Free To Play

Rise of Incarnates beta sign-ups now open; new Comic-Con trailer released

Shaun Prescott at

Bandai Namco's free-to-play brawler Rise of Incarnates will enter its beta phase soon, and while there's no specific date for when that will happen sign-ups are now open.


The PC Gamer Hearthstone tournament

PC Gamer at

Hearthstone gets its claws into you. Blizzard’s masterstroke is the way the game rewards you for a win—the shower of fireworks that springs from the screen every time you land a killing blow on the enemy hero.

The moment you start craving more of that experience, Hearthstone’s got you—as it got us. Tim is almost entirely lost to it, spending his early hours researching deck compositions. Chris played played 50 hours when he reviewed the game, before bowing out mumbling something about mages. Andy booted it up for the first time when asked to prepare for this tournament, hated it, and then saw the fireworks—and now he’s been sucked in, too.

The inaugural PC Gamer Hearthstone tournament gathers up all of that emotional and psychological investment, and pours it into a crucible of hot, middling competition. We can’t claim to be the best players in the world, but everybody here wants to win: and everybody who gets knocked out is doomed to spend at least 20 minutes sulking in a corner.


Warframe update 14.0 adds new class, quests, modes and new pets

Shaun Prescott at

It is not unreasonable to want pets in violent third-person shooter video games. The team at Digital Extremes doesn't think so, as the new (and rather major) Warframe update includes pets, as well as other substantial additions. These include a better opening tutorial and user interface, a whole new Warframe class, new modes and quests galore.


Cliff Bleszinski announces BlueStreak, a free-to-play shooter from his new studio Boss Key

Andy Chalk at

Cliff Bleszinski is returning to the videogame business with BlueStreak, a free-to-play sci-fi arena shooter for the PC.


PlanetSide 2 is better than ever, it's time to return to Auraxis

PC Gamer at

PlanetSide 2 is two years old in November, and has changed a lot. In constant contact with the community, SOE have reformed the economy, restructured Auraxis' vast planetary bases, redesigned the UI, and even added entire continents, like the long-awaited Hossin swampland. PlanetSide has a proud legacy, but PS2 has evolved into something unique—a free-to-play game that supports multiplayer warfare on a startling scale. If you haven't played since launch, it's time for another visit.


Free-to-play racer Ridge Racer Driftopia to be shut down at end of beta

Tom Sykes at

Bandai Namco's free-to-play - sorry *vomits* free-to-drift - racing game Ridge Racer Driftopia's year-long beta will come to an end in around 60 days. Normally that would be the time when a game graduates from beta to, er, 'the one after beta', otherwise known as 'released'. That's not happening here: Namco Bandai Namco (delete as applicable) have announced that they're to take the project offline instead. By August 15th, Driftopia's servers will be shut down, while its Steam Early Access page will presumably be Old Yellered in the back of the head. Given the staggering number of negative reviews on that linked page, I shan't think people are going to miss it.


SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 part ways; European PS2, DCUO and EQ2 accounts must soon be transferred

Phil Savage at

Back in April, SOE launched an All Access subscription service designed to unify membership across SOE's free-to-play games—including Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and Everquest 2, as well as the upcoming Everquest Next, Landmark and H1Z1. In Europe, though, it's a less attractive offer. SOE's EU portfolio is more fragmented, as their existing games are managed and distributed by ProSiebenSat.1 Games.

That soon won't be the case. SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 have today announced that, going forward, all ProSiebenSat.1 accounts for SOE games must be migrated to Sony's service. For EU players of Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and Everquest 2, existing accounts must be transferred from July 1st in order to keep playing. In addition, SOE have removed their region lock, so new accounts can be created directly on their system.


Battlecry trailer shows violence and Cossacks

Phil Savage at

It seems that all of this year's new games are being announced just slightly before E3, and while that might make for a disappointing show, it definitely makes for an exciting Wednesday afternoon. Battlecry is the newest of the new announcements, and is a free-to-play action game that looks like a cross between Team Fortress 2 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It's set in a world designed by Half-Life 2's Viktor Antonov, in which gunpowder is banned and Cossacks and Royal Marines are at war.


Splash Damage's Extraction now called Dirty Bomb again

Tom Sykes at

Remember that free-to-play, London-set multiplayer shooter that Blink/Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory developers Splash Damage have been making for the past few years? What was it called...Dirty Bomb or something? No, Extraction, that's it, it's definitely called Extraction now. Well it's just been re/unnamed to Dirty Bomb - for real this time, they pinkie-swore and everything. Whatever it's called, ExDirty Bombtraction is still somehow in beta, and be signed up for over here.


