What’s Coming up

Thought it would be interesting to check out PC gaming’s renaissance. Specifically, I wanted to quickly canvass all the interesting Free-to-Play (F2P) FPS games set to release soon.  The following titles are really close to being finished. Some are actually worth the wait!

Blacklight: Retribution

Blacklight: Retribution is a F2P FPS developed by Zombie Studios. It’s yet another in a myriad of sci-fi F2P shooters and has elements of Brink, CoD and just about all other run’n'gun games out there.

Blacklight: Retribution’s core gameplay are nearly identical to Zombie’s Tango Down, their previous game. Tango, which came out on multiple platforms, was well-received and provides a good base on which to build on.

Just about all the questions you could think of about the game are answered here.

It’s currently in Closed Beta and was to be released sometime in 2012.

Comments:

  • Comes with PunkBuster anti-cheat.
  • Unreal 3 Engine and has DirectX 11 compatibility.
  • Somewhat gimmicky, the game evokes Splash Damage’s Brink…and that ain’t a good thing.  Lots of talk about “customization”…that’s a huge red-flag for me.
  • I was really looking forward to this game as the graphics are quite nice for a F2P; however, the gameplay is not as dynamic as I expected and it frankly feels like I’ve done all this before. For that reason my enthusiasm has been dampened somewhat.

My interest level:  ••••• / 10

 

Hedone

This is a sci-fi F2P online multiplayer first person shooter (FPS) from Acony Games. Acony says the game is AAA quality. I’ve already talked about this game at length, you can read the details here. The game was supposed to have a late 2011 release; however, it’s still in Beta.

Official Website

Comments:

I don’t see much here that will capture my interest. Graphics appear far from AAA-quality and the whole future-gladiatorial high-concept idea strikes me as being too high-concept and its execution somewhat half-hearted.

Having said that, for those that have tried A.V.A., you might want to try Hedone, as it promises to be similar in quality and in gameplay (that is, pure run’n'gun).

Release date: Sometime in 2012?

My interest level:  ••• / 10

 

PlanetSide 2

Another F2P sci-fi MMO shooter, Sony Online Entertainment’s  PlanetSide 2 will apparently allow battles between “thousands (of troops); with air and ground vehicles slugging it out alongside.” The original PlanetSide came out in 2003 and was also created by Sony Online Entertainment.

Planetside 2′s game engine will be the new Forge Light, which will feature a new PhysX API that will provide the capability of complex movements and even character face expressions.

Official Website

Comments:

  • The shear scale of what is promised in this game has me interested.
  • To get the numbers of players into the “thousands”, I’m assuming the graphics will be dumbed down to seriously brain-dead levels. But again, that’s OK by me, as long as the gameplay is worth it.
  • Another plus is that Sony has stated that any real money transactions will simply buy you customization, not wins.

Release date: Sometime in 2012.

My interest level:  ••••••• / 10

 

Hawken

Potentially, one of the prettiest looking F2P releases, Hawken fits the category of “mech”-shooter. It’s being worked on by Adhesive Games, an indie studio led by Khang Le who is Adhesive’s CEO and the game’s Art Director. The games’ artistic direction is certainly a consequence of Khang’s wonderful work.

The official release is set for December 12th, 2012. You can sign up for the closed Beta right here: playhawken
All you have to do is provide your name and email address and you will automatically enlist in the closed beta.

Comments:

  • Impressive graphic quality and design.
  • The mech-battle concept is new to me, but to anyone who has ever played MechWarrior, it will all seem very familiar.
  • The lack of one-hit kills in the game should make for epic, pounding battles.
My interest level:  •••••••• / 10