Rising Eagle Keeps the Future Free
Rising Eagle is up to version 1.3.1, and is still keeping the future free, at least in the monetary sense of the word. Invasion Interactive's multiplayer first-person shooter is available free online.
Rising Eagle takes place in 2040, and puts you in the middle of future conflicts that remind you of today's world. You can build your character, rise in rank, and earn medals and awards, as you fight for the U.S. Marines, the Peoples' Liberation Army Marines (China,) or a future European Federation force. Full immersion in future warfare is grounded in extrapolation from the present, whether it be the recently added Gaza scenarios, or the weapons that range from present-day AKs and M-16s to kill-anything future firepower. Familiar snipers and riflemen do what you would expect. The futuristic armored battle engineers are walking semi-mechanized armories, and battle-hackers use their cyber-skills to turn enemy turrets to their squad's advantage.
The gamer goes from hotspot to hotspot in exoskeletal armor to kill people that haven't been born yet, fighting within a squad comprising the various player classes. The action is in first-person, meaning the player sees the battlefield from the point of view of a single soldier, and you fight alongside or against other gamers in your local area network or over the internet. Given the game's squad combat structure, the combat moves along amazingly well, considering the number of networked gamers involved.
Rising Eagle sacrifices visual virtuosity in favor of some innovative "feel"; you can destroy buildings and incidental objects, so nothing feels like it's set decoration. The squad structure guarantees that successful teamwork can rule the battlefield, and the game tracks your achievements reliably, adding the element of great-warrior bravado that many a gamer craves.
If you like your future fast-paced and plausible, you'll get hooked on Rising Eagle.