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Free Games: ‘Vampyr’, Gettin' Gunky, And A Festive Cave Story

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Free Games: ‘Vampyr’, Gettin' Gunky, And A Festive Cave Story

It's Christmas! I hope you're getting the chance to rest up - it's been a long ol' year. As you read this, I'm likely ruining my own day with copious amounts of wine and chocolate like some kind of ridiculous villain of an ancient parable. It's been a great one for gaming though, right? From Hitman 3 to Halo Infinite, there's been a whole lot to get stuck into.

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If you need that one last bit of festive gaming glory though, look no further. Before you log off and carve that nut roast, take a moment to enjoy the final foray into free games and new subscription additions for this festive season. It's the last gift at the bottom of your stocking - the one you thought Santa didn't remember.

Vampyr / Credit: Focus Home Interactive
Vampyr / Credit: Focus Home Interactive

Immortal Festivity Courtesy Of Epic Games Store

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Remember how Epic Games have been giving away a free game a day since last week? There's been a whole lot on offer, but if you miss the day they're on offer, you miss out for good. Since last week's Shenmue III offering, the bangers have been coming thick and fast. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Neon Abyss, and even Loop Hero have been freebies direct from Epic to your library.

Unfortunately, you've missed out on those free games if you didn't get them on the day. But don't fret! I have just the solution for your haggard soul. How about immortality and a curse, the choice between helping those you promised to help or embracing the monster within you?

Sound good? If so, Vampyr is the game for you. And it’s on the Epic Games Store as the freebie for (UK time, this is) December 23rd into the 24th. Be quick! It'll only be free for a single day. (And if you’re really quick, you might be able to grab Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden while it’s going for nothing, before the offer switches to ol' neck sucker over there.)

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You play as a newly turned bloodsucker, who happens to be a doctor with patients he needs to save. Those patients have some delicious-looking blood coursing through their veins though, and they're probably going to die anyway, right?

Developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, the studio behind the Life is Strange franchise, it became a bit of a cult hit when it was first released back in 2018. It's a fascinating adventure with gruesome villains to fight too. 1918 London is a wreck, and it's your job to resurrect or condemn it. Head to the Epic Games Store right away to claim this, before it’s gone.

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Broken Age / Credit: Double Fine Productions
Broken Age / Credit: Double Fine Productions

Pointing And Clicking On Game Pass

Broken Age is free this Christmas! Available for no extra cost on Xbox and PC Game Pass, this point-and-click adventure is as charming now as it was back when its first act originally came out in 2014.

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Directed by industry great Tim Schafer and starring the likes of Jack Black, Elijah Wood, and Masasa Moyo, Broken Age is the kind of game you could huddle around and play with the whole family, no matter their age and gaming experience. That's something I'd struggle to say about Vampyr and its gruesome environment.

While Broken Age stands up on its own merits, it notably brought crowdfunding to the mainstream as a genuinely viable alternative to the old-school publisher-funded form of getting a project off the ground. Its Kickstarter raised over $3.4m, which remains one of the highest totals ever seen for a video game crowd-funding campaign.

The Gunk / Credit: Thunderful
The Gunk / Credit: Thunderful

Sticking, Literally, With Game Pass, It’s Time To Get Gunky

The Gunk is out right now on Xbox and PC Game Pass. From the makers of the Steamworld franchise, The Gunk wins my award for the best-named game of the year.

It's an action-adventure title played from a third-person perspective and chucks you on an alien planet with a friend. The alien planet is a beautiful place with all kinds of unique environments, but it's in danger of being overrun by a gross slimy mass known as, you guessed it, The Gunk. You can guess the mission here then, right? Get rid of that grim gunk and restore the planet to its natural beauty!

Cave Story’s Secret Santa / Credit: Nicalis, Inc
Cave Story’s Secret Santa / Credit: Nicalis, Inc

Santa Cavey

Cave Story is a stone-cold classic. Originally released back in 2004 by solo dev Daisuke Amaya, it's a Metroidvania game that played a huge part in popularising the indie game as we know it today.

Cave Story's Secret Santa is a spin-off of the original game and is free on PC on the Steam, Epic, and GOG storefronts.

It describes itself as a “bite-sized side story of stealth and puzzle solving”, and is set before the events of the original Cave Story game. It's a fun little festive tidbit, and definitely something to quickly download and play on the sly while you're being made to watch rubbish Christmas movies or play an eighth game of charades.

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Alright, that's me for the year! I hope you've enjoyed at least some of the freebies I've put before your eyes this year, and hope to see a whole lot more of you lot when possible. My New Year's resolution will be to finish more of the games in my backlog instead of playing Football Manager constantly. It's a resolution I will fail within a day.

However your Christmas is going, I hope it's as restful and rewarding as possible. We've all had it pretty rough lately, so try to find the love and comfort you need from relatives or chosen family. Stay safe, get your booster, and listen to some Wham!.

Featured Image Credit: Focus Home Interactive, Thunderful, Nicalis Inc

Topics: Free Games, Epic Games, Steam, Xbox Game Pass, Indie Games

James Law
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