If you’re not yet played Battlefield 4 on PC yet, you’re in luck: as of RIGHT NOW, EA is letting you try the full game, completely free, for seven days, along with a rather under-rated title, Kingdoms of Amalur.

That’s because both titles are on the new Game Time programme that gives gamers a limited number of hours with some of EA’s games. All you need is to be a user of EA’s much-maligned Origin client (their version of Steam, basically) and to click on the “Free Games” tab at the top, and then Game Time. If you’re not already using Origin, you’re but a quick download and free sign-up away.

You’ll be taken to a page where you can download the games, and then from the time they are launched, you have a limited amount of time to play them, completely gratis.

Both games offer different periods of free play: you get a week of free time to play Battlefield, which starts counting down from the moment you click Play, and 48 hours of continuous playtime with Amalur (so two days to play it as much or as little as you want, not 48 hours of total in-game time). Fortunately that’s more than enough to finish Battlefield 4’s six-hour single-player campaign and get a taste for its online action, and  almost enough to see everything Amalur has to offer as it’s quite a large, epic RPG with enough content to keep you going for 50 hours or more.

New, better EA

EA continues to impress with this new, far more gamer-friendly approach to getting their stuff “out there”, and while I don’t like Origin nearly as much as I do Steam, it’s nice to see EA being a little more flexible with their marketing strategies.

Game Time is a new feature launched by EA a little while back, but South Africans haven’t had much use out it since the first game they put on the programme was Titanfall, which EA decided not to release here despite pretty good feedback around the alpha test many local gamers took part in, me included.

Curiously, we’ve been seeing articles online about EA’s other new promotion mechanism, On the House, offering Wing Commander III for free instead of Peggle 2, but so far every time I’ve checked Origin, it tells me Peggle 2 is still the game de jour. That’s probably because WCIII, despite being an old-school EA classic that everyone should play, isn’t in our local Origin store. Sad face.

So fire up Origin and go grab two pretty good games if you don’t already own them, and have yourselves a brilliant gaming weekend.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.