Home Features The Critical Hit Coronavirus guide to free games you can play at home

The Critical Hit Coronavirus guide to free games you can play at home

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You’re stuck at home, being a responsible chap for the good of all because nobody wants to die clutching their chest in agony from a virus that is wreaking havoc on everything from going to the movies to attending a WWE event. Which now finally resembles Shakespeare in the Park but with Jackhammer slams:

Weird stuff. So what do you do while you’re stuck at home? There’s only so much one can do to while the hours away when you’re not working during your social isolation, from cooking to masturbation. Fortunately, video games can easily consume those precious hours allotted to you in your existence on Earth! Provided that you have a decent online connection, grabbing the newest games is easy enough no matter which platform you’re playing on.

And if you’re cheap as hell? Fret not, plenty of options to choose from as well! Here’s a frugal look at digital distractions, for cheapskate citizen in self-imposed exile:

Tomb Raider 2013, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Square Enix is also tossing its hat into the goodwill ring, as they’re offering the superb first chapter in the reboot trilogy that Crystal Dynamics unleashed way back in 2013 as a Steam freebie. Beyond that, you can also grab the amazing puzzle game Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris to add to your library. Provided that you’re quick enough that is, as the offer expires at 11:59PM PDT on Monday, March 23. Which translates to just a hair under 9AM on March 24 this side of the globe.

Destiny 2: New Light – PC, PS4, Xbox One and Google Stadia

Destiny 2 New Light

I may have finally kicked this 800 Light Level challenge uber-monkey off of my back, but there’s no denying that Destiny 2: New Light is still a heck of a good experience to try at least once in your life. It’s a hefty download, but you’re getting one of Bungie’s best ever products and a ton of content that’ll easily chew up a dozen hours. There’s the base game of Destiny 2 to try out that unfolds across the Red War saga, the first enh it’s okay expansion Curse of Osiris and its follow-up Warmind.

On top of all that, there’s access to Raids, Strikes and the incredible PvPvE mode Gambit, as well as all of the recent patches and tweaks that Bungie have added to Destiny 2 since they launched it. or nerfed, depending on which side of the Guardian fence you sit on.

Warframe – PC,PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Warframe

If Terry Gilliam directed the aforementioned Destiny, it would probably look like this weird collection of bonkers aesthetics and space ninjas running amok. Make no mistake, Warframe has a HEAVY learning curve but it’s one that benefits obsessive-minded individuals who want nothing more than an all-consuming experience with which to take their minds off of everything else going on in the world around them.

With a good number of years under its belt as well, Warframe has plenty of content to offer and it does so generously, barely ever asking for a handout.

Fortnite – PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Fortnite

Look, it’s popular for a reason and now is as good a time as ever to see just what the hell all the cool kids are into right now. Not the first battle royale on the block but certainly the most enduring, Fortnite’s combination of easy to master gameplay and a colourful attitude make it the most popular game in existence today and having it on every single platform including your self-aware Japanese toilet (LET ME DISPOSE OF YOUR POOP AND WASH YOUR ANUS MASTER!) makes it a breeze to hop into.

It’s always bustling inside of any of the locations within Fortnite, and now it’s guaranteed that the servers will be busier than ever before since everyone is stuck at home.

Call of Duty Warzone – PC,PS4, and Xbox One

Call of Duty Warzone

We’re not out of the battle royale woods yet! Call of Duty Warzone just launched, and the verdict so far is that it’s…actually really good! You’ve got a free to play battle royale, plenty of fans learning the ins and outs of Activision’s latest cash cow and some legacy gameplay that feels oh so good to experience. The only downside? That absurd 90gb download which is simply too damn big if you’re in a hurry.

Apex Legends – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Apex Legends

I promise this is the final battle royale on the list, a fact that will probably earn me the undying hatred of PUBG fanboys and lead to the formation of PlayerUnknown’s Organised Opposition of Players. Beware of POOP. Respawn Entertainment’s stab at the genre is a mere year old now, but it still remains one of the best and freshest battle royales on the block, especially for those people who value teamwork and want to be able to coordinate strategies beyond the barrier of different languages.

Smoother than a peanut butter milkshake and absurdly satisfying with its chunky gameplay, Apex Legends currently stands tall as one of the tentpole battle royale games on the block.

