Thinking back two console generations ago, I can instantly recall fond memories of lurking through the shadows and patrolling the corridors of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow’s multiplayer mode, Spies vs. Mercenaries. The mode divided a small group of players into the two aforementioned teams. Both the spies and mercenaries came equipped with their own set of abilities and gear. The mercenaries were tasked with preventing the spies from completing certain objectives, and the spies needed to sneak in and out without being killed. Once the game started, a heart-pounding game of cat-and-mouse ensued, with the spies darting in and out of the shadows and the mercenaries trying to hunt them down.

Of Guards and Thieves takes the core of the Spies vs. Mercenaries game mode and simplifies it into a less-complex, but just as engaging, concept. With the game’s open Beta in full swing, I gave Of Guards and Thieves a download and proceeded to let it sneak off with a few hours of my evening.

 

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I was surprised to find a handful of servers very active when I first logged in. A common problem that multiplayer-only indie games have is that sometimes they have trouble sustaining a community because no one plays because no one else is online. Of Guards and Thieves’ server population was an immediate indication of the fun I was about to get into.

The game was super easy to pick up and play. The WASD keys are used for movement, and the mouse is used to aim, with the use of the E and R keys to activate light switches and reload weaponry respectively. If a player dies within the round they respawn in after a few seconds. This helps keep a game that may only have 3-4 players feeling very active, and keeps players on their toes.

The open Beta also features a zombies vs. survivors mode where one team has guns, and the other team only has their melee attacks, but more health. It’s a fun little diversion from the main game that I’m sure will continue to gain in popularity as Of Guards and Thieves population grows.

If you’re looking for a quick and free game to play right now, the open Beta for Of Guards and Thieves is your best option. It’s a great little game that has the potential to grow.

Download the open Beta from Of Guards and Thieves’ official website.