Some games offer deep narrative story arcs, pose important moral dilemmas, and otherwise push the boundaries of video game storytelling. Then again, with others, it's all about action – the clash of steel on steel, the roar of combat, and the whirling grand melee. Indulge in the timeless pursuit of killing things and taking their stuff with these 10 hack and slash freebies!
Dynasty Warriors Online brings the hack and slash action of the hit console series to an MMO environment. DWO is a free MMO fighting game where players take the role of warriors in the legendary Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Take part in epic pitched battles, participate in PVP duels, and carve out your own legend in Dynasty Warriors Online!
Verdict: While the melees can eventually get same-y, there's a lot to do in terms of character customization, crafting, and team gaming.
An MMO action RPG with an emphasis on action, Vindictus features over-the-top combat, destructible interactive terrain that you can use as weapons, and a neat combo move system that rewards multiplayer cooperation in massive boss fights. Struggle against the Fomors as you carve your path towards paradise, hacking and slashing with every step.
Verdict: Awesome combat and glossy production values all around make Vindictus a neat-looking hack and slash MMO.
While it might seem like one of an innumerable horde of Diablo-clones, Path of Exile looks to be doing some interesting things to mix up the classic formula. A deep passive skill tree system is paired with a "gem skill" system that itemizes active skills into gems that you can mix and match among weapons, making for character customization that can be both deep, and surprisingly fluid. A dedication to avoiding "Pay-to-Win" systems, with purchases that tend towards cosmetic modifications and account modifiers, caps what looks to be a promising open beta release.
Verdict: A neat looking, free online RPG featuring interesting mechanics and a dedication to avoiding Pay-to-Win.
Drakensang Online is a free to play, browser-based action RPG based on a German tabletop game. Take on the mantle of Dragonknight, Spellweaver, or Ranger, and then lead the battle against ancient evils awakening to threaten the mortal lands. Charge against dark cultists, fallen kings, and unearthly beasts. This browser based game plays smoothly enough, but the grinding advancement and the free-to-playmicro-transactions will be irksome to many.
Verdict: While it doesn't break the mold mechanically (unlike Path of Exile), Drakensang Online does provide a pretty good browser-based adventure.
Hi-Rez Studio's entry into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena marketplace is Smite, a MOBA game where players take command of the deities, demigods, and dread monsters of various pantheons, such as Zeus of the Olympians, the sun god Ra, the Hindu goddess Kali, or the ravening Fenrir, bane of Odin. Take up your divine mantle and SMITE your foes!
Verdict: Nice, thematic design of characters and environments, intense combat, multiple game modes, and an unusual immersive third person POV make for a MOBA experience with a difference.
Facebook has been trying to expand its gaming presence with more than just social gardening games. Among the latest of their tie-ups is Way's beat'em up Chronoblade, a side-scrolling Flash action game where warriors from all corners of the multiverse band together to beat up the bad guys and save their worlds from a cosmic enemy.
Verdict: Neat graphics, an RPG-like skill tree for player customization, fun combat, and the social gaming connection through Facebook looks like a promising beginning for this beta release.
Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II is a Half Life 2 mod that takes these darlings of geekdom and pits them into battle against each other in order to answer the age old question: Who would win in a battle between pirates, vikings, and knights? Take up your longsword, battleaxe, or cutlass and join in the grand melee as wacky team combat and shenanigans ensue!
Verdict: Toss historical accuracy out the window. This Source mod is too much fun to worry about such things.