Sony’s PlayStation Plus is a subscription-based service that allows members to get weekly and monthly access to discounted games on the PlayStation Network, as well as the occasional free game. Sony has calculated that the $50/year service has granted thousands of dollars in savings.
Everyone loves free games, but nobody likes a free game that’s a piece of HDD-hogging garbage. “In PlayStation Plus We Trust” is a new weekly feature outlining the new free addition(s) to the Instant Game Collection to help you decide whether that newest freebie in the Store is worth your time.
This week, we look at a game that was put down, then resurrected, and went on to kick a ton of ass: Sleeping Dogs.
Sleeping Dogs is really, really awesome. The game started as another entry in the trashily-entertaining True Crime series before being cancelled by Activision and subsequently picked up by Square Enix. It’s such a good thing that they did—Sleeping Dogs is not only a solid open-world game, it’s a strongly-written adventure that packs a multitude of impressively diverse gameplay systems under one umbrella without allowing any of them to overshadow each other.
The game follows an undercover police officer named Wei Shen and his infiltration of the gangs of Hong Kong. Things get nastier as Shen makes new friends and enemies, and double-crosses and betrayals start to pile up. Even a passing glance at the game’s systems make it clear that it lifts mechanics from games like Arkham City, Just Cause, and Max Payne, but they all click together so well it’s hard to fault it. The hand-to-hand martial arts combat feels fantastic, and the driving feels darn near perfect. The pulpy story was one of the best of the year and makes the game absolutely worth seeing through to the end.
There’s really only one reason why you wouldn’t want to download the game, and that is that the game is a pretty hefty 7GB, which isn’t terrible but might necessitate some deleting of other games and files if you want to play it. Luckily, it’s worth it. This stands with Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto as one of the great open world games.
Verdict: Must Play
One sale this week.
Papo & Yo
An allegory for drug addiction takes the form of a boy and his nasty-looking bestie in a puzzle platformer that most critics seem to agree soars in story but falters in gameplay. Still, if strong atmosphere and a compelling connection between the game’s events & characters and the game creator’s own experiences with living with an addict sound interesting, the 25% off sale (down to $8.99) might be worth it.