Playstation Plus: Games of August 2014

Games

As August is upon us, it’s but expected that Sony offers up a new round of free games to bless their beloved consoles and handheld. This month seems to be based on adventure, as we’re given a myriad of different games that base themselves around that premise.

A note-worthy point is that PS Plus members will be getting free access to the new game Road Not Taken, much like last year, where we were given Resogun and Contrast. It’s nice to see brand new games offered up, and we’ll have to see how worthy Road Not Taken is when it launches. For now, here’s the line-up this month.

  • Road Not Taken (PS4)

“From the creators of Triple Town, Road Not Taken is a roguelike puzzle game about surviving life’s surprises. You play as a ranger adventuring through a vast, unforgiving forest in the aftermath of a brutal winter storm, rescuing children who have lost their way. Randomly generated levels deliver a limitless supply of possibilities to explore and challenges to overcome. Your actions will influence not only your own story, but that of the villagers you hope to befriend and the town you call home.”

  • Fez  (PS4, PS3, Vita)

“Gomez is a 2D creature living in a 2D world. Or is he? When the existence of a mysterious 3rd dimension is revealed to him, Gomez is sent out on a journey that will take him to the very end of time and space. Use your ability to navigate 3D structures from 4 distinct classic 2D perspectives. Explore a serene and beautiful open-ended world full of secrets, puzzles and hidden treasures. Unearth the mysteries of the past and discover the truth about reality and perception. Change your perspective and look at the world in a different way.

  • Crysis 3 (PS3)

Players take on the role of Prophet as he returns to New York in 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. He discovers the city has been encased in a giant Nanodome created by the corrupt CELL corporation. The New York City Liberty Dome is a veritable urban rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers. Within the Liberty Dome, seven distinct and treacherous environments become known as the Seven Wonders. Prophet is said to be on a “revenge mission” after uncovering the truth behind CELL’s motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes. The citizens were told that the giant citywide structures were erected to protect the population and to clean these metropolises of the remains of the Ceph forces. In reality, the Nanodomes are CELL’s covert attempt at land and technology grab in their quest for global domination by means of debt enslavement.”

  • Proteus (PS3, Vita)

“Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surroundings. The primary means of interaction is simply your presence in the world and how you observe it.”

  • Metrico (Vita)

“Metrico is a new world. A living world filled with infographics that react directly to your movement, actions and input. Metrico invites you to explore, experiment, test your skills and most of all: think outside the box. Immerse yourself in this experience, exclusive to PlayStation Vita system, and see if you have got what it takes!”

  • Dragon’s Crown (PS3, Vita)

Dragon’s Crown is a multiplayer hack and slash beat ‘em up game with breathtaking visual style, a design built around cooperative play and epic boss fights, and the ability to discover a new adventure in every play session. Dragon’s Crown allows up to four players to team up online to clear out monster-ridden dungeons, discover precious treasure, and destroy awe-inspiring bosses.

As always, check out the official Playstation Blog for more information.

The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: Unit 13

Games

PS Vita hasn’t been the most stellar of success stories. Much of this is due to a failure to utilize its impressive potential. In the technical stakes, it’s quite the I-think-I-just-wet-myself-a-little powerhouse; in handheld console terms. But what of the most crucial factor, the games themselves?

The portable Uncharted that released with it was a bold effort, and showed that the big PlayStation franchises could translate quite well to the handheld. It’s just a shame that they haven’t been given the chance since.

While the AAA gaming elite haven’t graced the system much, it hasn’t been without quality and impressive games. One of these was slightly-late-for-launch title Unit 13.

This TPS was the last game developed by Zipper Interactive, and a system exclusive. It’s the tale of a man-tastic, studly band of special forces guys (think the helicopter drop-off scene from Predator and you’re just about there), in the fight against international threats.

Well, ‘tale’ may not be the word. There’s very little in the way of plotting to be had here. All you really get is a few lines of dialogue between missions, explaining how you’re shooting right up, where you’re shooting them right up and why you’re shooting them right up. But that’s more than enough to get us into the action.

Unit 13 2

The aforementioned action is very well done. Gameplay is of the SOCOM variety, with particularly cover-heavy combat and objectives to complete. The controls feel spot on, with a few scant touchscreen shortcuts that aren’t intrusive or shoehorned in. It all looks suitably sharp too.

There isn’t a huge crop of missions, but each offer different ‘styles’ which change the way you approach your objectives. The stealthy-stealth mode is much different to the blow-the-hell-out-of-everything-like-Arnold-Schwarzenegger mode (the real names of which elude me). There’s further replay value in leveling up your squad, each of which are better suited to certain styles of play. The frail sniper, the tanky dude, they’re all here.

