I had a feeling Combat arms was going to be on this list :) I found it on accident and ever since i couldn't stop playing.
Part 2: It's All Part of the Strategy
You can make things go boom in these next three games, but they force you to do more than just looking down your scope before pulling the trigger. These are games for the thinker, for the intellectual action enthusiast that needs to apply some gray matter to the proceedings. This might mean commanding an entire horde or simply doing your part for the greater good. Either way, the following free games reward you for quick thinking, teamwork, and, of course, good aim.
Who Should Play: Entomologists on amphetamines.
This strategy/shooter hybrid is, to put it mildly, insane. On any given map, two highly distinct sides build up a base and then proceed to maul each other in some of the fastest-paced twitch gameplay this side of Quake. Picture this: If you choose the alien faction and go on the offensive, you run around like a black widow spider on speed, biting enemies until you can evolve into an even more powerful arachnid. The sense of speed is exhilarating and a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it, you'll be skimming along chomping at the legs of your human enemies. You can even run up walls, a la The Darkness, though it's worth pointing out that Tremulous did it first. Aliens need enemies, of course, and the humans make up the opposing faction.
The twist to the formula is that you choose to play as either a basic attacker or a construction unit. Construction specialists--alien grangers and humans with construction kits--build structures like turrets, armories (which allow human teams to purchase upgrades, like the oh-so-awesome jetpack), barricades, and other defensive and offensive buildings. As your team racks up the kills, and as construction specialists stay alive, teams earn currency used to build these edifices. Should the opposing team destroy all your spawn structures and slay you and your teammates before you can replace your spawn point, it's game over.
Tremulous' most impressive feature, however, is how different the two factions play. Humans may get some powerful ranged weaponry, but aliens are masters of the hit-and-run, using their speed and special abilities to offset the more direct attacks of their enemies. While aliens evolve into more powerful beings (tyrants are an intimidating sight), humans unlock enhancements that make them a more formidable foe. No matter which side you choose, however, you'll find that matches in Tremulous speed forward like a bullet train, so if you assumed that all strategy-oriented shooters were plodding affairs, you'll want to take a look at Tremulous, if only to discover how wrong you were.
Savage: The Battle for Newerth
Who Should Play: Control freaks--and those who want to be controlled.
Savage is a first-person shooter and a real-time strategy hybrid in which one player sits on high as the commander and the rest do the grunt work on the ground. In each match, two teams go head-to-head; the Legion specializes in ranged attacks and technology, while the beastly Horde leans toward melee and magic. As a grunt, you work your way up through the ranks by killing local wildlife and enemy soldiers so you can purchase classes, weapons, and special items. The maps are creative, and teams of up to 32 players fight back and forth over bridges, towers, walls, ruins, and fortifications. You can spawn at any friendly stronghold or lair, and your commander will be building structures from which you can also spawn and advance across the map. As the battle progresses, the commander builds and upgrades your base, which enables new weapons and classes for players.
If you play as commander, menu options allow you to give clear and concise instructions. From a traditional RTS bird's-eye view, you can mark waypoints, target specific enemy units, or draw hot routes along the map to communicate your strategy. To other players, waypoints appear as giant beams of light that descend from the sky, and red targeting icons give you the location and distance to marked enemy units. In addition to visual cues, the commander has a list of voice commands to indicate his or her wishes.
Because Savage is a cooperative venture, you'll always have to weigh your needs versus the team's needs. At the start of each match, you have to decide if you want to assist in building structures or raise funds by killing local wildlife. Hunting will give you access to better items early on but will result in slower technological growth for your side. Yet for all these complexities, Savage is simple to get the hang of, and because the servers are consistently full, you'll never have trouble jumping into the action.
Who Should Play: Armchair generals who don't mind starting out as lowly grunts.
America's Army was released as a US Army recruiting tool in 2002, and over the past six years not only has it been a hit on PCs but it has found its way to the PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. Unlike other first-person shooters, America's Army seeks to promote teamwork and tactics. Being Rambo will get you killed very quickly, since your character can take only two or three shots. You'll spend large parts of this game crouched behind cover and crawling through the dirt.
Just be prepared for a time commitment: The game starts with a required basic-training phase, and you can take on additional training should you want to explore your gameplay options even further. The initial training is light and fun, and some of the courses reward performance with additional capabilities. Javelin and Humvee training are particularly punishing, however, while Special Forces education can take more than an hour to fully complete. There's an upside to completing the training, though: You'll earn a wide assortment of weapons to use, while the average rifleman who only finishes infantry and airborne training will have access to a very small selection.
There's a huge amount of online content to explore. Matches are team-oriented and objective based, requiring you to secure crates, escort hostages, capture VIPs, and make it to extraction points. A fixed number of class slots for each team ensures proper balance, so if a quota is filled, you may have to request the slot from the player who is currently occupying it. If you want weapons beyond the one you were issued, you'll have to kill for them. In the end, it's all about the tactics you develop with your squad; you'll often find yourself analyzing the map to figure out how to best exploit the environment to your advantage. Of course, the long training phase proves that freedom isn't totally free, but at least you don't need to fork over any cash if you want to fight for the red, white, and blue.
