Here’s six free games for PCs

Here's six free games for PCs

PC gamers, listen up. Dig deep in your pockets and be honest – if you have more loose change and lint than bills and credit cards, keep on reading.

There are some seriously good computer games that are free to download and play – if you know where to look, that is.

You probably know about high-profile freebies like “Apex Legends,” “Fortnite Battle Royale,” and “League of Legends,” but there are many others to choose from, representing every genre.

Some of these titles are older, mind you, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing given they’ll require more modest computer specs to play – and hey, chances are if you don’t want to pay for a $59 computer game, you might not be so eager to upgrade your hardware either.

Here’s a peek at a few worthy free-to-play games to snag, but be aware some of the newer free games give you the option to pay for additional content.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity

Emotionally impacted by the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this past week, Ubisoft – the French game maker – has pledged €500,000 (more than $560,000) to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the cathedral.

What’s more, the company is also giving away the PC version of the game “Assassin’s Creed Unity”  (assassinscreed.com, for Windows PCs, rated Mature for ages 17-up), for free, through Thursday, April 25.

What’s the connection? This third-person adventure drops you in the middle of Paris during the bloody 1789 French Revolution and features the most immersive city environment in the game series to date – including a digital replication of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Gamers assume the role of Arno, a young man scorned by a lost love, which helps fuel his thirst for vengeance directed to those responsible. Political undertones are also very important in your missions, naturally, as our agile protagonist is thrown into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation against the Templars. 

The 2014 stealth action game introduced cooperative (“co-op”) play for the first time in the series, allowing for up to four friends to take part in story-driven online missions.

Path of Exile

If you enjoy action-heavy role-playing games (RPGs) like “Diablo,” take the time to download and play “Path of Exile” (pathofexile.com, for Windows PCs, rated Mature for ages 17-up).

Set on a dark and brutal continent known as Wraeclast, this is an online dungeon crawler with a heavy emphasis on competitive PvP (player versus player) matches, deep character customization (with extensive skill trees), and a strong focus on items – mostly gems – as the in-game currency that grant special abilities (and modifications of them), making them valuable in trade.

Played from an angled top-down view, “Path of Exile” is meant to be re-playable, therefore all indoor and outdoor areas are randomly generated, as are the placement and type of creatures and items. 

Also consider downloading other RPGs like “EverQuest” and “Dwarf Fortress,” as well as free fantasy CCG (collectible card game) titles “Heroes of the Storm,” “Magic: The Gathering,” “The Elder Scrolls: Legends,” “Fable Fortune” and “Arena Duelyst.” 

Dauntless

If you revel in games like Capcom’s “Monster Hunter World,” check out “Dauntless” (playdauntless.com, for Windows PCs, age rating pending), a new free-to-play action game that challenges you to team up with other Slayers to hunt down huge monsters, called Behemoths. The story follows a cataclysmic event that has torn the world apart, and thus releasing these Behemoths, which threaten human existence.

Published by Phoenix Labs (formed by ex-Riot Games developers), “Dauntless” has you first collect loot, used to craft and upgrade weapons and equipment, and then find and slaughter Behemoths with others in tactical hunts. During combat, this third-person action game has you use might and magic to destroy the creatures. The game can be played solo or cooperatively (co-op mode) with up to four people.

Seasonal content, including specific challenges, are available for purchase through a Hunt Pass. The game should support cross-platform play when it’s released for all major consoles in 2019, as well.

Also grab these action-heavy sci-fi titles: “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” “Rift,” “Paladins,” “Smite,” “Dreadnaught,” and “Planetside 2.”

Forza Motorsport 6 Apex

Calling all car enthusiasts: Microsoft Studios’ “Forza Motorsport 6 Apex” (forzamotorsport.net, for Windows 10 PCs, for all ages) is a free-to-play game, which lets you climb behind the wheel of more than 60 vehicles (each with working cockpits) and compete in about a dozen racing events.

This scaled-down version of the full 2015 Xbox One and Windows game “Forza Motorsport 6” offers similar cars (muscle, touring, exotics, GT racing, and more), circuits, and environments. It also delivers impressive graphics – including 4K resolution support, wet-weather, and night racing – thanks in part to the state-of-the-art ForzaTech graphics and physics engine.

The game also supports text and voice chat via Xbox Live, and the ability to record and share your favorite clips with friends via the built-in Game DVR. 

Like free racing games? Also check out the free “TrackMania Nations Forever,” “Real Racing 3,” and “Asphalt Xtreme.”

Warframe

Where “Path of Exile” has you hacking and slashing, Digital Extremes’ “Warframe” (warframe.com, Windows PCs, ages 17-up) is more about running and gunning.

The free game delivers many hours of sci-fi action, especially when teaming up online with others to perform missions together.
 
“Warframe” introduces a militarized race known as the Grineer, whose armies are now spreading throughout our solar system. To help aid in the fight against this malevolent force, you’ve been pulled out your cryostasis chamber and trained alongside other warriors known as the Tenno. These fighters take advantage of an ancient exo-skeletal technology called “Warframes,” which give them superpowers. Consider Warframes a kind of battlesuit – high-tech armor that lets you withstand serious damage, jump high and upgrade via modifications (“mods”) throughout the course of the game.

Also available for consoles, there are several kinds of Warframes and weapons to choose and master in these massive open-world areas. The Vauban, for example, can zap or imprison enemies, while the more stealth-like Banshee uses acoustics to target and attack. Taking on a more supportive role, the Trinity can heal other Tenno fighters.

And be sure to check out the new hoverboard mode!

Also consider other action titles like “Team Fortress 2,” “Double Action: Boogaloo,” “Evolve Stage 2,” and “Brink.”

StarCraft II

In case you missed it, Blizzard made “StarCraft II” (starcraft2.com, for Mac and Windows PCs, ages 13-up) free back in 2017. The iconic real-time strategy game includes the original game “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty” campaign, but not the chapters that followed: “Heart of the Swarm,” “Legacy of the Void,” and “Nova Covert Ops.”

You can play the single-player campaign, co-op mode, or Versus (PvP), but there are a couple of multiplayer restrictions, such as limited access to Commanders Kerrigan, Raynor, and Artanis (up to level 5 only, for free).

Available for PC and Mac, the story surrounds the battle for dominance between the Terrans (humans), the tech-savvy Protoss and swarming Zerg – three powerful and well-balanced races that face off on alien worlds –and each with their own tactics, technology, units and weapons, as well as unique characters and motivations.

The story follows Jim Raynor, a marshal-turned-rebel leader for the Terrans. While the goals are set per level, such as freeing allies, defending your base, and recovering an artifact, you can often choose which technology and military upgrades to invest in and even select the desired path to take.

Also download these strategy games: “Total War Battles: Kingdom and Twisted Insurrection” (a standalone modification based on “Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun”).

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast at www.marcsaltzman.com.

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