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Surprise! Elder Scrolls Online is dropping the fee for existing subscribers, console version dated photo
Surprise! Elder Scrolls Online is dropping the fee for existing subscribers, console version dated
by Chris Carter

When I reviewed The Elder Scrolls Online back at launch I thought it had potential, but not enough to keep people paying for subscription time. Plenty of MMOs have enjoyed a subscription-based model, and games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV give you enough content to sustain said model. But that doesn't seem to be the case for ESO, as ZeniMax has announced that it will be dropping its subscription fee.

The plan is to flip a switch and go free on March 17 on the PC for existing owners, re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. To be clear, new owners will need to purchase the base game (which basically means it is using the Guild Wars 2 model of "buy-to-play"), but then they can play without a fee. After that, PS4 and Xbox One players finally have a date on their version, set for June 9. There will be an optional subscription package (as is standard) called "ESO Plus," which gives you extra in-game bonuses and more crown currency to spend, as well as DLC access -- in other words, microtransactions are still in.

It's going to be an interesting year for MMOs, especially if ZeniMax can turn things around. You can watch an official livestream from the developer today at 12pm EST for more information.

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Classic PC sim Theme Hospital free on Origin photo
Classic PC sim Theme Hospital free on Origin
by Jordan Devore

For years, my uncle left his his late-'90s laptop at my grandparents' house and whenever I'd come to visit, I'd flip through PC game instruction manuals and play stuff like Diablo, Warcraft, The 7th Guest, and 3-D Ultra Minigolf (the one with the volcano and alligator on the cover). He was also an avid Theme Hospital player but for whatever probably-crap reason, I never tried it back then.

Don't make the same mistake as younger, dumber me: Theme Hospital is free to download and keep right now through Origin. Nab that while you can or continue ignoring the platform per usual.

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5:00 PM on 01.20.2015

Go on, check your frames per second in Steam

While some of you might have experienced Steam's frames-per-second counter while it was in beta, the rest of us are only now taking a look at the nice little extra. To enable the feature, go to Steam > Settings > In-Gam...

Jordan Devore

4:15 PM on 01.20.2015

Dark Souls PC multiplayer no longer region locked

Region-free Dark Souls multiplayer, just the way we like it. From Software has issued an update on Steam that allows players to summon and invade one another regardless of where they live. While these cross-country connection...

Jordan Devore

3:45 PM on 01.20.2015

Strafe's bleeding edge graphics and gameplay will literally blow your mind

Well, if you're going to cut a trailer for "the goriest shooter of 1996," this is how you do it. Enjoying the ironic aggressive marketing of the campaign, complete with stylized title (STRAFE®) popping up everywhere. 

Steven Hansen

3:30 PM on 01.20.2015

Team Fortress 2sdays: Between 2fort, now 80% chillier

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to Team Fortress 2sdays. It looks like your old pal Chilly (that's me) is gonna be the next victim guest on the always popular Q&A show, Between 2Fort, hosted by the one and only Shadow. Now, I don't want to steal any of Shadow's thunder, so I'll let him give all the juicy details:

Bill Platt







Mega Man composer working on a point-and-click space shooter photo
Mega Man composer working on a point-and-click space shooter
by Steven Hansen

Starr Mazer is a mix of point-and-click adventure game and side-scrolling space shooter, "featuring dynamic story module system for massive replayability, a deep voice-acted story, and beautiful pixel art." It took a few reads to understand this is a "deep, voice-acted story" and not a story voiced by Keith David. 

It looks pretty sweet, though I'm more into the point-and-click half. The PC/Mac/Linux game is going up on Kickstarter in a couple of days. Ahead of that, the team has announced that Mega Man and Mighty No. 9 composer Manami Matsumae would be joining the music team, which includes a number of guest artists, including Gunpoint's Ryan Ike.

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2:00 PM on 01.20.2015

Blackguards 2 is deep, unfriendly, and buggy

Last year Patrick reviewed PC strategy role-playing game Blackguards, and he loved it. Blackguards 2 is out on Steam today. I have put about a dozen hours into the sequel, but I am not even close to the point where I can...

Darren Nakamura

1:30 PM on 01.20.2015

Human Element put on hold as Robert Bowling's Robotoki closes

It was less than two months ago when Robotoki's Human Element was showcased with a premier spot during The Game Awards 2014. Today, the studio closes its doors and puts the game on indefinite hold. According to a report...

Brett Makedonski

1:15 PM on 01.20.2015

Children of Morta Kickstarter launches today, looks phenomenal

Story-driven hack 'n' slash Children of Morta's Kickstarter campaign went live today and it looks absolutely stunning. I cover a lot of retro-inspired pixel-art titles in my work here at Destructoid, but what ...

Rob Morrow

1:00 PM on 01.20.2015

Call of Duty DLC ups the ante with zombie puppies

When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Havoc add-on releases next week, players will get waves of zombies they don't want to deal with. I'm not referencing the hordes of jetpacking undead, or even the ones that seemingly...

Brett Makedonski

12:30 PM on 01.20.2015

Are you ready for some X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance?

The re-releases of X-Wing and TIE Fighter were lovely, but they were only the start of GOG.com's plans for Star Wars. Today, the DRM-free game distributor added six new titles: Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter + Balance of ...

Jordan Devore

12:00 PM on 01.20.2015

Ori and the Blind Forest jumps out of the woods and onto your screen on March 11

At gamescom this year, I found out that Ori and the Blind Forest isn't just a drop-dead gorgeous game; it's also quite the challenging, tight-controlling platformer. In less than two months, everyone can stop taking my ...

Brett Makedonski



Review: Citizens of Earth photo
Review: Citizens of Earth
by Brittany Vincent

The Fifth Element came on TV the other day, and it really got me thinking about mise-en-scène versus characterization. It’s one of my absolute favorite movies, and is an exemplar of sci-fi in cinema without being too derivative of other works. The grittiness of futuristic New York, the contrast between earthtones and bright colors in the costume and set design, and the excellent choreography of the action scenes come together to make a great movie.

What’s a movie though without characters that entertain, blossom with personality, and can be empathized with? Would The Fifth Element be as entertaining without the bluster of Bruce Willis, the innocent sexuality of Milla Jovovich, or the ridiculous Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod? Can well-crafted artwork, concept, and background come together to make a good production regardless of the characters within it? Those are the questions that Citizens of Earth brought to mind.

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8:00 PM on 01.19.2015

Upgrade Complete 3mium pokes fun at awful free-to-play games

Did you like DLC Quest, conceptually? You might also dig Upgrade Complete 3mium, a short browser-based game that parodies the worst aspects of free-to-play gaming. You're forced to play the crappy lite version of the game and...

Jordan Devore

6:00 PM on 01.19.2015

You could play Woah Dave! on an actual NES cart

Do you ever think about what it would be like to play your favorite sprite-based indie games on the consoles they were influenced by? Well, you might be able to do just that with Woah Dave!, an NES-inspired game which could p...

Ben Davis