You better keep your hands off these Free2Play games. Free isn’t always good and there are far better games out there.
Welcome to Steam’s Free2Play hell
Welcome to Free2Play hell. Every video game store has this place between the curio cabinet and the backyard clinic where you can sell your kidney. The hurdle to being allowed to offer a game in the Steam store as a developer is not particularly high. As these 10 examples show, it doesn’t even need working gameplay for you to find it in the store. A name and something to download are sufficient.
In Steam’s Free2Play category you will find sexism, rip-offs and cheap copies. In the end there are always two questions: who develops something like this and, more importantly, who plays something like this?
We’ll just get in. In Click Space Miner 2 you click on planets in space to mine resources there. With this you build upgrades so that you can click even faster. Complete. The game doesn’t really hurt anyone if it weren’t for the cheeky microtransactions. You can buy currency, which you then use to pay for upgrades, eliminating the only gameplay mechanic. Or you can go for the Deluxe Edition for 2.39 euros, which is the only way to get rid of the in-game advertising.
Who could have expected the combination of complicated math and first-person shooter to backfire? To progress in Project Skylab, you shoot your way through hordes of robots and solve math problems. Even if you’re good at complex algebra, the game is so buggy that it’s barely playable. However, there are two sequels that are still playable.
Stranded on a planet as an astronaut, try to find your comrades. The low gravity has you dragging yourself to signals on your HUD only to find there is absolutely nothing there. So after walking straight ahead for minutes at a snail’s pace, there’s just nothing there. The biggest highlight are meteorite impacts, thanks to which you can start over if they catch you. In the Free2Play version you only have the moon to choose from, but for 3 euros you are not allowed to do anything on Mars either.
This game is based on Crossout, just not enough. It is a multiplayer game where you compete against other players with self-made armed cars. Unfortunately there are no other players and you can only drive around in the test level. Building the cars will be fun, at least for a short time. The editor and the physics of the game have nothing to do with each other. So you build a 10m chassis with 80 tires on it, put a cab and an MG on it and watch your abnormality slither through the garage. That’s funny – for ten minutes.
If you should get this game running, the in-game shop will be the end of it at the latest. Almost everything in Cannons Lasers Rockets costs money. Players who actually saw gameplay report lag, bugs, crappy graphics and one of the worst gaming experiences of their lives. It is questionable why this game is still offered on Steam at all.
Aerial Guardian at times held the record for the lowest rated shooter on Steam. A remarkable achievement for a game that almost a hundred people have actually played. Apart from bad graphics, hardly working controls and countless bugs, there is at least no aggressive in-game shop. That’s a plus, sort of.
There are a lot of Counter-Strike clones out there and most of them are bad. But still better than Warmode. In addition to heavy input delay, the FPS also like to fall into the abyss when there is a firefight. In addition, you can buy new weapons in the shop, which can also be earned, but you don’t get to that. Hackers rule the game. It doesn’t need a little man’s Counter-Strike, since CS:GO is already Free2Play.
An Asian auto-play MMO’s port opens in its own browser. If that’s not a red rag for you, the game is full of bugs. But you only get to see them if the game isn’t about to crash. Most crashes supposedly happen when the game opens the in-game shop window where you can buy currency, VIP access and other stuff. It almost seems the game is a bit ashamed of itself.
This game is suggested to you if you like playing Left 4 Dead and nothing could be further from the truth. Infestation: Survivor Stories was initially a paid game and according to many reviews, that’s why Steam introduced a swap feature. In fact, it’s the game with the most reviews in this list where users actively advise against playing. Microtransactions, bad gameplay, bugs and developers who don’t care about the players are the reasons to avoid this game.
League of Maidens represents something that doesn’t quite deserve the genre label. In this action RPG, women with proportions that would cause an orthopedist to have a heart attack perform tasks. It is shot and thrown around with superpowers. The character editor offers everything a misogynistic heart desires, of course only for the investment of real money. The game is as unafraid of aggressive monetization as it is of clumsy nudity. All the bad things in one game are here: loot boxes, premium subscription, battle pass, and a stamina system that throttles progress. Topped with sexism of the worst kind, of course.
This list could go on forever. There are plenty of Free2Play games on Steam alone that are neither free nor properly playable. In fact, for some even the term video game is debatable. If disaster tourism drives you into one of these games, be warned. Most of these games primarily want to get at your wallet.
Maybe you’d rather put a few euros in your hand and catch up on some games from this list: Top 10: The best games released in 2020.