No Wave is a free point-and-click adventure set in the '80s music underground

Shaun Prescott at

How many underground music scenes from yesteryear have their very own point-and-click adventure game? Not bloody many! But now No Wave does. Created by Dorian SRed and Trevor Reveur, the cleverly titled 'No Wave' was developed in 48 hours at Game Dev Party in France.


F.E.A.R. Online enters closed beta next week; applications now open

Shaun Prescott at

For those of us who like to feel scared when shooting at things, F.E.A.R. Online will enter closed beta on May 26. The free-to-play shooter is in development by Korean studio Inplay Interactive, and several have already had the opportunity to try the game in its alpha stage. Based on feedback from that period, the studio has added new maps, overhauled the crafting system to allow for "one-of-a-kind weapons", fixed a bunch of bugs and added a new scenario.


MechWarrior Online competitive Tournament Series starts Sunday

Patrick Carlson at

Now that private matchmaking has been firmly bolted in place, MechWarrior Online's first official competitive event is set to launch Sunday. It's been dubbed Tournament Series: First Engagement and will to pit 12-man teams against each other across a variety of maps and game modes leading to the finals on May 30.


Magicka: Wizard Wars giveaway - grab early open beta access

PC Gamer at

The splattery, explodey free-to-play multiplayer brawler, Magicka: Wizard Wars, lets you combine elemental orbs into devastating spells on the fly. Throw fireballs, create mines, summon a grim reaper and otherwise do terrible things to your friends. It's heading into open beta in just over two weeks. But why not take up your robe and staff right away? We've got 3000 keys to give away, each granting early access to the open beta. To enter, follow these instructions.


Dota 2 Spring Cleaning update changes heroes, interface, bugs

Ian Birnbaum at

Dota 2 hasn't been out officially for even a year, but the most popular game on Steam is getting a host of updates and changes in next week's patch. Titled “Spring Cleaning,” the update includes dozens of changes to the game’s inventory, interface, and heroes.

Rise of Incarnates announced, a free-to-play fighter for PC

Emanuel Maiberg at

ith both the Tekken and SoulCalibur series to it’s name, Bandai Namco clearly knows how to make a fighting game. It’s not a genre that gets a lot of traction on PC, which is why the announcement of Rise of Incarnates, a free-to-play fighting game exclusive to the PC, is so intriguing.


MechWarrior Online contest puts free BattleMech up for grabs this weekend

Patrick Carlson at

One good way to get pilots into the hot seat of a new 'Mech is to let them fight for it. This weekend MechWarrior Online is giving players a clear path to ownership of a hulking and asymmetrical Thunderbolt variant—win five matches and the machine is yours.


What's Hearthstone like on iPad?

Tim Clark at

The iPad version of Blizzard's all-conquering card-'em-up has just arrived on Apple's American and UK App Stores, having already been soft launched in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. You can get it by clicking here. But is the mobile version any good? And why, as PC gamers, should you care?


Orcs Must Die! Unchained announced, is a multiplayer lane-pusher

Phil Savage at

Has anyone stopped to consider why orcs must die? No? Well, okay then. As long as we're blindly following that statement, we can at least take advantage of new ways to dispatch the green-skinned irritants. Gameforge and Robot Entertainment have announced Orcs Must Die! Unchained, a multiplayer adaptation of the third-person tower defence game.

Judging from the announcement and its trailer, the game does look a bit MOBA-ish. That said, there is some of the old OMD DNA on show, leading to the hope that this will be an interesting angle on the idea, rather than another me-too grab at the genre's massive audience. For one thing, there's also a card-collecting element.


Fortnite will have 10 to 50 hour co-op campaigns, procedurally-generated worlds

Tyler Wilde at

True to its name, Game Informer has informed us about a game with an exclusive feature on Epic's cooperative build n' kill, Fortnite, in its latest issue. Our friends at CVG have scoured the story for details, and there are some surprises.


The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming

PC Gamer at

Every week, the PC Gamer team pick their most and least favourite happenings from the last seven days. Here you'll find the week's soaring highs and stagnant lows, picked from the news, the games we've played, the culture at large. The only thing that's guaranteed is there'll be no neutral opinions.