First person shooting (FPS) games have been a mainstay on computers and consoles for more than a decade. With the variety of freeware and open source software available online, it should come as no surprise that there are several shooting games that can be downloaded and played for free. What is surprising is that free games can be as polished and entertaining as games you have to buy.
America’s Army is one of the most popular free shooting games on the PC. The game was developed by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool (there are various army recruitment ads during loading screens), but the game play itself is top-notch, surpassing many pay games. You can download the latest version from the official America’s Army website. Games are played online with other players with the use of a variety of maps and game modes.
Combat in America’s Army favors group tactics and realism. The weapons are modeled after existing weapons, and characters can be easily killed by a single stray bullet. It is therefore crucial to use cover whenever possible and only make deliberate strategic movements. If you are going to try out the game, consider downloading it with a friend so you can practice and learn together. It can be difficult to go into a new game alone, since other players already know best maneuver the maps and use the weapons to their greatest effect.
Alien Arena is a free FPS computer game that focuses on death matches between teams of players battling online. Game play is much faster paced than America’s Army, so it will suit players who like games like Unreal Tournament, Doom and Quake. The atmosphere is futuristic sci-fi, with a variety of fantasy weapons. The game and engine are open source, so it will probably remain free to play. If you download the game, expect to die often as you learn the mechanics. Luckily, in many game modes you will respawn on the map after a short waiting period, meaning you don’t have too much downtime.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
The original Wolfenstein 3D PC game was a predecessor to games such as Doom and Duke Nukem, and helped put the shooting game genre on the map. In 2003, a revamped version of the game, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, was released. It allows players to play one another online in a World War II setting, with teams divided between Axis and Allies. Players are able to choose from several classes, such as medics, soldiers and engineers, which have different abilities that are helpful to the team. To play, it’s a good idea to choose a class few others have so as to better balance your team.