There’s never been a better time for grabbing free games and with the market being more competitive, bargains are all over the place. Probably the newest player in the market and definitely the most aggressive is Epic Games of Fortnite fame, who give away a free game every single week. Just to give you an idea of the quality of games that Epic has been giving away in the last twelve months, here’s a list from my library:
Many of these games were priced at anything between $25 and $60 at launch, with AAA games being the highest priced. In fact, this week and starting today, Watch Dogs, a AAA game launched in May 2014, will be free on Epic, bearing in mind that its launch price was $50 six years ago. That’s quite a saving, with the game still being $30 at Ubisoft.
It’s also worth mentioning that most Battle Royale type games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends are free to play.
So why haven’t I mentioned Steam, the juggernaut of digital platforms? Although there are dozens of free to play games on Steam, it’s not often that they give away AAA titles and sometimes many of the so-called free games they offer are simply try before you buy for a limited period. For example, steam has a thing for goat games, so Goat Of Duty (COD, get it?) is free at the moment. I can’t see Steam changing their policy in the near future because they enjoy making squillions on the games that they do sell.
GOG, which is an excellent portal for classic games, is running a free games campaign until the end of March under their Stay At Home tagline.
And let’s not forget that every game you acquire from GOG is DRM free, according to their published policy.
Free To Play This Weekend?
Again, like Steam, many digital platforms offer free to play weekends which are really honey traps. They offer a full weekend of playing a highly ranked game so that you get hooked and then offer the game at a discount. That’s not a free game in my book, but it’s better than nothing and you can carry over all your saved games if you buy. In fact, Ubisoft is offering a free weekend of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with a 67% discount if you buy the game this weekend.
The key to spotting free games and bargains is to subscribe to the major digital resellers, so here’s a list of the major players:
Why Not Mod Your Game?
Modding is essentially a free way to add value and quality to a game, with improved graphics and sound, for example. I’m a big Half-Life fan and recently came across MMod for Half-Life 2 which vastly improves the visuals and sound without spoiling the original game. The changes are subtle yet major enhancements such as gun loading sounds, the rattling and chinking noise that Gordon Freeman makes when he runs or walks and some incredibly realistic explosions and fire visuals.
If you take a look around ModDB, you’ll find a mod for thousands of games, including Crysis which can be modded to an incredible degree of photorealism. Probably the big daddy of all modding portals is Nexus Mods which has an enormous database of mods and mod installers.
With this many free games and special offers available, you may find yourself hunkering down for quite some time. Have fun!