's traversal system, because that'd be such a welcome fit for this game, I found the action in DB to be pretty hectic, bombastic, and super satisfying to take part in. Not only did I feel like I got in some great action moments, going on a seven-kill streak was pretty damn great, but I also felt like I was a pretty integral part of the team as a healer and support unit. With the game available on Steam, now's your chance to get involved with the game that's been in the works for quite some time. And since it's still an on-going process, the developers have continued plans to roll out new features and content in the coming months, such as new maps and other cool content. I had a blast (no pun intended), and the folks from Splash Damage haven't lost their touch for fast and frenetic FPS gameplay.
Dirty Bomb photo
Rule 1: Don't be a dick
The folks at Splash Damage have been busy over the last two years. Since the release of Brink and a stint on Batman: Arkham Origins' multiplayer, they figured it was time to return to their roots with a heavy focus on PC...

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is out today, and it kicks the crap out of All the Bravest

Mar 26 // Chris Carter
Unlike Bravest's soulless narrative, Record Keeper's setup is actually kind of cute. Individuals in a mysterious realm are charged with protecting the records of countless lands, literally framed within various paintings. After an evil darkness descends upon the world the records have been seemingly lost, leaving it to you, a titular record keeper, to bring them back. Under normal circumstances, only a master would be allowed to tinker with said records, but a top Mog in the order grants you permission to save the day. Like I said, cute. So let's get right to it -- the game is free-to-play, but follows a much different strategy than the aforementioned disaster of a game. There is an energy system (stamina), and items can be purchased by way of microtransactions (IAP), but you can completely enjoy the game without having to resort to buying anything. The core of Record Keeper's success is that stamina refills at a pretty respectable rate, which keeps you playing more often than most titles with the same mechanic. Additionally, the premium currency can be earned in-game through normal play by doing well, and the story doesn't feel gated to goad you into paying to win. The experience itself is fanservice at its finest. You'll dive into various classic Final Fantasy titles, reliving key moments like the bombing of the Mako Reactor, leveling up, and acquiring new party members (like Cloud) and equipment. Keeper's active-time-based combat isn't just a swipe fest, as you can use magic and abilities, as well as defend and use limit breaks of sorts called Soul Breaks. Although it doesn't get as involved as the core series there's a bit of strategic depth to it with mechanics such as elemental weaknesses, and the tap-based controls are precise. [embed]289548:57917:0[/embed] The best part about the combat system is that it doesn't really feel unfair, to the point where if you play smart, you should be able to overcome most of the tasks placed in front of you. Square Enix could have easily sleazed this bit to get you to cough up some cash, but at least with this collaboration with DeNA (yep, that DeNA), it seems to have learned from its mistakes. The reward loop is generous for a free game, which should encourage players to want to spend money. It may not make as much cash as All the Bravest as a result, but it feels a lot less criminal. You can find Final Fantasy: Record Keeper on iOS and Android today if you want to give it a shot.
FF: Record Keeper photo
Great in short bursts
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest was a travesty. It played itself, it was pretty abrasive in its pandering, and the microtransactions were so pushy that it was hard to enjoy it without feeling like you were constantly being sold something. Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is another free-to-play game in the same vein, but it's a much better effort that doesn't feel straight-up insulting to fans.

Halo Online photo
Halo Online

Multiplayer-only Halo Online headed to Russia


You know what's good? Money
Mar 25
// Jordan Devore
Halo Online sounds like something you'd see scribbled on a homemade DVD complete with copyright-infringing cover art but, no, it's a proper PC game in development at Saber Interactive. Granted, it's a free-to-play, multiplaye...
Three-hour Dota match photo
Three-hour Dota match

Record breaking competitive Dota 2 match lasts over 3 hours


The last Hobbit movie was shorter (and less entertaining)
Mar 22
// Nic Rowen
Dota matches have a reputation for becoming grindy slogs, but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to resemble the intractable grind of WWI trench warfare. On Friday a qualifying match between competitive teams Cloud9 and SFZ...
Driver Speedboat Paradise photo
Driver Speedboat Paradise

Ubisoft brings Driver back as a speedboat racer


Mobile speedboat racing
Mar 20
// Jed Whitaker
  Ubisoft is bringing back the classic series Driver as a speedboat racing game for mobile devices in April. I'm not quite sure how the series developed from a game about a getaway driver to racing speedboats, but they can't just let an IP die a peaceful death -- it has to buried alive.
Conker photo
Conker

Conker returns in episodic form starting next month!


