The Most Anticipated Free to play Games of 2016
We’ve had our turkey, had our new year’s fireworks, now we’re looking forward to a better and brighter year as we check out some of the Most Anticipated Free to Play Games of 2016; our list scours the world of free to play games and shows up some MOBA, MMO, Shooters and more. There’re a lot of great games coming out this year, but here’s our top picks that we just can’t wait to see:
- Paladins - This first person team shooter meets MOBA sees players jumping into 5v5 point capture battles across a handful of maps, the primary objective is to destroy the enemy teams vault by capturing spawn points that summon powerful siege cannons to knock down defenses. There are numerous scifi-meets-fantasy characters to choose from, with their own abilities, roles to play and various talents that they can choose from each time they level up, adding in game customization to tailor their character, similar to a MOBA.
- Orcs Must Die! Unchained - The sequel to the Orcs Must Die! franchise we see a 3rd person lane based MOBA where two teams are tasked with pushing their spawning minions across the battlefield, past enemy guardians, through gatehouses, traps, into the base and jumping into the enemy portal. The game has a large cast of characters with their own skills and playstyle, but players can customize them further with their own loadouts, adding gear items to give a little extra utility, not only that but players customize what Minions they have access to and which types of traps they can personally place during the battle.
- Gigantic - Another MOBA that isn’t quite a MOBA, in Gigantic we once more see two teams of five go head to head across a huge map, multiple characters with their unique skills, in battle levelling and talent selection to customize on the fly. Fighting across different maps players capture points to get buffs and try to push into the enemy territory, the big difference with Gigantic over other games is that there’s no structures to destroy in the enemy territory but an absolutely huge (or Gigantic) boss NPC. Fight it, weaken it, then watch as the match unfolds as the two massive creatures move across the map for a final showdown!
- EverQuest Next - Probably the most anticipated game on the list given the huge following and size of the franchise, the next instalment of the EverQuest legacy has been awaited for so long, and we think we’re getting a little closer and should see a release this year. The game takes all the experience from the previous titles and focuses on players being able to directly shape the world, through dynamic events that are triggered by player actions, huge player cities, environments that can be physically destroyed, even points of interest crafted by players in the EverQuest Landmark sister title that are imported into the MMORPG; the game has a lot going for it. Unfortunately the switch from Sony Online Entertainment to Daybreak Games has meant that information hasn’t been as forthcoming lately so there’s a big question mark hovering over the game.
- Dreadnought - When you say “space shooter” most people think TIE fighters and X-Wings, fast and mobile fighter ships darting around in battle; Dreadnought has gone in a different direction. In the game you are the captain of your own huge capital ship; massive flying machines that engage in brutal and strategic 5v5 battles across various maps including space stations or low-orbit canyons. The pace of gameplay is more slow, steady and calculated as you take on one of five fully customizable classes, from massive Dreadnought tanks to the nimble and more maneuverable Scout ships; space battles just got a new facelift.
- Crossout - Craft. Build. Destroy. That’s the mantra of vehicle team based shooter Crossout where players duke it out over numerous post-apocalyptic maps in a Mad Max style warzone, homemade vehicles zoom around the battlefield firing off machine guns, rocket launchers or smashing into enemies with mounted spikes and chainsaws. As players level up and earn currency they can unlock and purchase hundreds of vehicle components, from chassis, weapons, wheels, electronic and more and assemble them in a unique garage to make some weird and wonderful creations.. then take them on the battlefield to be blown to pieces with the modular damage players can destroy each individual component in battle.
- Atlas Reactor - One of the more unique games on our list is Atlas Reactor, a futuristic simultaneous turn based strategy where two teams battle it out in a team death match across different maps; each player can move a certain number of squares during their turn, take cover behind terrain, make attacks and other actions depending on their characters abilities. Each turn everyone queues up what they want to do and locks in, at the end of the turn actions trigger in order (depending on the type of action) meaning that the grenade you just threw at that dude happens AFTER he used his move action to get out of the way! Pretty clever and interesting stuff.
- Blade & Soul - This Asian Wuxia themed MMORPG see players flying through the air, sprinting across water, and getting up to some martial arts madness in a quest orientated MMO that has truly captured the cinematic feel of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style kung fu flick. Players can roam around the themepark style world picking up quests, finding new zones and engaging in PVE with the myriad of weird and wonderful creatures and enemies that litter the world, players can also engage in faction based PVP in the open world, taking advantage of the combo building fighting mechanics.
- First Assault - Based on the popular Manga series and films Ghost in the Shell, players step into the shoes of some of the shows’ most famous members of Section 9, each character has traits and abilities as shown in the series and creates some epic team based battles. Fight across different maps and game modes in this fast paced shooter, which utilizes a unique syncing feature where team mates can share versions of their own key skills with each other to create some truly unique tactics.
- ASTA - A new fantasy MMORPG is Webzen’s ASTA, a classic themepark style quest focused game the game has some really intriguing dynamic region events where huge quests can be triggered in a zone by a single player but everyone in the area can get involved and reap benefits for participating. As well as PVE there are different PVP battlegrounds including a huge point capture style map and mode as well as a brutal arena based American Football style match with various platforms and traps.
- SkySaga - This Minecraft inspired sandbox MMO sees players adventuring across dynamically generated worlds as they travel through mysterious portals seeking out danger, challenges and treasures! With top quality graphics the game is an evolution of the sandbox building genre, players can band together to seek out the greatest PVE challenges in the game, fight in Arena style combat, find gear and trade it with other players, or work towards building up a home island as a community building project.
- Lawbreakers - In the future (2105 to be precise) a bunch of scientists were generally messing about, like they so often do, and only went and destroyed the moon. Typical. This catastrophic event known as The Shattering has played havoc with the worlds gravity, bad news for most, but great for awesome gravity twisting maps in a first person shooter! Choose from a cast of characters, both the “Law” in this futuristic setting, and the “Lawbreaker” criminal element each with their own skills such as being able to jump around the map with rocket packs, use rocket launchers or Spider-man style laser grappling hooks as you swing around the absolutely breathtakingly beautiful environments. Awesome.
- Civilization Online - Of all the games on our list we’d say that Civilization Online is going to be met with the most speculation, fans of the Civilization franchise already have online games, but instead of another strategy we actually have an MMORPG on our hands. Players won’t lead their own Empire in this game, but they will help improve, guide and expand it as they individually complete quests, research new technologies, construct buildings, conduct various spy missions and even wage war, all the ingredients of a Civilization game but in an MMORPG format as different Empire factions compete against each other.
So that’s our list of the most anticipated games, at least as far as we’re concerned, but what do you think? Are there some titles we’ve missed that you think are worthy of a mention? Which games from our list are you looking forward to the most? Give us your feedback in the comments below!
By: David Puig