The primary appeal to Unit 13 is for high score hunters, who will find more points multiplying opportunities than they know what to do with. The game was a great showcase for the Vita’s capabilities in all kinds of ways, from a technical standpoint. Another of these was the community aspect, with scoreboards and such always displayed. If you’re a shooter fan looking for that community sense, and a real challenge, this slightly obscure title is a fine way to go.

Playstation Plus: Games of July 2014

Games

It’s that time of the month again. Sony has revealed its line-up for the free games catalogue to all Playstation Plus users across all Sony platforms.

With hits like Strider and Muramasa Rebirth as freebies this month, this might be 2014’s best offering on free games so far.

Unfortunately hen you have an influx of random titles throughout the months, games like Towerfall Ascension are easy to forget or miss. This is why services like Playstation Plus and hopefully Games With Gold are so great.

Playstation 4
  • Towerfall Ascension

TowerFall Ascension is the definitive version of the hit archery combat game. Inspired by classics from the golden age of couch multiplayer, it’s a local party game centering around hilarious, intense versus matches. The core mechanics are simple and accessible, but hard to master and combat is fierce. Loot treasure chests for game-changing power-ups, master the art of catching arrows out of the air, or descend on your foes and stomp them into submission. TowerFall is best played competitively with friends, cross-legged on the floor within punching distance of each other.

  • Strider

Strider returns in a brand new adventure, complete with incredible side-scrolling action, and lightning fast combat all in a massive interconnected world! Download the full game now and become the original assassin!”

Playstation 3
  • Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 brings Isaac Clarke and merciless soldier John Carver on a journey across space to discover the source of the Necromorph outbreak. Crash-landed on the frozen planet of Tau Volantis, Isaac must comb the harsh environment for raw materials and scavenged parts. He will then put his engineering skills to the ultimate test to create and customize weapons and survival tools. Play together with a friend or alone as Isaac Clarke using the seamless new drop in, drop out co-op functionality. Each mode offers unique story elements and gameplay.”

  • Vessel

Vessel is built on an optimized liquid simulation featuring flowing water, scalding lava and steam, reactant chemicals, glowing goo, the mysterious ‘protoplasm’, and more. Each liquid has unique properties and mixes with other liquids for dramatic effects.

Playstation Vita
  • Muramasa Rebirth

From master video game developer Vanillaware comes Muramasa Rebirth, an action RPG that blends the vibrant and beautiful world of Japanese mythology and high flying, fast-paced action! Enter a world where demon, samurai and other deadly enemies vie to destroy you as you search for the fabled Demon Blades. Become the possessed princess Momohime, as you travel West, or the fugitive ninja Kisuke, as you travel East, through mythical Japan battling anyone who stands in your way.

  • Doki-Doki Universe

Embark on a journey with QT3 to discover humanity and engage with bizarre characters to learn more about them, and hopefully, learn more about yourself along the way.

As always, head on over to the official Playstation blog to get more information.

Retro Corner: MediEvil

MediEvil

Here’s a game that knows the surest path to my affections: have a craptacular pun in your title.

Cult classic MediEvil was released for the PlayStation in 1998. It’s an oddly gothic action-adventure from what is now Killzone’s Guerrilla Studios, and is often regarded as among the console’s best. Grab your sword, shield and… bizarre magical chicken leg, and we’ll take a look.

The star of the show is one Sir Daniel Fortesque, an allegedly heroic knight and commander of the forces of Gallowmere. He was killed in battle against the army of nefarious Sorcerer –and terrible-robe-wearer– Zarok. He earned his place in legend for this, and a rather fancy tomb, but it’s all FILTHY FILTHY LIES. In truth, Fortesque was a coward, and met his demise by a stray arrow while running from the battlefield.

But you know how it is. ‘Frankly, he sucked’ doesn’t look as good on a tombstone.

Anywho, it’s all moot. Upon Zarok’s return, the wicked wizard resurrected the dead of Gallowmere, to swell the ranks of his dark army once more. This also brought Sir Daniel back, and he returned desperate to atone for his suckiness and earn that reputation of his. He wipes the dust and cobwebs from his armor, puts his rusty codpiece back on, removes a stray maggot or two from his skull, and sets out to vanquish Zarok for good.

We've all had this dream. Y'know, the one where you're a blurry skeletal knight from the 90s, and a pack of equally blurry zombies were shuffling forward to chew on your eye socket?
We’ve all had this dream. Y’know, the one where you’re a blurry skeletal knight from the 90s, and a pack of equally blurry zombies were shuffling forward to chew on your eye socket?

The journey takes him from the graveyard to the sorcerer’s fortress, with a spangly ghost ship and creeptacular haunted village thrown in along the way. There are some fantastic boss battles, the Stain Glass Demon and… a forty-foot pumpkin among them. You’ll bash a big ol’ dragon in the head with a hammer, a la Ocarina of Time’s Volvagia. You’ll be shrunk to Borrower size and explore an ant’s nest. You’ll throw that magic chicken leg at zombies to convert them into health-restoring roast chicken. What’s not to like?

