Free To Play Unlimited #69: Black Desert, Borderlands Online, H1Z1, Echo of Soul…

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Free To Play Unlimited with Taryn is the exclusive webshow about free MMORPG and other Free MMO games. The team will bring you exciting news, quizzes, the most anticipated F2P games and more. In this episode Korea strikes again with the Black Desert open beta, China makes us jealous by getting the exclusive Borderlands Online MMO, H1Z1 gets an early access date, Dead Island: Epidemic goes into open beta and a second free-to-play Total War game is announced. The featured first looks include Star Trek: Alien Domain and Dragon Atlas. The most wanted game of the episode is Echo of Soul, a polished and appreciated Korean MMORPG that is now heading West in 2015. If you know the answer to this episode's quiz, then leave it in the comments below or in YouTube, along with your suggestions.


Black Desert: Korean open beta is live
After three successful closed betas, the Black Desert Korean open beta is finally here. Are you lucky enough to try this game right now? The Black Desert open beta begins December 17, 2014, but you can download the client right now and create your character from December 12 to December 15. There are no more doubts about the business model in Korea: this MMORPG will be free-to-play and offers the usual cash shop. If you’re not Korean and just can’t find a way to participate in this beta, do not despair: Daum Games has confirmed during a conference that Black Desert Online will indeed reach the Western market in 2015. So while it’s still a few good months away, Black Desert’s western release is a reality and the only question that remains is if it will also be free-to-play. If you ask us, that seems highly likely.

Borderlands Online is real, but only for China
The rumors turned out to be true: Borderlands Online is in development by Gearbox Software, but there’s a big catch and you’ll only like it if you live in China… Yes, just like Call of Duty Online and Monster Hunter Online, Borderlands Online is going to be a China exclusive. Shanda Games and 2K Games China will collaborate and the launch is planned for PC and mobile devices sometime next year. Borderlands Online will offer four classes: Ranger, Warrior, Berserker and Wizard. Borderlands seems like the perfect franchise for an MMO, so it’s odd that China is getting it while Western players are left out of the fun. Will Borderlands Online be a quality MMO like the series deserved or just a tacky game that we wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole? Stay tuned.

H1Z1 enters early access in January 2015
The New Year is bringing zombies into our lives. Sony Online announced the early access date for the survival MMO H1Z1. The post-apocalyptic zombie survival MMO is entering Steam Early Access on January 15 for the price of $19.99. A second, more expensive package will be announced shortly and will provide access to the different game mode servers and other undisclosed stuff. It took a lot more time than initially planned to get H1Z1 on early access, but Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley said that the studio wanted to put something out that it would be proud of. We’ll see in about a month if that’s how it really turned out.

Dead Island Epidemic enters open beta
Dead Island Epidemic, the MOBA based on the popular action survival horror franchise, recently entered open beta. This MOBA is described by its authors as a ZOMBA (zombie online multiplayer battle arena). The open beta brings a new PvE mode called Crossroads and a new weapon mod system, as well as new zombies, maps and missions. In Dead Island Epidemic, players move the characters using the WASD keys and there’s PvPvPvE, with three teams of four players each fighting among themselves while dealing with waves of zombies.

Total War Battles: Kingdom announced
While there’s a deafening silence about Total War: Arena, the series is getting a second free game called Total War Battles: Kingdom. It looks like Creative Assembly is focused on capitalizing on the series’ success by launching a second free-to-play game. While Arena is adding MOBA elements to the mix, Total War Battles: Kingdom is going persistent-world realm-building and cross-platform (PC, Mac and tablets), in a way that will hopefully improve on the forgettable Total War Battles: Shogun from the same studio. The game, which is set during the chaotic turn of the 10th century, allegedly combines “intense battles with army management, kingdom building and devious social plotting”. You can sign up for the upcoming closed beta at the official website.

‘Find the Game’ Quiz

This game has it all. Well, maybe not ALL – apparently they had to leave ninjas and pirates out of the deal, for some reason. And aliens too, now that we think about it. But even as it stands, there’s plenty of enemies in this third-person shooter. The first one to write the answer in the comments will see his name featured in the next Free to Play Unlimited episode.

Most Wanted: Echo of Soul

Echo of Soul, or EOS Online, is one of those games that we never thought we’d get our hands on. But as it turned out, we will, and pretty soon too. Echo of Soul is going to be published in North America and Europe in Spring 2015 by Aeria Games. This game is often compared to Tera, which can only be a good thing in our book, and is still quite popular in Korea. While it can be seen as somewhat generic, it’s also a very rich MMORPG and is one of those rare games that launched with a high level of polish and visual sheen, and is powered by Unreal Engine 3. Some key members in the development team worked on Lineage 2, so that’s a good sign there.

While Echo of Soul won’t set the world on fire, we could definitely use some good, solid free MMORPGs after a year that was far from the richest.


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