The Elder Scrolls Online is free on Epic

Elder Scrolls Online.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls Online is free on EGS until 27 July, so you've got just under a week to pick it up, alongside the pretty great puzzler Murder by Numbers. Maybe also make a mental note to check back at the same time next week as the freebies then include true RTS royalty in the form of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, and the stylish FPS Severed Steel, which I haven't played but seems to have pretty great reviews across the board.

It's fair to say that at launch TESO did not arrive fully formed. Its first months were rough but over time TESO got a lot better, becoming what MJ Guthrie calls "a rich world that tied together many aspects of the Elder Scrolls universe." It's steadily grown in popularity as Bethesda's built on the foundations, and now incorporates great versions of locations from the singleplayer titles, including Morrowind, and a healthy playerbase.

To be clear, the free version of TESO is the base game, so you'll get years of updates and improvements but, should you want to play with the expansions, you'll need to pony up. But there are hundreds of hours to be had here without any of that. 

As for Murder by Numbers, it's a very fun series of picross-style puzzles where each solution provides a new clue in an overarching murder mystery. The characters and story are a lot of fun, as is the '80s TV detective vibe, and the only downside is it getting a bit bogged-down in the later stages. But if ever a game was made for Steam Deck, this is it.

As well as the freebies, the EGS summer sale is now underway until August 6. The usual bargains aplenty are to be had, and just as notable is the temporary doubling of Epic's reward scheme for any purchase, which means you'll get 10% of the value back in store credit. Here's the full list of summer discounts though arguably the pick, if you haven't got around to it yet, is the supreme Disco Elysium: The Final Cut for a tenner.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."