Since its release in 2016, Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed Overwatch has only increased in popularity, even as its embattled parent company Activision shifts its focus to mobile gaming.
Blizzard is known for creating the immersive, addictive epic MMO World of Warcraft as well as the cult favorite RPG, Diablo, and the digital card game Hearthstone. But in 2016 Blizzard took a risk in venturing into first-person shooter territory with the release of Overwatch, the FPS with some MOBA tendencies.
If you don’t already know, Overwatch is a fast-paced, team-based “hero” shooter set in the future aftermath of the Omnic Crisis, where robots or Omnics waged war on humanity. Blizzard’s team-based, multiplayer online first-person shooter racked up award after award for it’s unique take on the FPS by focusing on “heroes” and achieving victory as a team while bringing 90s-style FPS weapons out to play.
While Overwatch definitely brought a refreshing aspect to FPS games, they were almost immediately compared to another shooter that was already out and popular, Team Fortress 2. Players immediately noticed the similarities between Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch, especially Overwatch characters and Team Fortress 2 characters. Jeff Kaplan said that Team Fortress was one of his favorite games and you can honestly see the similarities between the two. But, they’re quite different. Kaplan wanted to combine everything that made FPS games great, but take it in a different direction. Overwatch’s design and origin stories behind each character paid off so well that it virtually shutdown existing and upcoming competition in the genre.
Here at Ge’NeL, we love free games online. I mean, who doesn’t love free games? So here is a list of free games like Overwatch that we think you’ll enjoy.
Valve Corporation’s Team Fortress 2 was released in 2007 and is considered the daddy of class-based, multiplayer, team, first-person shooters. TF2 has 9 characters, divided into 3 classes, that players can choose from. Players are divided into two opposing teams in objective-based combat. It has several game modes including Capture the Flag, Control Points, Attack/Defend, Payload, and Payload Race. Valve continues to patch the game to update maps, create events, and more.
Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins is set in a colorful, sci-fi fantasy world featuring 40 playable Champions, who have their own unique “fire-function and skills.” Like Overwatch, each is equipped with a “unique weapon, 4 skills, and a special skill called an Ultimate.” However, the champions of Paladins can level up.
Although Paladins was accused of being a clone of Overwatch, the fast-paced game still won “Best Competitive Game" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards. Paladins has three game modes: Onslaught, Team Deathmatch and Siege.
2K Games’ Battleborn is another hero-based, competitive multiplayer first person shooter with MOBA features. It was released just one-month prior to and overshadowed by the release of Overwatch. Players battle it out in 5v5 matches choosing from four distinct multiplayer modes: Incursion, Capture, Meltdown, and Face-off. Battleborn has 30 playable heroes with no two being alike. And unlike Overwatch, Battleborn’s Helix System allows players to level-up a character from 1 to 20, experiencing each hero’s unique weapons and powers at max capacity in either single story mode or multiplayer.
Though Digital Extreme’s Warframe initially started out with slow growth, 2018 saw the game’s player base rise to 38 million. Set in the very far future, Warframe is a coop, third-person shooter with elements of an RPG. Players create their character, a Tenno, a member of an ancient warrior race. They’re given a set of armor or warframe. There are 30 customizable warframes and more than 300 weapons in the game. Though Warframe is the least like Overwatch on this list, it’s pretty perfect for Genji mains who refuse to switch off of Genji yet want to play something different.
Dirty Bomb is set in London after an atomic bomb explodes in the city. In this multiplayer FPS, players select one of 20 mercenaries: either a CDA or a Jackal. A CDA or Central Disaster Agent is a mercenary hired by the government to find out what happened and to help cover it up. Jackals are mercenaries hired by a criminal syndicate to steal CDA’s tech. Each merc has “their own abilities, attributes and expletives.” Although Dirty Bomb has gone free to play, the game will no longer be developed. The team does still fix bugs and the like. They even released who would have been their next playable mer.
Each of these games allow players to purchase various weapons and skins through microtransactions—either with game currency or real currency. Which free games like Overwatch do you think should be on this list? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.