Review: More free video games

Another selection of free-to-play titles — and a few not yet out

jhoeger@thetribunenews.comOctober 18, 2012 

Continuing from last week, here are some more games you can enjoy without spending a dime.

‘Black Mesa’

A dedicated team of fans has remade the classic firstperson shooter “Half-Life” in Source, the game engine that powered Valve Software’s 2004 “Half-Life 2” and the company’s subsequent releases, such as “Portal” and “Left 4 Dead.” Everything up to the point where brainy hero Gordon Freeman leaves this world is available now, with the levels set on the alien world of Xen to be released later. For Windows.

Where to find it: http://www.blackmesasource.com

‘Force: Leashed’

Use magnetic attractors to guide rockets into switches to escape each room in this puzzler. For Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Where to find it: http://www.kepuli.com/force_leashed

‘League of Legends’ and ‘Rise of Immortals’

Choose a powerful hero and assist your minions in breaking through the defenses of your opponents to destroy their base in this team-based strategy game. A wide selection of champions is available — some all the time, others changing from week to week. Each champion has unique abilities, and you can also equip them with magical runes to impart various effects.

You can spend Influence Points earned through play to unlock your favorites permanently and to purchase other goodies, such as different appearances for your champions or new runes to enhance them. You can also pay real money for Riot Points that serve the same purpose if you’d prefer not to earn your goodies the hard way.

A competing take on the same genre is “Rise of Immortals,” which operates on a similar structure of earned and purchased currencies. Unlike “League of Legends,” the champions of “Rise of Immortals” have powers that persist from match to match. The game is being reworked and will be relaunched soon as “Battle for Graxia.”

Both games are for Windows.

Where to find them: http://www.leagueoflegends.com   , http://www.riseofimmortals.com.

‘Tribes: Ascend’

The first “Tribes” game since 2004, “Tribes: Ascend” updates the competitive shooter series with modern visuals and the two-currency system so many free-to-play games use these days (you can buy new weapons and such with earned points, or simply purchase another kind of points to do the same).

Nothing else plays quite like “Tribes.” You choose from three classes of warrior — light, medium and heavy — and use a jetpack to zoom around the battlefield in search of enemies to destroy or an enemy flag to steal and return to your base, among other game types. These warriors of the far future can also slide easily along the ground once they have some momentum built up, covering distance much faster than running around on foot.

Where to find it: http://www.hirezstudios.com.

COMING SOON

These games haven’t been released yet, but will be out by the end of the year.

“Dota 2” — The first “Dota” (ala “Defense of the Ancients”) was a model for “Warcraft III” that established the groundwork for the genre that “League of Legends” and “Rise of Immortals” inhabit. This free-to-play update is by ValveSoftware, the makers of the “Half-Life” series and the free-to-play “Team Fortress 2,” among others. Windows and Mac OS, http://dota2.com.

“MechWarrior Online” — Climb into the cockpits of giant bipedal war machines and fight other players in this action game. Windows, http://www.mwomercs.com.

“PlanetSide 2” — An online shooter designed for hundreds of players at once, this sequel is all about territory control and customizing the capabilities of your character. Windows, http://www.planetside2.com   .

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