Even though we’re going through a seemingly endless MOBA overload, competition isn’t limited to this genre – we just love our third-person action games and even more shooting the hell out of our human enemies. You won’t see any first-person shooters in this list, only third-person games and please note that we’re focusing quite a bit on the newest games, some of them still undergoing development, so that’s why you won’t be seeing S4 League here, for example. But rest assured that we’ve already played all of them and know what we’re talking about! Let’s begin with our countdown for the Top 10 Free Third-Person Competitive Online Games 2014~2015!
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Panzar is one strange beast, a beautiful team-based online action game for those who still aren’t sick of Orcs, Dwarves and Sorceresses. The free-targeting combat is a nice thing to have and the existence of a single-player mode is a plus, working like a distraction from the always demanding PvP combat. One significant drawback here is that finding a decent amount of players isn’t easy most of the time, since this is something of a niche game – in part because it is Russian. But it’s a good game nonetheless, one that requires real teamwork and skill to win the battles.
Let’s face it: Dizzel isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed anymore. Being originally released about 4 years ago didn’t do it any favors, so we’re facing a somewhat outdated game, at least technically. But while it doesn’t look that good, Dizzel still retains the brutality that set it apart since it was first revealed. It’s a visceral third-person shooter, one where you can dispatch your enemies with sheer cruelty, Mortal Kombat style. It’s a bit crude around the edges but if you’re looking for a solid game to kill some time – and human players – , Dizzel is there for you. Just don’t expect it to look amazing.
Initially developed as a true MMORPG, Jagex decided to turn things around – or give up on the idea altogether – and go for the ever-popular MOBA genre or something like that with Transformers Universe. The fact that they’re calling this a MOTA (Massively Online Tactical Arena game) isn’t fooling us. However, we were pleased with our first impressions and with the tactical options that the Transformers offer. It’s a game where mobility is just as important as firepower and you need to play as a team if you expect to win the battles. Time will bring more bots and with them, hopefully, new strategies to the battlefield.
If you can look past the idiotic name – and why shouldn’t you? – you’ll get to play a damn solid third-person shooter that stands on its own both in PvP and PvE. It’s not down to luck either, seeing that the developers were known as Epic Games China and Zombies Monsters Robots runs on the Unreal Engine 3. Not only that, but it heavily borrows mechanics from the Gears of War series, as well as the overall look and feel of the game, although with a lot less bulky characters. Don’t go in expecting anything original at all, but this could provide you with some competitive and cooperative thrills.
Before you go all “They killed the Legacy of Kain series with this!!” [make a whiny kid voice here], put all your bias behind your back and give Nosgoth a try as we did, you may be pleasantly surprised. It’s not very often that you get to play in a dark, gothic fantasy setting – multiplayer games, that is – and participate in battles that feature two truly different factions. Humans are all for long range weapons, while vampires use their supernatural abilities such as flying and higher agility to prey on their enemies. This duality makes for a completely different approach on each faction: humans require true teamwork and tactics while vampires rely more on speed and agility. Choose your side wisely.
Rise of Incarnates could be a unique brawler, one that will attract a lot of players who are desperately looking for a good fighting game with some crazy characters and even weirder special moves and transformations. Bandai Namco’s experience with the Tekken and Soul Calibur series should prove extremely useful to give this game a solid feel and while the alpha that we tried was obviously far from polished, it was enough to see just how far this game can go. This 2 versus 2 brawler is probably the closest thing you’ll ever get to a free-to-play X-Men fighting game, with characters flying around, dropping from the skies and breaking a lot of the scenery. Combos between the two players should add an extra layer to an already enticing gameplay. Hopefully Bandai Namco won’t run out of ideas and will keep adding ingenious characters to go with the pretty interesting ones already available.
Loadout is a crazy and fun third-person shooter with some cool cartoon graphics and a particularly nice aesthetic to the characters. It’s exaggerated in a way that can make you smile and seeing Stallone and B.A. clones running around and losing body parts is quite funny. We’re still a bit baffled at the sight of a nut, though, but that’s just how far this game is taking it. Loadout is fun to play, the matches can be quite frantic and it has one element that completely makes this game stand apart from nearly all of the other shooters – the weapon customization is really nice, in-depth and will keep you experimenting a lot of time until you come up with your dream weapon. If you like fun competitive shooters, give this one a try.
The first chapter of the Orcs Must Die! franchise that is free-to-play, it is also the first to include team multiplayer, so there are many awesome battles in perspective. Two teams of five players each will attack and defend strongholds in a third-person view, just like SMITE. It’s a tower defense and MOBA blend with collectible card elements added to the mix and it’s quite fun to play, and features the nice cartoon visuals of the previous games. But don’t let this fool you, Orcs Must Die Unchained is a very demanding game, one where you’ll be laying traps, using crazy weapons and commanding wacky minions without any rest. A very cool game.
The first free Ghost Recon game, Ghost Recon Phantoms managed to bring something interesting to the oversaturated free to play shooter genre – tactical shooting. Mechanics such as cooldowns force a more tactical approach to the gameplay, granting that you’ll think about your next step instead of just running and spraying your bullets. Special abilities add a bit of flavor to the gameplay and the way that you can see enemies that your teammate has direct vision of through walls is a nice touch that puts more emphasis on the team-based gameplay. Although it’s not the easiest game to get into, it could provide a nice distraction from your regular run and gun shooters.
There’s no denying that SMITE is in a league of its own. It was one of the first games to try and break the golden rule of MOBAs: thou shall be played in a top-down perspective. The third-person view managed to place us right in the middle of the battles and it made all the difference in the world – not only it’s more atmospheric, it also changed the way that a MOBA is played. This is a game that is getting a lot of attention at eSports, including the SMITE World Championship with quite a hefty prize, but the funny thing is that it’s one of the best MOBA games to play just for having a bit of fun. Competitive or casual, SMITE has something for both types of players, so definitely give it a go. Support from Hi-Rez Studios is also great, with regular patches and new gods and the roster is extremely varied and fun.
Now let’s hear from you. Which third-person online games do you think deserve a spot on this list? Which ones do you like to fire up when you want to send your friends crying home to their mommas? Leave them in the comments and until next time.