Exploring free-to-play

I’m not a big fan of mobile games. For the most part, the control scheme generally doesn’t feel right. Without buttons or thumbsticks, most games feel “off”, and those games that just require touch controls usually feel like quick time-wasters for me – I can never get invested enough to spend more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time, and my desire to do even that may only last a day or two. The other thing is that most mobile games feel too… intrusive or exploitatitve – just let me play the game and I’ll decide for myself if I want to spend money.

For this reason, I’ve avoided free-to-play games of all flavours for a long time. Realistically, I felt like I assume most people do – free-to-play games are low quality, buggy, and in general just not as good as a full-priced, premium title, and I just don’t have the energy to keep fending off endless requests for my money. However, for various reasons, I loosened my opinion slightly over the last 12 months or so, and I tried a couple of free-to-play games. Two in particular (Warframe and Paladins) made me realise that there’s possibly quite a lot I’m missing out on, so I decided to make it my job to put more of a focus on F2P titles (particularly on PS4, but I’ll make an effort to branch out to PC as well) – there’s very little coverage of free-to-play, so I’ll do my part to get information out there, along with my usual content. And yes, I will make it very clear how intrusive the game is in terms of microtransactions…


So, starting this week, I’m launching a new weekly Twitch stream, which I’ll be doing every Sunday. I’m going to call it my “Lazy Sunday Free-to-play” stream, and I’ll just focus on F2P for an hour or three. I’ll start on PS4 (because wow – I didn’t realise how many F2P games were on the platform!) and branch out to PC eventually. That’s not to say that every Sunday will be a different game – perhaps I’ll play Planetside 2 every Sunday for a month or two, who knows? I’m basically going to give myself the time to try some of these games out. I’ll also write impressions on each, and – depending on how much time I put into them – maybe even a review. My goal will also be to create a YouTube video, but hey – I’ve already put enough on my plate.

The first few games I’ll be looking at are outlined below (initial thoughts included for games I’ve already tried). I also have got myself an invite to the closed beta for The Amazing Eternals on PC, but I’m not sure if there’s an NDA attached, and I guess I won’t know until next week when the beta launches! I’ll be putting a lot of time into that particular title, so if there’s no NDA, expect streams, articles, YouTube videos – you name it…


  • Warframe – co-op third-person shooter from Digital Extremes (initial thoughts: amazing)
  • Paladins – team-based first-person shooter from Hi-Rez Studios (initial thoughts: amazing)
  • Smite – MOBA based on gods and mythology from Hi-Rez Studios (initial thoughts: pretty good)
  • Planetside 2 – massively multiplayer online firt-person shooter from Daybreak (initial thoughts: pretty good)
  • Knights of Valour – side-scrolling beat-’em-up arcade game from International Games System (initial thoughts: pretty good)
  • Paragon – third-person MOBA from Epic Games
  • Let It Die – third person hack-‘n’-slash from Grasshopper Manufacture
  • World of Tanks – tank shooter from Wargaming (initial thoughts: pretty good)
  • Guns Up! – side scrolling strategy game from Valkyrie Entertainment (initial thoughts: very good)
  • War Thunder – vehicular combat MMO from Gaijin Entertainment
  • Hawken – first-person mech shooter from Reloaded Games
  • Gems of War – puzzle/RPG/strategy game from Infinite Interactive (initial thoughts: very good)


There are more F2P titles in the PSN store, but I think that’s enough for now. I’ve left off two big ones for now (Dreadnought and Neverwinter) because I obviously have a lot to get through before I can look at them, and I don’t think I have the time for one (Neverwinter) and the other isn’t really my cup of tea (Dreadnought).

So please – keep an eye on my twitter feed (@madcapsules) for my Sunday stream times, and come join me while I try out some new free-to-play games! You never know – they might be good (but I am almost definitely going to be crap).

One Comment on “Exploring free-to-play

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