I’ve resisted Playstation Plus to this point, mainly because I didn’t really care about most of the benefits. Cloud saves? Meh. Background updating? Meh. Discounts? Meh.
This month, though, they’re giving away 12 games to subscribers. The only catch is that you’re essentially “renting” these games – if your PS+ subscription expires, you can’t play anymore. Still, for $6/mo times three months, (the shortest subscription period) $18 seems worth it to play 12 games, and I can probably easily chew through 1 a week.
So let’s see what’s on offer, and what I thought, shall we?
I’ve gotten about 10-15 hours into this game, and it’s pretty good. The same things that annoyed me about the first one bother me here – for one, there’s no aim assist. This makes shooting anything at a distance a real test of patience. Climbing tall buildings doesn’t feel nearly as smooth or fluid as in the Assassin’s Creed series, which makes me sad. The moral choices overall feel really silly. The evil options are just so evil that it’s not even worth considering them. Aside from these issues, which are really only minor gripes, I’m really enjoying the game.
Little Big Planet 2
I expected a “kiddie” platformer, and I got something way deeper. It’s not the most complex game on record, but each world manages to feel unique, and fun at the same time. There’s quite a few frustrating moments, which makes me feel like the kiddie elements are only skin deep. I can’t imagine a kid playing this game from start to finish as their first video game. Then again, I cut my teeth on Super Mario Brothers, so perhaps I’m underestimating the next generation of gamers… :)
Overall, it’s fun while it lasts, but once beaten I found very little reason to continue playing. It seems like the kind of game where you could get a lot of mileage out of user generated content, if you were so inclined.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
This game is optimized for a co-op experience, unlike the other R&C titles. As I was playing it solo, I found the fixed camera angles and the simplified combat to be limiting rather than beneficial. It’s still a decent title, but I wouldn’t mention it in the same breath as the Ratchet and Clank “Future” games.
Warhammer 40k: Space Marine
A really generic and bland third person shooter. Maybe if I gave a crap about the setting I’d be interested in it, but I just couldn’t get past about the third or fourth level. I’ve done the “run down this corridor and kill monsters with your gun and melee weapon” enough times already.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
This is another game that just failed to really grab me. It’s a top-down platforming puzzler, and I understand it’s pretty good in co-op.
I played this all the way through, but I was more or less unimpressed. It’s sort of billing itself as “underground” and more artistic than perhaps other titles, and it’s got some unique gameplay mechanics. But mostly all of this is squandered. The 2D art is top notch, and the animations are good looking and impressive. However, the 3D environments, models, and textures are terrible. The music, likewise, is good. However, there’s just 2 4 minute tracks that loop, and loop poorly. The gameplay mechanics are interesting, except that they’re confusing and poorly explained within the game. Overall, it feels like a game that really needed a bit more polish before release.
Just Cause 2 & Saint’s Row 2
I’ve beaten both of these games previously, and I highly recommend them. Both are open-world 3rd person shooters, and they are easily the most fun you can have in this genre.
… and the rest
Virtua Fighter 5’s also in this mix, but I have little to no interest in it. Hard Corps: Uprising is a Contra title, which is another series that I’ve not invested much time in, so I may give it a shot, but it’s low priority. Choplifter HD is in that same boat. Finally, Zombie Apocalypse, which I read bad reviews of, and honestly I just don’t really need another zombie title, thanks.
Overall, I’d say this Plus deal was worth my investment. I’d have paid $18 for just the Ratchet and Clank, Little Big Planet, and inFAMOUS titles alone. Giving the others a chance was just icing on the cake. Plus, the way I understand it, there may be more freebies to come before my 3 months is up…