Broke College Student’s Guide to Video Games

James Kennedy

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






a&e_bowen_gaming_4

Illustration by MaryAnne Bowen

For the average Whitman student, an ever-famished wallet greatly diminishes the amount of games you can purchase. But with the rise of “free-to-play” games, even the poorest of gamers has the option to continue his or her hobby. Below are some of the best games you can download for absolutely nothing. But beware: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Along with the game’s appeals, I’ve listed how the company actually makes their profit.

 

8 – TERA

The Draw: One of the best Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) Korea has to offer. Similar to World of Warcraft (WoW) and other epic fantasies, you can explore a massive world with thousands of other players. Unlike WoW, the combat is much more active. Great graphics, a fleshed out player politics system, interesting classes and hilariously skimpy armor await you!

The Catch: Like most Korean MMOs, there are a lot of pointless things you can buy, like pets and costumes. You can also pay to be “Elite,” which gives you discounts and special content.

 

7 – Warframe

The Draw: If you prefer to cooperate rather than fight with fellow human beings, Warframe’s 4-player alien combat action should suit your needs. Team up with three of your friends, choose from a massive selection of weapons and armor alterations and then tackle a mission that puts you up against hordes of human clones and alien warriors.

The Catch: The game starts you with 50 “Platinum” but forces you to pay for more. Platinum allow you to become more powerful and revive yourself, so you may be tempted to buy a bit.

 

6 – Team Fortress 2

The Draw: TF2 is a very balanced teamwork-oriented First-Person Shooter (FPS) game. There are a number of game variants, but all of them have you picking from one of nine characters and gunning down the enemy team using mechanized turrets, flamethrowers and baseball bats. You’ll cling on to at least one class; playing the Medic and the Spy are like playing two different games.

The Catch: Hats! You can buy outfits and weapons for all of the classes, but the default setups are enough fun to tide you over.

 

5 – DOTA 2

The Draw: For a free download, DOTA 2 gives you a shocking amount of content and a really deep game. In each match, two teams of five consisting of a diverse variety of characters accumulate enough gold to buy items that make them dominant enough to overpower the enemy and destroy their base. This game is for those of you who seek a lot of complexity at a low price.

The Catch: There are several cosmetic items you can pick up, but the greatest payment is the time you’ll need to invest to be able to play the game without getting yelled at.

 

4 – Planetside 2

The Draw: Basically Halo, except there are 2,000 people playing on the map. That’s really all the description you need.

The Catch: You can buy visual changes and conveniences like getting more items when you re-spawn. You’ll be at a minor disadvantage if you don’t pay, but skill should carry you through.

 

3 – Cave Story

The Draw: This game is a cult-classic with great art, music and atmosphere. An old-school mash-up of Contra and Mario, it has aged gracefully since its 2004 debut. The creative combat system challenges you to avoid taking damage in order to keep your weapon powered up and the dystopian subterranean world provides a great environment to explore. Even if you finish the game, there are still a plethora of branching paths and hidden bosses to take on.

The Catch: Cave Story is more or less a passion project by a single man, so the game is totally free. If you want to support the original creator, you can buy one of the enhanced remakes like Cave Story+.

 

2 – Pokémon Showdown

The Draw: Ever wanted to play Pokémon without spending hours training? This game can be played in a browser and has an easy-to-use interface that recommends move sets and stat distributions for those not versed in competitive battling. If you don’t want to climb the leader boards, you can have a bit of fun with modes that give you a randomized team or user-created Pokémon.

The Catch: Nothing! Showdown is a fan project, so they’d get in a lot of trouble if they tried to make money off of this game.

 

1-League of Legends

The Draw: Above all other games on this list, you’ll find plenty of people on campus to play this game with you. I’ve played this game for three years and haven’t gotten bored of it. There are nearly 120 characters, with new ones released every month. Created by some of the original DOTA creators, LoL shares most of the same 5v5 game-play but is a lot more accessible. In addition to the traditional three-laned map, LoL has added three additional game modes that give you a bit of a break.

The Catch: Unlike DOTA, you need to unlock pretty much everything in this game. If you’re lazy, you can pay to do it faster, and the rest of the payments are useless cosmetics. If you do decide to spend money, pay attention to the semi-weekly sales.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email