Inside of Project Spark
Mar 19
// Jed Whitaker
Great news, Conker fans: he is finally coming back in his own episodic game. Sort of. Remember when Microsoft announced Conker would be in Project Spark? Well, Conker makes his debut in Project Spark on April 23 for Windows ...
Nintendo mobile photo
Nintendo mobile

Nintendo talks NX, mobile game pricing, DeNA partnership


'Nintendo will continue its [console] business with even stronger passion'
Mar 18
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is finally entering the mobile game space through a collaboration with DeNA. Why now? As CEO Satoru Iwata explained to TIME, "We have come to the stage where we can say that we will be able to develop and operate so...

Gigantic made me gigantic in the pants

Mar 16 // Jed Whitaker
Gigantic centers around two teams of five players battling to kill the opposing teams guardians. Guardians are gigantic monsters that will advance to attack the enemy guardian once powered up, temporarily stunning it to allow your team to attack. Powering up guardians is achieved by capturing locations on the map or by scoring kills. Each guardian has three sections of health and whichever team can take down the opposing team's guardian first is crowned the victor. Unlike other MOBA-style games, Gigantic doesn't have waves of enemies to kill and grind, nor does it have a store to buy items. All skill management is built into a tree-like leveling system. Need more damage? Then upgrade an ability that allows 20% more damage. You can earn XP from kills, assists and helping to capture points -- basically anything that helps the team. The short amount of hands-on I had with the game had me playing as Voden, a character that looks like a combination of a fox and a gazelle. Voden bounds around the map with ease as he not only has the default sprint and dodge that all characters have, but can also a super jump off the healing pools he can drop. Bow and arrows are Voden's main weapon. He also has a decoy he can drop that attacks, a pool of acid that damages enemies and allows him to shoot poison arrows, and giant roots that hold enemies in place for a brief period so teammates can deal damage. Bouncing around the map and poking enemies for damage was a ton of fun, and had me smiling the whole match even though we lost. I seriously can't wait to play the game again. I've been obsessively checking my email hoping for a closed alpha invite (which you can sign up for here). Gigantic is free to play and expected to launch later this year exclusively on Windows 10 and Xbox One. It will feature optional crossplay between platforms as Microsoft is publishing the game. For now I'm going back to refreshing my email, hoping developer Motiga hears my prayers.
Gigantic Preview photo
It has been far over four hours; I need a doctor and an alpha invite
At PAX East this year I walked past many of the larger booths and gave them little attention, as I am typically more interested in indie games. I got invited to a press-only demo for Gigantic -- a game I only knew of by ...

Gears of War creator photo
Gears of War creator

Cliffy B's sci-fi shooter Project BlueStreak running in Unreal 4


Gears of War creator's next arena shooter
Mar 10
// Steven Hansen
Clifford Bleszinski (Gears of War, Unreal Tournament) is working on a new sci-fi arena shooter, code named BlueStreak. While it still doesn't have a final name, it does have an engine. Bleszinski's Boss Key studio is wo...
Extrasolar photo
Extrasolar

Extrasolar's mobile interface got a slick update


Controlling an exoplanet rover on the go
Feb 26
// Darren Nakamura
Extrasolar has always been a tough sell for hardcore gamers, in my eyes. Though it was one of my top games of last year, most readers tune out when they see a description like "free-to-play science simulator," and going any f...
Pokémon Shuffle photo
Pokémon Shuffle

There's already a workaround to skirt Pokémon Shuffle's microtransactions


That didn't take long
Feb 25
// Brett Makedonski
Pokémon Shuffle isn't Nintendo's initial foray into the seedy underworld of free-to-play with microtransactions. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball did it first, but Shuffle is the first example that drew ire fr...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter?
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -