PS Plus – June 2017

On my quest to play all sorts of different games, I have decided it would be fun to go back and play through my library of PS Plus games that I have never even looked at. My first month of PS Plus was January 2016, and back then I only used to claim the PS4 games. My PS3 is slow as anything and I couldn’t be bothered to turn it on and attempt to get on the PS Store each month. It was only recently that I realised that if you use your computer you can ‘purchase’ all the free games in a few seconds. When I was in Australia I literally guided my Mam through the PS store on my PS4 via video call, if only I knew. It’s great now that I realise that it’s easier, but it is also sad to see the games that I missed, all because I was clueless. I am (eventually) going to go through each month, from most to least recent, trying out these games and having my say about each one. I hope this can be helpful to someone!

P.S. I am only going to go through the PS4 games for now. I have got a backlog as big as.. well.. it’s big, so I will alternate my free games with my bought games and away we go!

PS4 – Killing Floor 2

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Killing Floor 2 is a horror themed, survival FPS developed by Tripwire Interactive. It is a sequel to Killing floor and, although there is a solo mode, is best played multiplayer. I loaded up this game not knowing what to expect but knowing that a lot of people seemed happy with it. As soon as I saw the mutated looking Golum I felt the dread creep in. I don’t do horror. I literally just had a scary zombie dream the previous night (I have them quite regularly but they aren’t usually scary (I have been watching IZombie recently if that helps (It probably doesn’t))) where I woke up and crapped my pants to find my poodles afro right in front of my face. Suffice to say I did not intend on playing a horror game today. I entered the tutorial and to my dismay – zombies. Or at least zombie type creatures. To my other dismay, that’s when I discovered it was a first person shooter. I don’t do those either. Well.. that’s a lie. I am trying with them. I recently tried to get into Paladins to help ease me in and although I’m not.. well.. I’m shit at it.. I don’t shy AS much away from FPS as I used to. Horror and FPS in the same game though? That is too much for me. Please, give me some credit, I did actually defeat the first wave. The game felt very much like a COD game I once tried (it came with my console) in movement and combat. I cleared the first wave, got to the ammo shop, then bailed 10 seconds before the second wave.

Let me tell you what I learned from my 10 minutes on this game. I imagine this is a blast if you have a group of friends, all with mics, teaming up to defeat monsters. There is plenty of customisation, from characters, to classes, to weapons. Enough to allow you and your team members to have their own identities and make a badass team. At least after you’ve unlocked them. Not only will the teamwork play an important part in this game, but also inventory management, as you have to manage your ammo, money and weight. Primarily, this is a wave survival game. I’m not even sure if it has a campaign, but what I do know for sure is that there is a huge audience for this type of game and if that’s you, you and your mates are getting it for free (I mean it is free if you’re already paying for online multiplayer, right?), you are definitely going to get hours of entertainment from it. Can’t be bad that, can it!

PS4 – Life is Strange

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Life is Strange is an interactive movie type episodic game, developed by Dontnod Entertainment. You take control of Maxine Caulfield, a photography student at the prestigious Blackwell Academy. It’s not long before something happens that changes everything, and our friend Max discovers that she can rewind time. Not just a high school drama, but a mystery game, this character and story driven game will take you on some highs and yet also to some pretty dark places. This is the second PS Plus game in as many months that I already own and have completed!

I do like this game. The art style is gorgeous, the atmosphere is fun to play in, the attention to detail is crazy and the story is haunting. I played the whole game in two sessions (I think it is approximately 10 hours) and for me, Episode 4 was my favourite. I actually wrote a full review on this blog if you would like to read it, but the overall consensus was to play the first episode which you can get free on the PS Store. If you like that then you will no doubt enjoy the rest of the game. Now that the whole game is free it is especially worth giving it a go. It might not be for you, or it might stay with you for a while. Although it is not my favourite game in the interactive movie category, it’s definitely worth playing, and it is many other peoples favourite. To top it off, there is a new game coming out in the future. Be it a sequel/prequel/spin-off, I do not know, but you might as well play the original while you have the chance!

PS4/Vita – Neon Chrome

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Neon Chrome is a top down, arcade shooter developed by 10tins Ltd. Unfortunately, I am definitely not the target audience of these games so I can’t even tell you whether it is a good one or not. The story seems to be set in some sort of dystopia, where there is an evil dictator with a trust system. If you can’t be trusted, then you die. Your character enters a simulation chair and is working their way up each level of the building, towards the boss, to overthrow him. At least that’s what I THINK is going on. From my 10 minute experience, I managed to get to level two, die twice, upgrade a character, collect money and loot, and shoot things. You use your left analogue to move and your right analogue to aim, which in itself is a system that I do not have the coordination for and would never get used to. I suppose if you like these kind of games then you can make up your own mind but it is 100% not for me. Just a side-note, this game has no platinum, just in-case that is important to you!

PS4/Vita – Spy Chameleon

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Spy Chameleon is a colourful, fast paced puzzle game developed by Unfinished Pixel. You are a chameleon, sneaking your way through rooms without getting caught. It is a typical modern arcade game and it is actually pretty fun. You can choose to just complete the level or you can go for the extra objectives including grabbing collectibles and speed running. It’s a great time waster and to be honest, it is exactly the type of game I would like on my phone for those boring times that I am waiting for the bus. For this reason I guess it would be great for Vita players specifically. There isn’t any substance or story behind the game other than completing the objectives but you wouldn’t expect it from such game. Having said that, I have only got to level 15 so someone else could know better. I don’t think it would take too long to complete the game, but it has got a lot of replayability in not only the additional bonuses and difficulties, but the trophies. If you enjoy the game then it seems like a very reasonable platinum. I for one am going to try for it.. eventually.

PS3 – Abyss Odyssey

As I mentioned above, I don’t have time to play the PS3 games at the moment so I will update as I do, but for now I will include a summary for everyone’s benefit. Abyss Odyssey appears to be an indie, side scrolling, action-adventure platformer, developed by ACE Team. Again, this doesn’t seem like the type of game I would like but I will give it the benefit of the doubt once I start going through my PS3 games.

PS3 – WRC 5

WRC stands for World Rally Championship, making this a racing game! It was developed by Kylotonn and released in 2015. Since then we have had WRC 6 in 2016 and are expecting WRC 7 in.. when?! You guessed it.. 2017. Guess what? I don’t really like racing games either. I know what you are thinking, why am I even doing this when I don’t seem to like anything. Well.. I am trying to keep an open mind and I still hope to be proven wrong when I do get around to trying it.

Summary – So, it is my 18th month of being a PS Plus member, and only my first month of trying all of the games. Well.. the PS4 games at least. I am pleased that I did it, not only because I found one game I can sink time into when I eventually get the time, and not only can I tick some of these games off my backlog, but because I can already feel that this is going to give me 1. A broader knowledge and experience of games 2. A more refined, tried and tested list of games that I do/do not like and 3. More confidence to jump into new games in the future. Having said that, I must remember to give the games a fair chance and not just give up after getting killed *ahem Neon Chrome ahem* and not to prejudge a game just because ‘I don’t like that genre’. Ultimately, I am looking forward to jumping into the rest of my line-up, even if I am probably going to end up with a thousand started but not finished games. As for this month of PS Plus, a huge variety, I don’t think anyone can complain!

Note to Playstation/Sony – Please make a semi OCD girl happy and allow us to sort our trophy lists. All I want to do is re-order them. Instead of having the most recent trophy first, allow a custom order. Or at least a percentage order. 5% – 40% – 39% – 18% – 25% – 78% – 100% – 56%. It’s so messy and all over the place, it makes me feel uneasy, and I’m sure I am not the only one. A tiny feature change would make a lot of days, just FYI.

So.. What did everyone think of June’s Line-Up? Love It? Hate It? Stand out games for you? Requests for the future?

Review – Red Dead Redemption – PS3

Red Dead Redemption is an open world game set in the Wild West. It follows the story of John Marston. His family have been kidnapped and he is on a mission to get them back. Throughout the story we discover new areas, meet lots of new people and learn about John’s past on his quest for redemption.

