Since the launch of the PS4, and the introduction of free-to-play games on that console what has been offered has varied in quality. For the most part you'll find games that don't shy away from asking for money for in-game micro-transactions, and that at some point demand such a purchase for you to really be able to make the most of your experience with it. Games which are sometimes mere mobile games by nature, and other times games that harbor a richer and more elaborate presentation. I've found a few gems among the free-to-play games library, and some games not worth returning to. I think the greatest disappointment of all for me was finding at floor 23 of Grasshopper Manufacture's "Let it Die" that the boss residing there was such a deliberate overpowered sponge that you had to either pay up for extra tries/lives or not get much further. It was such a problem that I deleted the game from my console out of sheer frustration. I believe, as a gamer, that there needs to be a balance when it comes to a free-to-play games' gameplay. There needs to be a way to play through it without paying, and a good reason to pay the developer outside of the base game offerings. The latter need possibly being tied to DLC of the exclusive/cosmetic sort which does not produce a pay to win situation. There also needs to be a fairness in regards to the free progression. It can't be too tedious/grind heavy, or the developer risks losing a majority of it's player base. The player needs to feel that they are properly rewarded for their time invested regardless of whether or not they've paid for anything within the game.
Recently while continuing to sample, and search for that fabled, and worthy free-to-play game on the PS4 I stumbled upon "Orcs Must Die! Unchained". Together with my gamer friend 'Trouble' we played through, and discovered the game's potential. At base level the game has a fun co-op experience that can be shared with up to three players at a time. Not only that but the game offers plenty to unlock, and upgrade as well as a competitive guild system where you and your created guild can compete for the top spot on the game's global leaderboards. Obviously the game does offer paid for items, but most, if not all of what can be bought can be purchased with some dedicated play time. I think the fun factor makes the grind less bothersome, and in turn negates the need to really pay real money for anything. I will say that the game isn't perfect yet, and does have it's issues, but hopefully the developer fixes things with some patches.
For those of you curious as to what "Orcs Must Die! Unchained" entails it is a class based hero style game where you, and up to two other friends join together in wave based combat to kill armies of orcs. There is an interesting variety of heroes to play as, and unlock using one of the games two currency types. Character classes include the usual brawler, tank, ranged, and support types. Each character also has their own unique set of abilities, and can use a variety of different upgradeable traps to slow down the progress of orc minions and bosses to the home portal. Along with those basics you'll find cosmetic skins you can by as well as character colors, and even paid for premium items. The game rewards you with a daily login in prize as well as with chests for successfully completing any of the game's modes. Modes include 'Survival', 'Sabotage', and 'Endless'. The end goal of each being uniquely different. Survival, for example, has one to three players trying to stop six waves of enemies to earn a star rating, and rewards for your efforts. You set traps using trap currency, and attack the enemy mobs as they attempt to advance through your traps to the portal at the entrance of the map. The 'Endless' mode is different in that you are basically seeing how many waves you can survive before you die. You get no respawns, and in the higher rounds minion modifiers will come into play to make the challenge more difficult. As far as 'Sabotage' goes it seems to be the guild versus mode where you earn a ranking among other skilled guilds. Lastly, there is also a 'Weekly Challenge' where you compete with specific characters, and trap loadouts to try, and survive a set number of orc waves. As with 'Sabotage' there is a global leaderboard listing for it as well.
Along with the previously mentioned free-to-play game I've also begun my playthrough of "Marvel Heroes Omega". As friends have told me it's like a poor man's Diablo. It harbors similar RPG elements as the Diablo games including gear sets, abilities, and multiple modes that will have you grinding for items, and currency to build upon your favorite Marvel superheroes and heroines. So far I'm liking the story of Doctor Doom using the chaos crystal for his own devious plan. The only shortcomings I've noticed is that the art isn't as impressive as that of the Marvel comics, and that the gameplay is a bit simple in some regards. I think the grind for gear, loot, and characters will be this game's most attractive features going forward. That, and the multiplayer aspect of it. If you like the Diablo games, and Marvel comics you might just find this game worth downloading.