Path of Exile – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Path of Exile

If fighting a hundred other players for a chicken dinner isn’t your cup of tea, how about some good old-fashioned magic? To be fair, I am literally downloading Path of Exile while I type this sentence so I’m not personally invested in this title. That being said, I’ve only heard good things about Path of Exile from you chaps so what the hell, time to give it a bash. That and I can’t add Marvel Heroes Omega to this list. THANKS DISNEY!

What you get with your download, is a game that has evidently built upon its 2013 foundation with glorious new structures, introducing a ton of improvements, tweaks and content to a system of dungeon exploring and goblin-slaying. Point ‘n click fireballs for the masses and with a bewildering system of customisation, Path of Exile has converted legions of fans to its ranks. Time to see what all the fuss is about I guess.

Life is Strange: Episode 1 – PC

Life is Strange

Dontnod has a talent for storytelling, a craft that they’ve honed with the Life is Strange series over the last couple of years. While the final chapter of their second series within that universe has just wrapped up to a somewhat tepid response that proves second album theory correct, their breakthrough episodic series still holds plenty of love and care within its fan community.

If you feel like giving it a bash, Steam happens to have the very first episode up for grabs as you learn to grapple with Max Caulfield’s ability to play with time. It’s a game of multiple story angles, decisions and consequences, with the entire first season available for the price of two cups of Vida cafe coffee. Sea salt Caramel latte, to be specific.

Marvel STRIKE Force

Marvel Strike Force

Back to mobile, STRIKE Force may just be one of the most addictive games to ever wield the fabled Marvel License Gauntlet. On the surface, you’ve got a heck of a good looking game wherein you field a team of heroes (or villains) against an opposing side that has you taking turns flinging spandex at one another as if it were a game of live-action 18th Century British redcoat infantry chess.

Beneath that surface, is a stupidly addictive game of keeping your characters stacked with power and constantly improving on their stats because MATHS! I recently redownloaded it for my iPad and have started afresh all over again, to find a vastly improved selection of characters, modes and offerings. If Marvel STRIKE Force could tone down the number of prompts to BUY BUY BUY whenever you start the game, that’d make a great free experience even better whenever you log in.

Alto’s Odyssey – Apple and Android

Alto Odyssey

If mobile gaming is your domain, do yourself a favour and check out Alto’s journey. While the idea of an endless runner may make you roll your eyes back like an Undertaker cosplayer, the fact that this one is presented with a gorgeous slice of eye-pleasing aesthetics is simply…cathartic. You can grab it right now on either Apple or Android.

Epic Games Store weekly free games – PC

EGS free games

Every week the Epic Games Store gives something away for free, and those offerings are usually quite surprising heavyweight games ranging from AAA blockbusters of yesteryear to the best that Indie gaming has to offer. If you’re reading this right now, time is running out to grab Ubisoft’s first foray into sandbox hacking with Watch_Dogs and the delightfully weird The Stanley Parable. Next week though? Figment and Tormentor X Punisher can be added to your library.

Itch.IO’s quirky selection – PC

Itch games

For something a little bit out of the ordinary, Itch.IO has a selection of games to help you stay inside, with some of these titles having a five-finger discount not seen since I left Brad to pick up the bar tab during a recent dine ‘n dash. Navigate  to the free games page and you’ll find a LOT of freebies across a wide variety of genres. They may not be what you’re looking for, but hey nothing wrong with showing some love to the hardworking developers out there.

Good Old Games and their free to play ‘n stay games – PC

GOG Games

There are plenty of reasons to love Good Old Games, and here’s one more: A selection of DRM-free games from yesteryear. Some proper classics can be found here: Beneath a Steel Sky, Postal and Tyrian 2000, as well as more contemporary fare such as Alder’s Blood Prologue, CAYNE and Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius.

HITMAN – PC

I’ll do anything to get people to play IO Interactive’s fantastic Hitman, and that includes surviving the apocalypse to mention just how good it is. Over on Steam, you can grab a free trial of Hitman that provides an appetiser to the chameleon gameplay of Agent 47. Two story missions, a pair of Escalation Contracts and over 40 challenges to try your hand at. Nice. If you like that, then Hitman 2’s opening Hawke’s Bay stage is also free to download and experiment within to your heart’s content.

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

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