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The best freeware games that aren’t going anywhere

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere
The ongoing exodus of gaming companies from the Russian market has exposed one simple truth: buying on digital platforms is not as reliable as we used to think. Copyright holders can at any time revoke a license and block access to a product for which someone has paid money, even if the person has not violated the user agreement. Bandai Namco  removed copies of Elden Ring from the libraries of some Steam users in direct defiance of the platform’s refund policy, Microsoft introduced new regional restrictions after the fact. And for the use of a VPN, many stores may well issue a permanent ban – it is unlikely, but there is still a risk.

The situation is, to put it mildly, unpleasant, but at the same time not apocalyptic. After all, there is an old segment of the market that has been living and developing for several decades: freeware projects. No, not modern free-to-play games, one way or another tied to online services, but simply free: no DRM, no microtransactions, no pitfalls. As a rule, the creators of such projects work in small teams and do their job as a favorite hobby. Moreover, the lack of labor resources rarely affects the quality of their work. On the contrary, among such projects you can find a lot of interesting things – the only difference is that they rarely get into the news headlines. So in this article we have collected a modest selection of good freeware games that are definitely worthy of attention.
The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere

The Dark Mod

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere
The Dark Mod is a project widely known in narrow circles. In 2009, it was released as a total conversion of Doom 3 : the original modification turned a fantastic shooter into a steampunk stealth action – almost a complete copy of the early Thief from Looking Glass Studios . The graphical capabilities of the id Tech 4 engine (especially dynamic lighting) refreshed the classic mechanics quite well, and at the same time the project, unlike Thief: Deadly Shadows, has not lost the charm and complexity of the original games. And a few years after the release, the project became a completely independent game. Without a long single-player campaign and Stephen Russell as Garrett, but with the support of fan-made missions, there is unexpectedly a lot of quality content in the game. Square Enix is ​​unlikely to resurrect the Thief franchise in the near future, but the Looking Glass Studios legacy lives on.

Aurora 4X

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere
People who sarcastically refer to Paradox Interactive ‘s grand strategy games as Microsoft Excel spreadsheet simulators probably haven’t seen the Aurora 4X .. Over eighteen (!) years of active development, the project, originally conceived as a companion application for tabletop role-playing games, has gradually evolved into a full-scale space strategy. In terms of realism and simulation depth, probably no other game in the genre comes close to Aurora 4X. From the design of ships and interstellar infrastructure to the physics of celestial bodies, the composition of the atmosphere of individual planets and many other nuances, the gameplay is worked out to the smallest detail. The threshold of entry is extremely high, and you will have to get used to the nondescript graphics, but if you like solid science fiction and are ready to understand the mechanics for hours, then it’s worth it.
https://youtu.be/4D7k7wcTTdc
As the name suggests, Clone Hero is an open-source port of the legendary Guitar Hero powered by the Unity engine . The same mechanics, the same control scheme (including with the help of a guitar controller), the same addictive gameplay. Thanks to the wide support for custom modifications, the track catalog is constantly growing, so you can find much more different music in Clone Hero than in the official releases of the series. A small but close-knit community has gathered around the game, and the developers are actively developing the project – the latest version has added online multiplayer.

Vassal

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere
Tabletop Simulator , Tabletopia and other virtual instruments are far from the only way to sit at the desktops on the network. As an alternative, you can try Vassal : a small Java application that, in theory, will run even on a toaster. The Vassal modules archive contains several thousand board games, from the world famous to the extremely niche, and you can easily find things there that are unlikely to be found anywhere else. The application interface is not the most friendly, but it will not be so difficult to figure it out if you wish. But the rules of specific board games should be studied in detail: not all modules support scripts that facilitate math and other important little things.

“My own game”

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere
Again, the name speaks for itself: “Own Game” has long existed in digital format. This is an almost perfect game for gatherings in a group chat, when it seems to be lazy to launch something serious, but you don’t want to hang out in a call just like that. Users create packages of questions for every taste: from traditional erudition quizzes to knowledge tests of cinema, music, video games, memes of varying degrees of roasting and anime. You can put either a live player or AI in the role of leader – although the latter is sometimes mistaken in his decisions. And in other nuances, the rules of the game are configured in detail – up to the background in the background or individual sound effects.
OpenRA is a real treat for Westwood Studios classic RTS fans . This open-source project includes three cult studio strategies at once: Command & Conquer , Red Alert and Dune 2000 – a port of Tiberian Sun is still in progress. All content is adapted to work on modern systems and supports online matches without too much headache. Single-player campaigns are also in place, although original cutscenes and music will require licensed copies of the games. Otherwise, OpenRA is a great way to remember what the golden age of the genre was like.

Toribash

https://www.toribash.com

The best freeware games that aren't going anywhere

If you’ve ever wondered what a turn-based fighting game would look like, there’s good news:  Toribash answered this question fifteen years ago, and in a rather unusual way. Here, players control their characters with anatomically correct musculature. To set the dummy fighter in motion, you need to tighten or relax certain muscle groups – in Toribash, it is not the speed of reaction that is important, but spatial thinking and the ability to calculate your actions several moves ahead. Based on this interesting mechanic, the community has created hundreds of game modes: from judo, aikido and wushu to obstacle courses where you can practice parkour. Understanding Toribash is not easy, but the gameplay captures for a long time – it’s not in vain that the game has been around for so many years.

READ:  Steam, EA, Capcom And 28 Other Companies Are Among The Partners Of Summer Game Fest 2022

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