As macabre as the story and setting may be, there’s a black humour and a twisted charm about the whole thing. This isn’t a ‘horror’ game by any stretch. It’s more of a The Nightmare Before Christmas sort of affair. If Tim Burton made a video game (which I’ve long thought he damn well should), it would look a whole lot like MediEvil.

Bloodborne Gameplay Trailer Leaked

Bloodborne

Bloodborne tickled everybody with its impressive CGI showing at this year’s E3. It perfectly captured the type of atmosphere, dread, and grotesque nature of Miyazaki’s vision, but it lacked something. It lacked gameplay.

Mere days after E3, Katana of Youtube has leaked the first gameplay trailer of Bloodborne. It uses images found in the previous leak but this time, it remains intact and in HD for your viewing pleasure. Check out the trailer below:

After a bit more digging, a few details came to light by the way of the Dark Souls subreddit. 

Here are some the major differences to the Souls games mentioned by Patrick Klepek at Giant Bomb’s E3 Show LIVE:

  • NO SHIELDS

  • Victorian Setting

  • No Heavy Armor

  • There will be a shotgun in the offhand slot that serves to stagger enemies.

  • More enemies to face at a time (up to 8-9)

  • A dash/sidestep alongside the roll.

  • A one hit attack to staggered opponents, similar to the backstab, except executable anywhere on the enemy.

  • ENEMY PLACEMENTS ARE RANDOM; when the bell rings, enemies will roam and scatter to other places.

  • BOSS PLACEMENTS ARE RANDOM (you will get locked into an area with soul gates upon the encounter.)

  • There will be weapons that have two modes, like the “flip scythe” seen in the reveal trailer.

Entwined Announced And Released For Playstation 4

Entwined

What could possibly be better than seeing an excellent new game at E3? Having it release as you are seeing it announced. Entwined, the first project by Pixel Opus has been revealed and released tonight, and it looks fascinating and gorgeous.

“Experience a tale about a bird and a fish that are in love but can never be together. Guide them both simultaneously over the course of nine unique lifetimes on a journey to unite their souls.”

Check out the first Entwined trailer below:

Using a method similar to Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons for controlling the bird and fish, we should have a lot of finger confusion mixed with delight while playing Entwined. Here’s to hoping it’s as good as it looks.

Dead Island 2 Announced

Island

In addition to Dying Light, Deep Silver revealed during the Sony Conference that Dead Island 2 is also coming to PS4. The game will get a Sony exclusive class as well.

The trailer didn’t show much in the way of showing gameplay, but it did let us in on the tone of the game.  The trailer was goofy, and displayed a sense of humor that wasn’t present in the original game. Dead Island’s visceral gameplay and moment to moment mechanics are presumable returning, while vehicles are all but confirmed for the trailer.

Check out the video below to see the first details about the upcoming Dead Island 2:

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Coming 2015

Uncharted

To end Sony’s press conference tonight, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has been said to release in 2015. With the announcement comes the first official trailer featuring both Drake in all his glory, and in-game graphics that are bound to make even the coldest of men weep openly.

While we still know little on the title, it is reassuring to see Naughty Dog hard at work yet again, with another mindbogglingly beautiful project.

Check out the trailer below if you’re prepared to be amazed!

I fear that this may be the last we see of Uncharted if this trailer is to be taken literally, but we’ll have to wait for 2015 to see what mysteries await.

Far Cry 4 Gameplay at Sony Press Conference

After this mornings tense teaser during Ubisoft press conference, Far Cry 4 got a more hands on approach during Sony’s. The gameplay saw our still unnamed protagonist climb a mountain, take out some troops (both stealthily and and not so stealthily). Then he wingsuited away, and was joined by a second player. Throughout the gameplay we saw the hunting, shooting, sneaking and traversal of Far Cry 3, but bigger quicker and with a friends. At the end of the trailer, Playstation revealed that if you buy the game on their console, then you can invite a friend who DOESN’T own the game and they can play with you. Check out the trailer below, and check back soon for more analysis later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMW_UCvqbsI

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.

New Destiny Trailer and Gameplay

Destiny

Sony kicked off it’s Playstation E3 press conference with Destiny – and for all the right reasons.

Activision’s gigantic new FPS franchise started off with a trailer that blended both cinematic and gameplay footage, and showed in more detail a lot of the mechanics they have already talked about. It showed the vastness of the game and shared a bit about it’s combat. It was then announced that the Games Beta would come to Playstation games starting July 17th. There will be exclusive in-game missions, and a PS4 + Destiny Bundle as well.

Check out the Destiny traler below to see some gameplay from the upcoming game:

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.