Nothing says Christmas quite like games with a disconcerting colonialist aesthetic. Amazon's New World (opens in new tab) MMO is getting a free weekend, with prospective players invited to get a "taste of the Eternal Isle" between now and the free period's conclusion next week.
The free weekend kicked off yesterday (opens in new tab) and runs until Monday, December 19. If you're tempted, you can head over to New World's Steam page (opens in new tab) right now and get stuck in. If you really fall in love, you can take advantage of the ongoing 50% discount on its standard and deluxe editions to lock it into your library for good. Because Amazon would really quite like you to buy its game, the discount is set to last much longer than the free weekend, ending on January 5 next year.
New World is also getting a fancy new Azoth Edition, which is basically an ultra-deluxe version of the game. It contains the various bonus skins and emotes that the deluxe edition includes and piles in another $40-worth of cosmetic doodads on top of that. It comes with new clothes, weapon skins, a bunch of dyes, and—most importantly—a celestial hare house pet, whose fur contains the "vast expanse of the universe". I had a gerbil like that once.
It's been a rocky road for New World since it came out in September last year. After getting off to a flying start and some absolutely absurd concurrent player numbers (opens in new tab), the game began to falter, and it entered this year in a grim state (opens in new tab). But Amazon has kept working on it, and recently took steps to revamp the game's beginning (opens in new tab) and make its PvP wars more accessible (opens in new tab). If this free weekend is anything to go by, the company must feel like its work has changed the game enough to merit a second chance.
I hope Amazon is right about that. New World had big ambitions when it released, but fell short of far too many of them. Fraser scored it 60% in his New World review (opens in new tab), commenting that its "attempt to tick all the boxes has left it feeling scattershot and underbaked". Well, it's had an extra year in the oven, now, let's hope it has something to show for it.