Currently Combat Arms is disfunctional - if you're in Europe you can download the US version and are informed upon first login that you can't play in the US. Unfortunately you're not told (but have to search for that info) that there is a separate EU site. You get the download client there and then find out after the second or so download of the roughly 1GB client that the downloader is broken, so you hunt for a version from a mirror site - if you finally manage to install that it patches for half an hour because the mirrors are half a year behind. Then you log in to finally encounter a runtime error which is, of course, a showstopper.
Combat Arms is the best of the bunch, but I have to say, plopping down your hard earned credits to get a weapon upgrade that last only a day is pretty annoying, as are the all-to-prevalent hackers. Even so, it is a worthwhile game.
I have over half of these. They're great fun, and I kick serious tush on Combat Arms nowadays when I get around to it.
New version of Alien Arena is out now! http://red.planetarena.org
I've only played combat arms, and I played it religiously for a while. However recently hackers have taken over the game, and it's nearly impossible to get a clean game. If you can however, it's a great Multiplayer FPS.
good list. i dont know if these have been on previous lists. But Gunz: The Duel (Ijji) and Rohan :Blood Fuel are both pretty good free games
sk8park, you obviously aren't very smart. They link the MMORPG cheaper by the dozen, where runescape is. It is not in the action section. You've got mad genre skills.
Nice to see the GameSpot does not only push the "money-maker" games... there are a large number of gamers who can't afford new game titles but who also don't want to use cracks! Great article!
Celestial Impact sounds awesome :D I'mgoing to be downloading a few of these. The last article got me to get Anarchy Onlin and I think GS are doing a good thing here :)
To all the haters; these free games are actually pretty solid. What makes them suck is the hackers that effectively kill the fun factor for all but themselves
Awesome, I found this article very helpful, especially when money is short for many people. I've played Combat Arms quite a few times, and I really liked it. Haven't played the others, but I'm looking forward to!
Great to see Alien Arena on this list. It should be mentioned that in version 7.20, the renderer received very extensive updates, and the game now makes good use of GLSL to achieve it's per-pixel lighting effects. Optimizations increased framerates dramatically as well. A new version is on the way shortly, and there is another long list of updates/improvements, as well as some new content that takes advantage of the engine advancements made over the summer.
Urban Terror aint on this list? It's everything that over-rated Counter Strike should have been and it's a COMPLETE (has more than one game type) game.
Nexuiz is a very unique mix of UT and Quake style gameplay on roids with an excellent art style and the most ridiculous CTF ever created. It's definitely the best arena combat since the original Unreal Tournament. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Combat Arms is full of hacking kids. Sad is that they pay for the hacks to make the game unplayable the way its meant to be played.
I just downloaded Combat Arms this week, and it is worth the download for sure. It reminds me of playing Counterstrike back in the day. Sort of.
This is a really refreshing article to read, as mentioned, freeware games offer an option to people that may not be able to afford cutting edge video games, No doubt, everyone has their favorite, I know that the developers, and the many people that contribute to these games give their heart and soul towards thier work. It is truly nice to see a organization such as gamespot to take the time to recognise everyones efforts in the freeware community. hats off to gamespot for this.
Warrock has a lot of hackers in the game and they ruined the game. However before the hackers came the game was really fun!
Like charliejames4, I'm surprised War Rock wasn't mentioned here. This is a great freeware game that touts decent graphics, numerous weapons and good maps. It's built on the "freemium" concept though; better weapons can be rented. Here's my articles about War Rock Maps and Weapons: http://imbacore.blogspot.com/search/label/War%20Rock Also, UFO: AI should have made it in; that Quake 2-powered X-com clone is very solid.
I feel I should point out, the download link given for Savage points to the sequel, which only has a 5-hour trial before you have to buy the game, rather than the original, free game.
I heard some one say that Alien Arena's graphics weren't THAT bad, totally excellent might be a better evaluation. You should really try v7.20 http://www.mygametrailers.com/video/Alien_Arena_2008_v720_Tech_Demo_Video Cya in the arena :)
For shooters, go with Gunz for longer games, and Soldier Front for more military play and teamworkin, and Perfect World is awesome and very addictive. It is basically an asian style WoW that is free. It does seem, however, that people either love it or hate it. If you hate it you will be pissed because it is an overnight download lol. Just my 2 cents
@broblood [quote] You should put 2Moons and 9Dragons on here they are free RPG's and they are pretty good. [/quote] 9Dragons is fun for about a day. I played the thing for about 3-4 months got pretty high up in levels and then realized what rubbish it was. Nothing differed, a little bit harder, but mostly always the same thing, if that's your idea of fun... wow.
I just downloaded Tremulous and it's just totally wicked sick!!! That's the kind of FPS I was waiting for: crazy alien, weapon-loaded dudes and, above all, lots of action! Really, FPS fans should try Tremulous!
Boris, just play one. All these games look stupid at first(which was my original impression)but they are actually very fun. Especially Combat Arms, that one is very good.
boris, these are all online action games. Shaiya was included on our list of MMOs. Nor are these meant to represent the best of the available games, necessarily; rather, they represent a broad cross-section of different gameplay types. Please read the introduction, which clearly states this entry of Cheaper by the Dozen was for online action games.