Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is (temporarily) free on Origin

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I was a big fan of Plants vs. Zombies (I literally own at least five distinct versions) but PvZ: Garden Warfare left me cold. As a $30 third-person online shooter, it had the stink of a cash-in, and so I paid it very little attention and ignored it completely at launch. But what I won't touch for 30 bucks, I'll jump all over when it's free.

And free it is, as the latest addition to EA's Game Time program on Origin. Just find it on Origin or hit the Game Time page, grab it and give it a rip. It's a time limited demo but the clock won't start ticking until the first time it's fired up, after which you've got 72 hours to play as much as you want. As with other Game Time releases, progress made in the demo will be saved so you can pick up where you left off if you opt to spring for the full version.

It's fun to watch EA take meaningful steps toward making Origin relevant in a field dominated by Steam. Steam managed to move to the top of the heap largely through the power of its famous sales; now Origin is doing it by giving stuff away. Not everyone is ready to embrace the platform just yet, but as strategies go, it seems to be a winner.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.