The PlayStation Offerings 6/20/14: La Dolce Vita
Every month, PlayStation Plus subscribers can download select games for free through the service as part of what PlayStation calls its "Instant Game Collection." Almost all gaming websites report on the free games given monthly to PS+ subscribers - that’s good; the more people that know what’s headed their way, the better. We do, too, but with a twist.
I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the games offered through PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection. The Offerings features the games currently available and, at a glance, the average rating of each game (via Metacritic), average time to complete each game (via HowLongToBeat's combined average times), and a breakdown of available Trophies by type (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). This gives you quick access to see if a game is well received, if it's something bite-sized or if it's meaty enough to sink one's teeth into, and an idea of what Trophy gains are available (if that's your thing).
Before digging any deeper with all this, I want to apologize for not getting The Offerings out the past couple weeks. I was preparing for and completing a change of residence, as well as trying to observe E3 from afar. (Did you even check out Short Pause's coverage of the event? It was pretty great if I do say so myself, though I'm pretty sure I speak for the whole Short Pause staff when I say that.)
Sony is weeding out the older games it's still offering before switching over to the new PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection format, so these are the last few days you have to freely grab Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, and WipEout 2048, along with the recently added Limbo.
Terraria is often described as a side-scrolling Minecraft. Terraria was first released in Asia and had taken the region by storm. I have played neither Minecraft nor Terraria, but I know many who have been struck by the creative build-your-own-world nature of both. With Terraria offered for free to Vita owners at the moment, there's never been a better time to see if this style of game suits you. I know I'll be jumping in just to nab those common Trophies, but something tells me (based on the critical response) that this is the type of game in which I'll probably get lost. I'll let y'all know how that goes.
The Chopping Block
When Sony announced that PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection was finally making its way to the Vita, the service launched with three of the biggest titles available: Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and WipEout 2048. These three games are now leaving together next week, so download them while you can.
Gravity Rush is a third person, 3D action-adventure game with mega-emphasis on the 3D part. Mega-emphasis (not just regular emphasis) is due to how the player can, for a short time, manipulate gravity and reselect which direction they consider as "down." This gives the main character, Kat, the ability to attack enemies or solve light puzzles from just about any perspective. The game is a lot of fun and many of the Trophies are obtainable with ease. For gamers who want to sink their teeth into some quick, on-the-go challenges, Gravity Rush has them in spades and one could go nuts trying to earn a gold rating on each challenge (there's a Gold Trophy for those who can).
As expressed elsewhere on Short Pause, I love the Uncharted games. Despite enjoying Golden Abyss almost as much as Drake's Fortune (probably my favorite in the series), I still have not completed it (I ran out of ammo a chapter or two before the chapter I'm stuck on and I'm left in quite the precarious position). The biggest complaint I have with the Vita entry is the one most people seemed to take issue with: The game tries to make use of all of the Vita's unique input methods (touch screen, cameras). It works within the context of what Drake is doing in-game, but it's superfluous and takes gamers out of the moment.
Then there's the Trophies. I like my Trophies quick and easy, though I don't mind putting in a little work for some of them (I often play multiplayer games by myself with two controllers turned on). Some of the Trophies in Uncharted: Golden Abyss rely purely on random drops that fallen foes provide - Trophies like this irk me, as there's no guarantee the enemies will drop the necessary item.
It also starts with my #1 favorite video game track of all-time (#2 on our list), so there's that.
WipEout 2048 is the last entry in the long-running, futuristic racing franchise. This standalone Vita game has a life all its own, but also takes everything from its PS3 counterpart (WipEout HD/Fury) and spectacularly crams it into this beautiful little package. Not only does the game look and play the part, it also plays nice with the PS3 titles making it the first game to have true Cross-Play functionality.
I've always appreciated the WipEout games, but I've also always sucked at them. That said, you'll have to be good if you want to obtain most of the Trophies the game has to offer.
The last game to leave us has already received its praise when it joined us just a few short weeks ago; Limbo is great. Get it now - and for free - before it's too late.
I'll be updating The PlayStation Offerings monthly - as the new games roll out, or if any significant changes should occur. In the meantime, let's talk! Let me know in the comments if there's any information you'd like to see included in this feature.