We’ve reached the end of the year already. Looking back over Sony’s 2018 it’s difficult to tell which was the best month. The choices of games included with the PS Plus membership is always going to divide audiences. My personal highlights would be June (XCOM 2 and Trials Fusion for PS4 / Zombie Driver and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier for PS3) or August (Mafia III and Dead by Daylight for PS4 / Bound by Flame and Serious Sam 3 for PS3)
We’ve only got a few months left of free games for PS3 and PS Vita – In February 2018, Sony annouced that support for the PS3 and PS Vita would come to an end on 8th March 2019. Here’s hoping we get a few great titles to send them off in proper fashion! Anway, onto the PS Plus games for December 2018;
Onrush is a relatively new game, and was only released in June 2018 by Codemasters / published by Deep Silver. The best description I could suggest for Onrush is ‘Burnout meets Motorstorm’ – Fast paced, finger constantly on boost, vehicular combat. There’s a decent selection of varied racing environments, with just enough obstables and hazards to smash your opponents into (or boost headfirst into). Propel your vehicle from a ramp and strategically land on your rival, or more likely by sheer luck, for a satisfying ‘Crushed’ takedown.
Onrush certainly doesn’t have the character of Burnout’s pinnacle era – Takedown and Revenge, however it is a solid arcade racer. Definitely worthy of a download this month.
SOMA is a sci-fi horror game from Frictional Games, the developers of the truly terrifying Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
SOMA throws you right in the deep end with little explanation of how to progress. The story of the protagonist progresses through the interactive environment, with anxiety inducing noises and controller vibration pointing you in the right direction. The developers crafted a brilliant combination of sound design, lighting effects and futuristic underwater facility to create suspense.
It would be a disservice to simply label SOMA as a ‘walking simulator’ type game. There are elements of stealth, exploration and puzzle solving which intersperse the dialogue. SOMA is missing traditional action elements, which is where ‘walking sim’ descriptor holds some weight. That probably adds to the genuinely scary atmosphere which the game instills in the player. An unexpected highlight of the month!
Steredenn was released in 2015 by developer Pixelnest Studio and is a rogue like arcade space shoot ’em up. The game is a challenging side scrolling shooter, featuring 2D pixel art graphics and a variety of spaceship enemy designs. Upgrade weapons and boosts as you progress throught the missions.
Steredenn doesn’t reinvent the wheel on this release but it is a fun game. The boss fights at the end of each level are frustrating, each with a pattern of attacks to defend against.
Recommended for fans of R Type and Gradius shoot ’em ups.
Steins;Gate is part of the ‘Science Adventure’ series of Japanese visual novel video games, which has also been adapted into an anime tv series and manga comics. As the description suggests, the game’s story is presented through the on screen text. Very little interaction is required from the player, or more appropriately, the reader, other than limited choices which affect the ending of the game.
Recommended for fans of anime / manga / visual novel type games, however I really couldn’t get excited for this one.
Iconoclasts (PS4 Cross Buy)
Iconoclasts was impressively created by developed Joakim Sandberg over the course of seven years, and was released in 2018 to favourable reviews on Steam and Metacritic.
Iconoclasts is a 2D, 16 bit action platformer reminiscent of a Metroidvania style gameplay. Play as the protagonsit Robin, a young female mechanic, weilding a stun gun and wrench and explore a puzzling, enemy filled world. There are over 20 boss battles spread throughout an impressive play time. We’ve had quite a few similar styled platformers this year as part of PS Plus, however I’d rate Iconoclasts as one of the better additions.
Papers, Please is an indie game developed by Lucas Pope, released in 2013. Play as an immigration inspector checking identification documents: figure out who is a spy, smuggler or terrorist amongst the immigrants presenting at the checkpoint. Papers, Please has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam since release.
Join us next month for the January installment of PS Plus games!
Check out our previous PS Plus reviews here.