Another four months have passed since I last talked about the vast improvement the PlayStation Plus games have been undergoing since the beginning of this year. In the last article I praised practically all of the choices made for the free games through Sony’s subscription service, but the question now remains after another third of the year has come and gone, has it maintained the arguably high quality we began the year with?
In short, no, but that’s not to say it has been a wall to wall disaster such as seen in previous years, and so this week let’s break down each month and judge the offerings in order of release. As we concluded with April last time, first up this week is May.
The offerings for May were the best we’ll look at for this third of a year, continuing the sense of satisfaction as the fifth consecutive month to offer great games to paying Plus customers, being Battlefield V, Stranded Deep and Wreckfest, with the latter being available only to PlayStation 5.
I played Battlefield V as soon as it was available, and continue to be impressed by the high level of graphical detail and level of immersion in games made by developer, DICE. The experience provided an excellent warm-up for the highly anticipated Battlefield 2042 which I’m sure most of us on Respawning will be tearing through once it releases on 19th of November.
I attempted Wreckfest but hated it, and didn’t attempt Stranded Deep because I’m not a fan of survival games and because Luke warned me ahead of time that I definitely would not enjoy it. However, these two disappointments were more than made up for by the strength of Battlefield V so I remained satisfied with the offerings for the month.
June was a similar story, as its main game for the month, Star Wars Squadrons, was again a satisfying experience which I enjoyed playing. The other titles we could download were Virtua Fighter 5 for PS4 and Operation: Tango for PS5. I admit I haven’t played either of these titles as there’s nothing about either of them which interests me personally, but as I seem to recall them being relatively well received online I won’t mark Sony down for them. Not yet anyway..
Next up if you’ve been paying attention is July, and would you believe it? Another decent month for PlayStation Plus subscribers. For PS5 there was A Plague Tale: Innocence, hot on the heels of the announcement of its sequel at E3, Requiem, a game which has received high praise from gamers and critics alike for its absorbing graphics and rewarding story. So I’m told anyway, I made it less than an hour into the game before abandoning my progress as the younger brother, Hugo, tries my patience to the point where I couldn’t care less if he lives or dies.
For PS4 in July we were given the absolute insult that is WWE 2K Battlegrounds, but to alleviate the pain of this abhorrence the other free title was Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Now, this was my first Call of Duty experience, let alone Black Ops, and while there isn’t a single player campaign to speak of I hugely enjoyed playing several rounds of Zombies with the others in Respawning. These sessions were easily the most fun drinking / gaming sessions I’ve had since Luke, Will and I shot the world to Hell in Remnant From The Ashes at the beginning of the year, and would I have had this experience without being a Plus subscriber? The answer is no.
Moving on to August is where the engine seems to stall somewhat as the games we were offered comprised of Hunter’s Arena: Legends for PS5, Tennis World Tour 2 and Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville on PS4. This is definitely the weakest month for PlayStation Plus we have had all year. I tried playing Hunter’s Arena but the sluggish combat and dull, even lazy, graphics had me uninstalling the game in disgust before completion of the tutorial so it couldn’t try giving me a trophy to forever stain my PSN profile’s game list.
The Plants vs Zombies games seem to still do very well in sales figures, though any appeal the franchise has is lost on me. That said, it wasn’t the game which riled me up the most for August. A tennis game? Sony, are you trying to piss me off??
I hope the final four months of the year return to the form we saw in the first five months of 2021, and all negativity attracted aside following the August games, I genuinely believe this year can be turned around. Only time will tell, and so I will be back with another article in December to judge the last third of the year’s PS Plus games, and so I will catch up with you then. Thanks for reading!