Whilst we #StayHome, we need to make sure that we’re having fun whilst doing it. Here are 5 of the most popular shooter games that are free to play.
Call of Duty: Warzone
2018 saw the release of Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which shipped with its own Battle Royale mode, Blackout. The Battle Royale genre had been made popular through games such as H1Z1 and PUBG, so it was inevitable that AAA studios would follow suit with their games. Whilst Blackout was very popular, it was stuck behind a £60 buy window which for many gamers, was too expensive.
Come 2019, all eyes were on Infinity Ward ahead of the release of their latest Call of Duty entry, Modern Warfare. Initially the game didn’t ship with a Battle Royal mode, but rumblings and rumours suggested that the popular mode was on its way. Eventually, it came.
Call of Duty: Warzone has made a lot of noise this month as it is the first free-to-play Call of Duty game to date – a huge step for AAA studios. Infinity Ward’s take on a Battle Royale is fresh, and is bringing the genre back into the limelight with huge streamers and personalities, such as Dr Disrespect, Shroud, and Ninja, broadcasting the game to hundreds of thousands of people daily.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
It’s hard to believe that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) was released almost 8 years ago. That’s because the game has recently just peaked its player count this month! Over a million people were playing CSGO on Steam this month. So, why is this old game so popular now?
First of all, towards the end of 2018, the game became free-to-play. Whilst CSGO was relatively inexpensive to start with, the news of it going free-to-play brought a lot more eyes on the game. A new wave of gamers, brought in by Fortnite, were used to the free-to-play model and Valve saw the opportunity. The game was already bringing a lot of cash due to its unique in-game purchase system of gun skins and stickers, so why not make it free?
Plus the rise of Esports has brought even more eyes on the game, with gamers all over the world wanting to replicate the plays they see from pro players such as s1mple, Device, and ZywOo. The unique gunplay and tactility brings gamers coming back for more each day. Me included.
The release of Apex Legends was so exciting. Rumblings of a new Battle Royale game coming from Respawn Entertainment shocked social media users, clawing for more and more information. Gamers had gotten sick of Fortnite with its endless updates and cheesy gameplay, and wanted a new challenge. Out of nowhere, Apex Legends was released.
Apex Legends was unique as it took the Battle Royale game mode we all knew and loved and combined it with the Hero Shooter genre, unleashing an onslaught of different and unique characters with their own special traits and abilities. Not only that, but the game forced you to play in teams of three which made teamwork a priority. A lot of gamers who were used to playing alone ended up being vocal with strangers in order to achieve victory.
Whilst the game is less popular now, it still has a very high player base, and Respawn Entertainment are pumping out new content, such as maps and characters, regularly. If you played Apex Legends back in its release and haven’t touched it since, it might be worth going back to see what’s new.
Fortnite has been mentioned in every single section so far. It quite literally broke the internet. Battle Royale games were at the pinnacle of popularity with H1Z1 and the vastly popular PUBG, yet none of them made quite the impact that Fortnite did.
The game combined the fun Battle Royale mode with an integrated building system which resulted in unique highly addictive combat. The world of Fortnite was cute and colourful and influenced a new younger generation of gamers to pick up a controller. Even Rap superstar Drake was online playing with popular streamer, Ninja, which was a night the gaming world will never forget.
Whilst Fortnite is nowhere near its peak popularity, like it was a couple of years ago, it still has a high player base making for quick queue times. This means you are put straight into the action.
Bungie dominated the 2000s with the iconic Halo franchise, but in 2014 they launched a new chapter.
Destiny hit the shelves to great praise and it was clear to see why. The blend of spaghetti-western and sci-fi made for a new, but familiar world. The mix of PVE and PVP was a refreshing change and allowed players to choose how they wanted to play. The reward system was slightly addictive and going on raids with your friends was super fun. It seemed like Bungie had made another hit.
Destiny 2 was released in 2017 but didn’t become free to play until two years after, opening the door for a lot of gamers who didn’t want to pay £60. The game still holds up today with a decent player base and lots of great expansion packs if you want to play more of the story.
Bungie described the free-to-play version of the game as “a brand new entry point for newcomers, that puts the worlds of Destiny 2 — and all of its foundational modes, activities, and rewards — into the hands of every player.”