The weekend is a magical time. The weekend can be a savior, a breath of fresh air to keep your sanity in check, and a refuge from the monotony of the week at regular. The weekend can also be a harsh, crushing reality, as your shackles remain fastened to the inevitability of work-in-progress. I wish the former for all of you out there.
Either way you’ll hopefully have a little time set aside for yourself this weekend, because we may be experiencing a golden age of free gaming opportunities. There are a slew of games that have just been made playable to everyone for a short time; so if you can tear yourself away from Dark Souls 3 for a few minutes, and you’re a fan of the shoot-bangs, get ready to siphon the bandwidth away from any other chumps you live with.
Open Beta ends April 18th.
Battleborn, though the most forgettable of names, is an RPG arena shooter from the folks over at Gearbox, with all of the style and humor you might come to expect of the people that started the Bordlerlands series. Imagine a PvP-centric Borderlands game with a wider array of colorful characters, and an additional Story mode to boot. The interesting mix of both PvP and PvE content, as well as script that will hopefully tickle your giblets, makes this a great game to check out now before it goes on sale in early May.
Rainbow Six: Siege
PC Free Weekend ends April 18th.
My personal pick for best multiplayer game of 2015 goes to this little Clancy-inspired shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege. It’s a modern era tactical shooter in the vein of Counter-Strike, with an attacking team given the task of saving a hostage or defusing a bomb, while the defenders have to…defend. The combat zones are tight and death comes quick; information is the key to getting the drop on your opponents, and vast arrays of operative specific gadgets are available to both teams, encouraging careful and inventive play. The kicker here is that much of the environments are destructible, allowing for crazy maneuvers through walls, ceilings, and floors. If you’re looking for a slightly more cerebral shooting excursion then definitely try it out.
Open Multiplayer Beta ends April 17th.
Perhaps the most venerated FPS series of all time is finally returning, whether to your appeasement or chagrin Doom is soon to open its fiery gates once more, but not before giving you a taste of its fast-paced Multiplayer experience. It’s bloody, manic, and more than a little reminiscent of older arena-based shooters. Personally I’m more interested in the single player component, but if you want some old school multiplayer action, no reason not to feel up the smooth rhythm of the demon-chunking super shotgun.
Closed Beta Weekend ends April 16th.
The much anticipated online team shooter from Blizzard Entertainment is releasing in the near distant future, but you could have a shot at trying it out even sooner. Overwatch has a wide cast of characters to choose from, all with their own skills and steamy fan art pages. An Open Beta has been announced for early May, but the final Closed Beta weekend is sweeping its way through this weekend. Not everyone can just go download it, but they’ve been sending out new waves of beta invites for those already signed up. So check those Battle.net accounts!