1. Technology

Free Online Shooters

3D online shooters have been a popular form of entertainment for many years, and a growing number of them are now free. Some of these games are built using open source graphics engines, while others are distributed for free to promote newer products. Despite their low cost, they often have good visuals and gameplay that rivals high-budget, commercial releases.

World of Tanks Revisited
We go back to World of Tanks, an online tank game from Wargaming, for a second look now that the game has a couple years of updates under its belt.

PlanetSide 2 Certification Grinding Tips
Tips for maximizing your Certification gain in SOE's new MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2.

PlanetSide 2 Wish List
SOE's free-to-play MMOFPS has a lot of cool stuff in it, but we all have dreams of things we'd like to see in our favorite games. This is my wish list of changes and additions I'd like to see made to PlanetSide 2.

PlanetSide 2: Thoughts on Certifications
PlanetSide 2 uses a free-to-play revenue model and Certification system that is very different from the original. Here's a closer look at the new system and how it relates to the game's pricing.

PlanetSide 2 Beta Impressions
PlanetSide 2 is a massively multiplayer shooter from Sony Online Entertainment, which will launch on November 20, 2012. These are my first impressions of the game after spending some time in the beta test.

PlanetSide 2 Primer
A new entry in the PlanetSide franchise is bound to get some attention from shooter fans, many of whom have warm memories of huge battles in the original game. PlanetSide 2 is on the way, and this is a summary of what we know about the sequel so far.

Team Fortress 2 Revisited
Team Fortress 2 is still going strong a half a decade after its release, so we've taken another look at the game and the many changes that have been implemented over the years.

Tribes: Ascend Review
Our review of Tribes: Ascend, a free-to-play online shooter from Hi-Rez Studios.

Top Free Online Shooters (PC)
Free alternatives for 3D shooter fans have grown rapidly in recent years, driven in part by micro-transaction revenue models. Military settings are among the most popular, but other popular and more casual themes are finding their way into these games as well. While the graphics are often a generation or two behind retail games, the price is...

America's Army
America's Army is a free FPS game published by the U.S. Army, and it uses the Unreal graphics engine to create a remarkably authentic military simulation. Intended as a recruitment tool, it has seen a number of updates which have added new positions and maps to the game.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
SplashDamage and Activision released Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory as a free game right from the start, with no strings attached. This is an excellent multiplayer first-person shooter built on the Quake 3 engine, with solid objective-oriented gameplay and a rudimentary experience system. Get the details and download locations in this article.

Alien Arena
Steadily updated since its release in 2004, Alien Arena is a free FPS available for both Windows and Linux. The game has a healthy collection of multiplayer modes, nice graphics, and bots for those why want to try it single-player.

Battlefield Heroes
Modelled on the well-know Battlefield series, this game has an assortment of weapons and vehicles, but it takes a much more light-hearted approach. You play as either a Gunner, Soldier, or Commando in a casual and cartoony environment.

Combat Arms
Nexon specializes in free to play games supported with item malls, and Combat Arms is their first shooter. The graphics are a little behind the latest retail games, but the combat mechanics and maps are good for some fast action.

F.E.A.R. Combat
Sierra has released the multiplayer component of F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) as a free download. Sign-up for a keycode on their Web site and you can experience this graphically intense shooter for yourself. (1.8 GB)

Ghost Recon (3D Downloads)
Ubisoft has released a free, ad-supported version of their tactical shooter, Ghost Recon (543 MB), the first in the popular and ongoing series of Ghost Recon games. You'll need to register an account with Ubisoft to play.

Marathon: Aleph One
This is a classic shooter designed by Bungie for the Mac back in the early 90s. It's now available as a free download for the Mac and PC.

This open-source shooter is built on OpenGL technology using the Darkplaces engine, and is available for Windows, Linux and OSX. Nexuiz features deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture-the-flag, and domination play modes, as well as a single-player campaign.

Quake Live
This game is essentially Quake 3 Arena with extensive stats and social features, launched through a Web browser, for free. Quake Live has 50 arenas, 5 game modes, and you can practice against bots offline. A very accessible and competitive free online game.

Savage: The Battle for Newerth
An FPS/RTS hybrid that pits humanity, armed with science and technology, against the beast horde, masters of nature and magic. S2 has made the game available free of charge to promote the sequel, Savage 2: A Tortured Soul.

Savage 2: A Tortured Soul
Built on the same hybrid principle as its predecessor, Savage 2 offers improved graphics and squads with officers. Players earn experience over the course of a match to gain access to a variety of bonus abilities.

Starsiege: Tribes
As a method of promoting Tribes Vengeance, Vivendi Universal Games has made the original Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 available as free downloads. (135 MB)

Tremulous is a free FPS with RTS-like building elements. Humans take on aliens in an effort to destroy each other's spawn structures. Available for Windows and Linux, it's built on the Quake 3 engine, and it has gathered a considerable following since its 2006 release.

Tribes 2 (FilePlanet)
An excellent sci-fi shooter that was among the first to offer usable vehicles and put an emphasis on gameplay. It's being offered as a free download through FilePlanet (registration required).

Urban Terror
Originally a mod for Quake 3, Urban Terror is now available as a stand-alone FPS you can download and play for free. It leans toward realism and offers plenty of fast-paced action.

War Rock
Similar in some respects to Battlefield 2, War Rock is a free first-person shooter that features modern vehicular combat. Your character is persistent, and as you achieve higher ranks you unlock new equipment. War Rock is supported through the sale of gameplay enhancing items and services.

This online shooter in based on QFusion, which is an enhanced version of the Quake 2 engine. It has a sci-fi theme and is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

World of Padman
This unusual free shooter is based on a cartoon character named Padman from early game magazines. Its appearance is true to the comic, and you'll also find yourself armed with amusing weapons like water balloons and water guns.

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