It took me a long time to get into this game. I am a long time fan of GTA – I love the stories, the characters, the settings, the humour and the freedom – and had heard great things about RDR. The western theme didn’t really do anything for me at first. However, as the game went on I appreciated it more and more and actually grew to like it. Now when my Mam is watching her old western program The High Chaparral I can’t help but smile.

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At first, the missions didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. I felt like I was playing for hours, running around doing favors for these characters but still not getting anywhere. It wasn’t drawing me back to play. I did want to know what was going to happen but I ended up taking a break and playing Heavy Rain the whole way through before continuing Red Dead. Once I got further in I started enjoying it a bit more. It still felt like it was a lot of helping people with nothing in return but I started enjoying the journey more. I think by now I had gotten used to the controls a lot more and that helped with the enjoyment. Even though I felt like the story was lacking while I was playing, by the time I got to the end it blew me away. I think I could enjoy playing through a second time just as much, if not more!

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The random events seem to be highly praised by fans, and although I do like them, I thought there were too many of them at the beginning. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone stopping me and asking for help when all I wanted to do was explore. Especially when I wasn’t comfortable with the controls, I would either get killed, kill the good guy or just fail. Now I’ve realised that you can just ignore them if you want. Having said that there are some great random things going on around the world, always something to keep you entertained and amused. Hearing background gunfire used to always set me on edge – I think that’s from GTA, usually if someone’s shooting they are shooting at you – but if you look around it’s usually people hunting or robbing people and you do not have to get involved if you don’t want to, and if you do then go for it. Watch out for Cougars though, pesky things!

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Now that I have finished the game, I can’t decide whether I prefer this or GTA more, and that’s MASSIVE considering how much I love GTA. I think I love them both for different reasons. I love the fact that in this game you can shoot your gun and not worry about getting a wanted level. One of the things I like least about GTA is escaping the police, I always used to use the cheats. On RDR though, I didn’t have to use cheats once. Although I don’t fully understand it, I prefer the justice system in this game, it’s much more realistic with the witnesses and the bounties. I also liked the regenerating health. I played the first few hours thinking that the dead eye bar was my health and wondering why I was dying with full health but once I realised I soon learned the signs that I was going to die. It’s good for people like me who collect medicine but are too stingy to use it to just get under cover and regain some health.

The structure of the game is very similar to GTA. You have a map that expands as you get further into the game. You have your main story missions, there are usually a couple on the go at the same time and you can choose which you want to do first. You have your side-missions which are the Strangers, similar to GTA 5. You also have Ambient Challenges that include Sharpshooter and Master Hunter, where in GTA you would have the Shooting Range and Flight School. In GTA you had mini games like Bowling and Pool where as in RDR you get Poker and Blackjack. The controls are also very similar in both games, the main difference is you are riding a horse instead of driving a car. It’s a little bit different but once you get used to it it’s quite enjoyable.

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Something that I think would have made the game even better would be more loot/more things to do with the loot that you have collected. It would be cool if you could create clothes with animal skins, cook the meat for health, things like that. That would have added another dimension. By the end of the game I realised there wasn’t too much point in searching buildings because all there was was the odd chest with a bit of money in. Another thing I was hoping for was to have a working ranch, where I could go out and break horses then those horses would stay in my field until I sold them etc, making an honest income and running a business. It doesn’t spoil the game that it wasn’t there but it would have been a nice addition and maybe something they can do in the future.

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My version of the game was bought second hand and must have had some of the DLC included because I had the War Horse which I think totally enhanced my game. He had great stamina and speed, was quite hardy and the odd time he died I just used the deeds and he came back. I appreciated him very much, there were a couple of times that I accidentally hitched/stole different horses and none of them compared to him. Fantastic Horse.

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In conclusion, give it a go! If you like other Rockstar games, give it a go! If you like a good story, give it a go! If you like cowboys, definitely give it a go! If you do give it a go and aren’t keen, keep at it, it might grow on you, it did for me! I know I’m about 5 years late to the party but I’m pleased I made it. I have yet to try online mode, I doubt there will be anyone still playing (but if anyone wants to give me a shout), first I want to get 100% completion then I’m going for platinum. It must have been a good game to put in that effort!


SPOILERS AHEAD – DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE STORY


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