Free Shooting Games
What's better than coming home after a long day of work or school and releasing the stress stress by shooting some monsters or strangers in the face? Probably very few things if you are hungry for action and a little twisted like us, and this explains why the FPS genre is so popular among PC players.
These games are usually designed to offer the most appreciated features from the genre, plus some unique ones that give to the title a special flavour and are supposed to make it stand out; these features could be a particular theme, a special game mode, design choices or anything that could make the game unique and different enough from any other to catch players' attention. So let’s work our way through this list and take a look at some of the most popular or unique free-to-play MMOFPS out there:
Ghost Recon Online
S.K.I.L.L. - Special Force 2
Up to a couple of years ago, one of the most played free online FPS games was probably Combat Arms. Even now, with some years under its belt - the game was launched in 2008 -, this frantic military shooter is still extremely popular between players due to a fully featured clan system, wide arrange of weapons, fast paced gameplay and high accessibility. The game didn't add too much in terms of game modes - at least at launch, as it offered the classic FPS modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, etc. -, theme or innovation, but the whole package was well wrapped and the game has been constantly updated with new features following the trend of the time
Planetside 2 on the other hand distances itself from the small arena matches offered by the majority of online FPS games and put the emphasis on the Massive in MMOFPS by offering you a HUGE endless war fought through three continents by tree different factions. No game modes or matchmaking, just a persistent open world war. To travel around the continent and have fun killing people you will have at your disposal different types of vehicles such as quad bike, tanks, air carriers, fighters and more, and several classes to choose from. Planetside 2 is a truly unique experience in this genre, and even if the game can't give you the quick game session that you need when you have a short break and you just want to shoot here and there without thinking too much, we think that more new MMOFPS should try to follow this interesting approach.
Another game that tried to innovate the genre with its unique features is Ghost Recon Online, from Ubisoft. With the Third Person view (so not technically an FPS) the developers could add the cover system; where players can take cover and hide behind corners, barriers and objects, which actually adds a whole new level of tactics to the game, completely changing the usual approach to the shooter genre. Ghost Recon Online is very much a team-focused design and creates an enjoyable teamplay experience which will give you the most if played with clan mates and friends.
Hawken and MechWarrior Online both decided to offer something special and unique by bringing the mech theme in the FPS world and they did it by following two different approaches; which permitted the games to coexist in the market without having to fight for players' love. Hawken focused on more fast paced action-packed gameplay, where lightning reflexes, sudden thruster jumps and last second dodges are the main courses and the only things that prevents you from becoming a smoking wreck. MechWarrior Online brought the fight between giant mechanical beasts on a more tactical and strategic dimension, requiring perfect teamwork and a well planned strategy. Here the mechs feel much heavier and "realistic", and you can feel their weight at each step. In both games you can customize your mech in order to make your unique war machine.
In the case of S.K.I.L.L. Special Force 2, which has been recently released, it offers a highly competitive gameplay experience that is a mix between the arcade style of Combat Arms and a more hardcore approach; in SKILL usually 2 or 3 shots are enough to kill you, or one shot kill in hardcore mode. With just that you can see how the game is focus on hardcore players and competitive gamers. SKILL offers a huge selection of game modes which will satisfy even the most picky player; the game doesn't try to offer anything revolutionary, but at the same time is a perfect example of a complete and classic online FPS game.
The last game we want to talk about is Warface; released last month, Warface's main unique feature is the fact that it's entirely accessible from your browser, through the Gface platform, Crytek's new web-based gaming platform. For a browser game the game offers amazing graphics that we've only seen in client games before. This title showed everyone the potential that browser games have these days, and that you can have a high quality FPS game directly in your browser, and we hope to see more and more experiments like this, which bring us to question a lot of dogmas such as client games = high quality, browser games = poor quality.