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 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 get treated to the totally awesome Hitman: Absolution.
Okay, this game is awesome. There aren’t a lot of games that truly make you feel like a badass, but Splinter Cell Conviction, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and this are some of the ones that come quickly to mind. At its heart, this is still classic Hitman, but there are some additions and improvements to the gameplay, including a Conviction-esque mark-and-execute feature, the ability to forsee the paths of enemies, and some light QTE segments and contextual actions. It makes for a game that looks really good and controls like a dream. This entry strays slightly away from its serial predecessors with a few smaller levels and a more agile, deadly Agent 47. IO certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel with Conviction–just streamlined it a bit.
This is 47’s most personal mission to date, as he has to protect and discover the whereabouts of people close to him involved with his late handler. That means that some of the missions service the story instead of give a straight assassination target, but the game is much stronger, story-wise, for it. It’s still packed with the same pick-your-method gameplay the series is known for, and boasts some extremely strong production values. Those that found the older games too daunting will find a cleaner game here as well. And, of course, you’ll feel like a badass.
Verdict: Must Download
EscapeVektor (Vita) – $3.99
This isn’t just shovelware; EscapeVektor has been getting fantastic reviews across the board for its flashy visuals, chiptunes soundtracks, and Pac-Man-esque maze navagation. Guide Vektor through the maze of a computer’s CPU, dodging evil programs and using speed boosts and bomb blasts to navigate your escape. This one’s on sale for $3.99, and I might go for it.
Wicked Monsters Blast! HD – $1.00
This appears to be an arcade-y mix of light gun shooter and party game. It looks to have a lot of little mini games, different variations on vanilla shooting, and colorful visuals. I’d assume this requires PlayStation Plus to play, but that’s assuming that you’d even want to purchase it in the first place. It looks middling at best, but $1 is not much of a loss if it sucks.
Superfrog HD (Cross Buy) – $7.99
This is hailed as a classic side-scroller, something one might scoff at before realizing this is actually a reimagining of a 1993 game. Superfrog HD oozes nostalgia if the screenshots are any indication, and they seem very colorful and engaging. This game supports Cross-Buy, so get it on PS3 to get another copy on Vita (or vice versa). There’s also a level editor, and endless mode, as well as the ability to use the Vita as a PS3 controller that shows “secrets” (whatever that means) on its screen. I’ll be honest–at $7.99, I’m tempted.
Rayman (Various Titles)
This is where your money should go this week. Pretty much all of the notable Rayman games are on sale today, and now is a good time to stock up on any that you’ve been wanting. I’m not entirely sure how well the ludicrously classic Rayman 2 stacks up on the PS3, but Rayman 3 HD was a good update to a pretty good game, and I’d say it’s worth the price, just as Rayman 2 is worth the risk. Rayman 2: Revolution is a slightly-updated version of The Great Escape, retooled and supplemented very slightly for when the game re-released on the PS2. They’re two very similar versions of a fantastic game. Also fantastic is Rayman Origins, an infectiously delightful 2D platformer. Seriously, just buy Rayman Origins if you haven’t. The less that is said about the hideous Arena, the better.
Game Title Normal Price Sale Price PS Plus Price Rayman Origins $19.99 $9.99 $5.00 Rayman 3 HD $9.99 $4.99 $2.50 Rayman Origins PS Vita $26.99 $13.49 $6.75 Rayman Arena $9.99 $4.99 $2.50 Rayman 2 Revolution $9.99 $4.99 $2.50 Rayman 2: The Great Escape $5.99 $2.99 $1.50 Rayman $5.99 $2.99 $1.50
That’s all for this week’s perks! Check back next week for a new round of goodies!