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Online games you can play for free

Leon Saw

Mon Mar 19 2012

League of Legends

CAN’T afford a fortune on electronic entertainment? Meld geek Leon Saw helps you save with games available online for free. It’s legitimate, we promise.

Chances are you should be studying right now. You should be in a corner at the library, feverishly poring over your readings and scribbling down notes, endeavouring to get onto the Dean’s List and make your loved ones proud of you. Instead, you find yourself, like almost every other tertiary student since the turn of the millennium, sucked into the churning vortex of distraction that is the internet. And now you’re here.

The Vortex of Distraction

But you can’t possibly be an undisciplined, procrastinating basket case all the time, can you? Surely there’ll be the occasional bout of pensive reflection, be it sometime during the semester or the few hours before an exam, when you take stock of all the precious time you’ve wasted thus far, and then decide to hit the books hard. In which case, a reprieve is in order, possibly even deserved.

Now, you could go hang out with friends, catch a show, or check out the new PappaRich outlet: all that social stuff.

Or, you could shoot someone in the face with a rocket launcher, or melt it off with a flamethrower. You could become a deadly ninja, or a swashbuckling pirate, battling to resolve the myriad of political disputes in Runeterra. You could fight alongside Batman and Superman, against the forces of evil.

How, you ask?

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 is developed by Valve Corporation. They’re the people who brought you those addictive gems, Counter-Strike, and Left 4 Dead, so you know you’re in for, at least, a decent time. The game is essentially a multiplayer first-person shooter which pits you, and a number of teammates, against an opposing team in arenas where both teams vie for certain objectives. These objectives range from systematically controlling certain points in the arena, to the all out chaos of capturing the enemy flag.

You can play as a Demoman, an Engineer, a Heavy, a Medic, a Pyro, a Scout, a Sniper, a Soldier, or a Spy. Each of these nine distinct characters fills either an offence, defence, or support role in the game. For example, the Medic character has a “medigun” for healing teammates, while the Pyro dude’s flamethrower is kind of self-explanatory.

Team Fortress 2 is relatively easy to pick up and get into. There isn’t much of a learning curve here. You just pick your favourite character and dish out death to anyone in your way, while avoiding getting served, as your teammates and you attempt to complete the arena objectives. It’s perfect for an hour or two of brainless fun to get your mind off work. You’ll need to access the game through Steam though.

League of Legends

League of Legends takes place in Runeterra, a fictional land brought to the brink of apocalypse by over a century of unmitigated magical conflict. Recognising the threat to their very existence should any more such conflicts erupt, the leaders of Runeterra founded the League of Legends where teams of champions can settle disputes on their behalf, in controlled environments, also known as Fields of Justice. The objective of each of the four Fields of Justice is to destroy the enemy Nexus. You play as one of, currently, 96 champions, each with his or her or its own unique abilities, and are teamed up against other players online, each time you take to a Field of Justice.

League of Legends is a charming and polished product. With almost a hundred champions to play as and master, there’s potentially hundreds of hours of entertainment here. There’s even a universal levelling system for you to work at to improve whatever champion you play as. Yet, the game doesn’t require an exorbitant time investment to fully experience it. However, do note that when you initially start playing League of Legends, only 10 champions are temporarily unlocked, and hence, available to you. Temporarily unlocked champions are changed every week, so given enough time, you’ll be able to try them all out. If you’d like to use a particular champion beyond the given week, you can permanently unlock him or her or it using Influence points which you earn by playing the game.

Also, do bear in mind that League of Legends is not a simple game, and that the learning curve can be quite daunting. Thankfully, the game does come with plenty of helpful and informative tutorials for newcomers. If playing against other players is more trouble and stress than it’s worth, there are computer-programmed opponents which offer a more enjoyable experience.

The game can be acquired at the League of Legends website.

DC Universe Online

Why study when you can be a Superhero?

Or awesome like that.

DC Universe Online begins with an intense battle between heroes, led by Superman and Batman, and villains, led by Lex Luthor and Joker, among the ruins of the fictional city, Metropolis. Lex Luthor eventually kills Superman, but is unable to claim ultimate victory, as Brainiac, an extraterrestrial super villain, and his formidable army have arrived to take over the world. It’s revealed that Brainiac had been slowly stealing both factions’ powers over time to create his army, and had subtly manipulated them to wipe each other out, ensuring his triumph. Luthor then manages to recover the stolen powers, and travels back in time to warn heroes and villains of the present-day about Brainiac’s impending invasion. He also imbues thousands of ordinary humans with the recovered powers to prepare for it.

Representing Germany.....

You then begin your journey as one of these humans, siding with the present-day heroes or villains, and going on missions for them, either alone or with other players.

Optic Blast!

Now, there’s plenty of fun to be had, customizing your character’s powers, flying around skyscrapers, and foiling, or aiding the odd robbery or two. However, DC Universe Online, being a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, does require you to put in a significant amount of time and effort, to get the most out of it. If you can spare the hours, and would like to give the game a shot, you’ll find it on Steam.

So there’s how.

You won’t need a nuclear reactor to run these games either. Of the three, DC Online Universe has the most demanding system requirements.

  • Windows XP 32 bit
  • P4 3.0 GHz or AMD equivalent
  • NVIDIA 7800+ or ATI 1950+ Video Card
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 30 GB of Free Hard Disk Space
  • Broadband internet connection

But then you’re still just a student with limited to no income. How can you possibly afford all this electronic entertainment, especially with the sky-rocketing Australian dollar? Well here’s a deal for you. All these great products can be yours with just infinite tedious hourly payments of – wait for it – nothing! That’s right; these games are legitimately free-of-charge. So there goes possibly your final barrier to entry. Play away.

Don’t forget to study though. Meld Magazine is in no way responsible for your grades. Unless they’re distinctions of course!