Seven free-to-play multiplayer games that'll help you stay connected during self-isolation
From 'Fortnite' to DC Universe Online, here are seven games to check out while in self isolation
With most public places closing down in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are staying home in a bid to stay safe. While the measures in place are an effective way to thwart the pandemic, some people might be feeling a bit restless.
Self-isolating is the opportune moment to tick a few titles of your reading or watch lists, but if you still find yourself wanting to socialise, there’s nothing like a good, immersive multiplayer videogame to get your mind off your surroundings and find out how people in other parts of the world are faring.
Here, we’ve made a list of multiplayer video games for you to check out during your self-isolation. The best part is, they’re free!
'Fortnite Battle Royale'
Battle Royale is big right now. The genre blends the exploration and scavenging elements of survival games with the last-man-standing model found in games like Unreal Tournament 2004.
The premise is simple, you’re air-dropped onto a map with 99 other players. You have next-to-nothing on you and must scavenge for guns and armour while staying alive and killing anyone who crosses your path. The map’s playable area shrinks as time passes, preventing people from camping and stealthily taking out their enemies. Sure, the game is a derivative of Player Unknown’s Battleground (which you can play on your smartphone) but its novel construction mechanics and bright, fun graphics make it an absolute joy to play. You can also play with your friends whether they are playing the game on a PC, Xbox, PS4 or on their smartphones.
The original Defense of the Ancients (Dota) came about as a community-created mod (modification) of Warcraft 3, but the multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) quickly became a phenomenon by itself. The sequel to the arena battler took everything that made the game unique and enjoyable and made it better. The gameplay mechanics have been polished and the graphics are a visual treat. Dota 2 is played between two teams of five players, each of which controls a powerful ‘hero’ character with a unique set of abilities and differing styles of play. A team wins by being the first to destroy the other team’s ‘Ancient’, a large structure located within their home base.
'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft'
The digital collectible card game is Blizzard’s online take on the popular Magic the Gathering. Featuring characters from its Warcraft universe (from gnomes to orcs and night elves) it is easy to get the hang off and doesn’t have the steep learning curve usually found in fantasy card games. The gameplay is instantly exciting and the attack animations are a joy to watch.
The turn-based card game pits two opponents against each other. Each of them are armed with a deck of 30 cards along with a uniquely-powered hero. By using their limited mana crystals, players summon minions and carry out attacks against their opponent with the goal of destroying the opponent's hero. You can play the game on a computer or on your smartphone.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
If you’ve ever fancied into stepping into the Star Wars universe as a Jedi, a Sith lord or a bounty hunter, then Star Wars: The Old Republic might be for you. The Mmorpg was not free when it launched in 2011 but has since adopted the free to play model. Like with most Mmorpgs, you start with creating a customised character within one of eight classes. Each class has a three act storyline that progresses as the character levels up. Players join either the Republic or the Sith, but the choices you make will affect where your morality lies within the light/dark spectrum.
Another free-to-play Mmorpg worth looking into is Lord of The Rings Online, which brings the role playing mechanics to the Lord of The Rings universe.
The immensely popular sequel to Blizzard’s sci-fi real time strategy game became free-to-play in 2017. The game’s story features three races: the human Terrans, the cruel Zerg alien swarm, and the technologically advanced Protoss.
The game is split into three instalments Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, while the expansions, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, focus on the Zerg and Protoss. Only the Wings of Liberty campaign is free to play, but the storyline is captivating enough to probably entice you into buying the next two expansions. If you decide not to pay going forward though, you can always just log on to the game’s multiplayer option.
Team Fortress 2
Few shooters are as fun and witty as Team Fortress 2. Players can join one of two teams, Red or Blu, and choose one of 9 character classes to battle in game modes such as capture the flag and king of the hill. The two teams compete for a combat-based objective, and the first team to fulfil it wins. The game’s community is incredibly welcoming too, with most simply there to have a good time instead of spitting slurs (we’re looking at you Call of Duty). There are some micro-transactions involved to expand the gameplay but you can always opt not to pay.
DC Universe Online
We were a bit hesitant at adding another Mmorpg to the list, but couldn’t ignore DC Universe Online. The game places DC favourites like Batman and Superman in a massive playable world. Players get to create a character and choose whether to be heroes or villains. You’ll also get to pick your power and movement mode, which includes flight, speed and acrobatics. Once players make their characters, they are thrown into a tutorial stage where they have to fight their way out of a spaceship. The fast-paced action game will give you the incredible feeling of being truly in the midst of a superhero war. You’ll also meet a ton of fellow heroes and villains, so it’s a great way to make some online friends while you’re stuck indoors.
Updated: March 23, 2020 04:08 PM