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4 free-to-play PC games that promise action nirvana coming in 2023

Exploration is the name of the game in Wayfinder. (Image Source: Digital Extremes)
Exploration is the name of the game in Wayfinder. (Image Source: Digital Extremes)
It's that time of year again, when game sales seem to lull, and studios take a break from announcing major new releases or developments. Not to worry though, as there is more than enough on the gaming horizon to deliver some heavenly adrenalin for those in need of an action fix.

1. Blue Protocol

Blue Protocol is an anime-themed MMORPG being developed by Bandai Namco and published by Amazon Games. The game seems to be equal parts JRPG and spectacle fighter. The story, which takes place in the open-world continent of Magna, and it involves time travel, space-time distortions, and vicious enemies borne of human hubris.

Blue Protocol allows players to choose from five character classes and is set to feature solid character customisation and progression. From the looks of it, the combat seems to be fluid and diverse — blending ranged and melee combat using a variety of weapons and abilities — while the polished anime graphics set it apart in a game industry obsessed with realism.

While the developer initially planned a Japan-only release, more recent blog posts reveal that the game will come to Steam in North America, South America, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand as well. You can keep tabs on the Steam page for a late-2023 release and check out the Blue Protocol Twitter account for updates.

2. Synced

Synced is a fast-paced, 3D, action, roguelite shooter developed by NExT Studios and slated for release later in 2023. Synced sees players dropped into a hostile world taken over by deadly creatures called Nanos that consume humans to reproduce. There are six characters to choose from, each with their own abilities, playstyle, and backstory, allowing you to do things like heal your allies, take control of the enemy, and even see through walls. Synced is set to feature both PvP and PvE match types, with a variety of enemies and weapons and a focus on gunplay and ability-based combat.

Check out the Synced Steam page to learn more and catch the release in Q3 of 2023.

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3. Wuthering Waves

Another open-world, anime-themed title, this time developed by Kuro Games, Wuthering Waves tasks players with exploring and rebuilding a ruined world after a disaster called The Calament. Kuro hasn't revealed much else about the story, but the gameplay looks intriguing, with a strong focus on melee and abilities, which presumably vary based on the character. The superb mobility allows players to grapple and swing from various objects, glide through the air, and use their abilities and strikes to gain a vertical advantage during fights. Both combat and exploration appear to be engaging and rewarding, but it remains to be seen how well a game designed for mobile translates to PC.

Wuthering Waves is coming to PC, Android, and iOS, later in 2023, and it seems to be worth keeping an eye on, as long as the developer can steer clear of the usual mobile cash-grabs.

4. Wayfinder

Wayfinder is a colourful, character-based, co-op MMORPG coming to Steam later in 2023. Players command one of six diverse heroes on their adventures. From Wingrave, the strong, venerable knight armed with sword and shield, to the more sinister assassin, Niss — there's something for everyone. Wayfinders go on expeditions and hunts into the world corrupted by an enemy called The Gloom, to explore new areas, battle monsters, and find materials to upgrade and replace their gear.

The visuals of Wayfinder are akin to a beautified Paladins, while the combat looks to be smooth and entertaining, with special moves and abilities, larger-than-life weapons, and unique playstyles that you can develop as you progress.

The relatively small development studio responsible for Wayfinder was previously known for the highly-rated Ruined King and Darksiders Genesis, which goes to show the team knows its way around combat and storytelling. Wayfinder is set for a closed beta in May of 2023, which you can sign up for on the game's website, and a full release later on in the same year. Check out Wayfinder's Steam page for more hype.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 03 > 4 free-to-play PC games that promise action nirvana coming in 2023
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-03-29 (Update: 2023-03-29)