Free To Play

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.

Obsidian announces tactical tank MMO Armored Warfare

Emanuel Maiberg at

No, that is not the modern day spin-off to Wargaming’s World of Tanks (though that’s not a terrible idea). It’s Armored Warfare, a new free-to-play game from South Park and Pillars of Eternity developer Obsidian Entertainment and published by Russian company,

Star Wars: The Old Republic gets player housing in Galactic Strongholds expansion

Emanuel Maiberg at

BioWare announced on Wednesday that it will add player housing to Star Wars: The Old Republic in a new expansion, Galactic Strongholds. Like the rest of The Old Republic, Galactic Strongholds will be free-to-play when it’s released this summer.

Dota 2 documentary Free To Play getting Twitch screening later today

Phil Savage at

Free To Play, Valve's Dota 2 e-sports documentary, comes out later today. And while you could watch it from the relative comfort of your Steam library, wouldn't it make more sense to see it in a setting more synonymous with e-sports? By which I mean on Twitch, next to a chat box that's spamming emoticons.

Luckily, you have that option. Valve and Twitch are collaborating on an online viewing party that's set to go live in a few hours. It will start at 9am PDT or 4pm GMT, and be shown running throughout the day. Because timezones are confusing, there's also a countdown timer ticking down to when that party gets started.

Ghost Recon Online gets renamed, hits Steam in April

Emanuel Maiberg at

Ubisoft announced on its blog that the free-to-play Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online will launch on Steam on April 10, rebranded as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms. Ubisoft explains that the game earned a new name thanks to a new backstory and a ton of changes and new features, including updated graphics.

Dragons and Titans review

Ian Birnbaum at

When Dragons and Titans released last year, the notoriously competitive free-to-play MOBA space was already crowded by heavyweights Dota 2 and League of Legends. To find its own niche, Dragons was designed in Unity to work entirely in web browsers, and launched on Facebook to become the F2P MOBA you could play anywhere.

Hawken on Steam: examining the state of the game after two years of new mechs and balance changes

Omri Petitte at

Ever since its open beta began in December 2012, Hawken's basics have been easy to pick up. Big, stompy robots shoot and scoot with agile dodges. The modes are a slice from the same shooter pie everyone's familiar with, and it's a snap to load up and jump into a team deathmatch in less than a minute. Maps paint worlds of well-worn neon-lit cityscapes and desolate badlands. Hawken is like the mohawked, studded-jacket-wearing punk brother of MechWarrior Online: a youngster with a brash streak, but definitely its own brand of cool.

Hawken's also growing up. It transitioned to Steam last month, moving away from a dedicated launcher and enticing new recruits with an Early Access initiative and a couple purchasable bonus packages. Now it's once again fully Free to Play. Two years of patches and adjustments have streamlined Hawken and stripped away unused features, making it easier to get into than ever. After two weeks of playing Hawken on Steam, I'm still skeptical of its F2P monetization, but faster-paced combat reminiscent of Quake and new mech classes kept me coming back for more.

MechWarrior Online gets DirectX11 visuals, new Banshee assault mech

Patrick Carlson at

Like a pilot with a full compliment of jump jets at her fingertips, MechWarrior Online is always on the move. The shooter has seen a host of changes in recent months, and this week brings more tweaks under the hood in the form of DirectX 11 support as well as a new assault mech chassis.

World of Tanks set to upgrade graphics, physics this year

Ian Birnbaum at

World of Tanks is looking to up its game in the coming year, and we’ll be lucky enough to have front row seats: the Wargaming developers will be releasing a series of new developer diaries to catalog improvements to the game. Changes will include new graphics, new vehicle physics, and more destructible and challenging environments.

Loadout review

Emanuel Maiberg at

Loadout matches unfold like demented, R-rated cartoons. Players jump and dodge around an interstellar trailer park with the mobility of a platformer, unloading a rainbow of munitions from guns of their own design, no one quite like the other.

Valve's Dota 2 documentary Free to Play releases March 19

Omri Petitte at

Free to Play, the Valve-made film exploring the highly competitive and demanding world of Dota 2 eSports, will appear on Steam March 19 following a premiere event at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. True to its name, Free to Play won't cost anything to stream or download, but a paid Dota 2 item and skin pack will also be available that will donate 25 percent of purchases toward the players featured in the movie.

Chroma is a free-to-play musical shooter from the creators of Rock Band and CS:GO

Tom Senior at

What do you do once you've made the best party game ever? If you're Rock Band developers, Harmonix, you team up with the creators of the latest Counter-Strike to form a superband, and then start work on a free-to-play team shooter. Chroma will feature "shooter mechanics" that "tie the game’s soundtrack directly to combat, traversal, and more," according to the announcement post on the Chroma blog. Each class in your team's violent band will use the beat differently, and major drops or tone shifts in the track can change the level geometry "raising sniper towers, adding cover, and more in sync with the music."

Path of Exile "mini-expansion" arriving March 5

Tom Senior at

Path of Exile is a game about meeting lots of monsters and then punching out all their blood so you can steal their stuff. As action RPGs go, it's great, and I called it things like "compulsive" and "exceptionally generous" in our Path of Exile review. When people say things like "all free-to-play games are poo" I like to materialise, wave an arm in Path of Exile's direction and whisper "look! All the free blood-punching you could ever need!" and then vanish in a puff of smoke.

For those already hooked on Path of Exile, good news. There's going to be more of it according to a post on the Path of Exile site.