MOBA games are all the rage nowadays, and with hit games like League of Legends causing an uproar in the free-to-play segment, the genre is gaining more and more fans each day. Several studios are betting on the popularity of free to play MOBA games to continue and are trying their hand at claiming their share of players. Here at MMO Attack we want to keep you up to date on the hottest free games, so we chose the top 5 free MOBA Games to play for 2012!
5. Rise of Immortals
Petroglyph Games developed and published this MOBA title and was able to get distribution on Steam. The game is heavily inspired by the Dota model, with both PvE and PvP styles to allow players to find the right amount of competition and gameplay that they need. Rise of Immortals takes the character-based leveling model so that players can focus on one hero (or “immortal”) and bring them up through the ranks with an extremely complex and fulfilling character trait system.
Like a few other MOBA games on the market, Rise of Immortals features a social region that allows players to bring out their avatars and show off their rankings and their enhancements in an avatar-chat setting. Both PvP and PvE game types model themselves off Dota and involve mutli-lane maps, towers, minions, inhibitors, and gameplay that anyone who plays a MOBA will know well.
Hi-Rez Studios (also known for their shooters Tribes Ascend and Global Agenda) is getting into the MOBA market with their soon-to-be-released free to play game SMITE. According to the developers, the game is also heavily based on the Dota-styled gameplay and takes advantage of the Unreal 3 engine to produce beautiful graphics and provide a fast-paced, blazing-glory MOBA game.
The game will have a strong base in mythology and takes hints from from Greek, Hindu, Northern European, and Western folklore. The Unreal 3 graphics engine makes every video from this game a beautiful sight to see and demonstrates the game as being more up close and personal rather than a distant vantage point as seen in other MOBAs.
3. Bloodline Champions
This MOBA has already come with a series of accolades like “Game of the Year” and “Winner XNA” in the 2009 Swedish Game Awards. The game was developed by Stunlock Studios and is published by Funcom, and was released in North America in 2011. Bloodline Champions has three game modes and is fought between two factions of up to five players each.
As a class-based MOBA there are four archetypical champions to choose from. There are melee attack, ranged attack, healing/support, and tank defense classes available. Among these there are 25 bloodlines with six champions in each category. Each bloodline provides a set of abilities and this benefits from the skill and choice of the player. Once a champion goes down, they stay down until the end of the round.
2. Heroes of Newerth
Heroes of Newerth is developed and published by S2 Games and it has seen a lot of critical acclaim and a great deal of popularity. As a MOBA it reached over 100,000 concurrent players as of March 2012, and it has seen over 12.3 million downloads since being released. The game started out as a buy-to-play but turned into a proper free-to-play online game as of July 2011. It has all the elements necessary to be a strong contender in the MOBA market, with over 101 heroes, a Dota style of gameplay, and a vast player base to meet on the battlefield.
This MOBA runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux making it a highly accessible game. It’s touted as a sci-fi / fantasy type game due to the immense array of heroes available. Many of them have skins and alternate looks that can be bought via microtransactions. Like the usual MOBA it has a few maps which players can test their might against one another.
1. League of Legends
As the undisputed king of the free to play MOBA market, League of Legends by Riot Games stands tall against the hoards of contenders. Since it’s open beta in October 2009 it has received accolades and adulation from a multitude of players. In 2011, League of Legends received a Golden Joystick Award for Best Free-to-Play Game; in 2010 the 1st Game Developers Online Choice Awards Audience Award from Gamastutra (among many); and an award from IGN and Gamespy in 2009.
League of Legends today is still the king of the free to play MOBAs. Any contenders that dare enter the market are looking take on and to beat League of Legends. LoL uses a microtransactions freemium model to draw in users who want access to the champion of their choice and to customize their look. This choice has seen Riot Games a lot of favor and done them extremely well.
The game boasts tons of champions to choose from, an array of game modes, and a familiar Dota game style and maps. As an online game they have also gotten into the eSports arena with ladder rankings, providing a chance for excellent players to complete in “$100,000 Global Finals” at the end of each season. They participated in the 2010 World Cyber Games in Los Angeles and the Dreamhack World Championships in 2011.
We hope you enjoy our Top 5 free MOBA Games to Play in 2012 and don’t forget to share what you think will be the best free to play MOBA Games with us in the comments!
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