I think we can all agree that PlayStation Plus was on middling form through 2021, and while the weaker months outnumbered the good, the latter more than made up for that in quality. As Shopto were offering a 12 month subscription for £30 (down from RRP £50) last Black Friday, I thought I’d be a savvy consumer and purchase two years worth at once. Now that the first third of 2022 is done and dusted I am starting to feel like I’ve been less savvy and more stupid.
Similarly to last year where I judged each third of the year by its Plus offerings, I plan on doing the same thing for this year, so let’s get straight into possibly the strongest month of this year so far, and why I hate it regardless.
January saw the main games as Dirt 5 and Deep Rock Galactic for PS5, with Persona 5 Strikers for PS4 (and 5). I had always been interested by Dirt 5, especially since Will’s review at launch described it as a ‘crushing blow to a fan of the series’ and scored it 3 out of 10. I couldn’t imagine how it could be that bad, but sure enough, halfway through the final lap of the first race I quit and uninstalled the game. A heinous blend of colours, uninspired and boring gameplay, as well as characters I vehemently despise inside the first 10 minutes of play, Dirt 5 started the year off with a big middle finger to the face.
I didn’t attempt Deep Rock Galactic or Persona 5 Strikers as, in addition to them not particularly interesting me, I have such a massive backlog of games to get through that I don’t want to start anything new I don’t have at least a passing interest in. I spent January playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla instead, hoping the PS Plus games would quickly improve early in the year. Without high hopes, we entered February.
Planet Coaster was the main attraction for February, another game I had a mild interest in which was quickly squashed upon watching gameplay and reviews while downloading the game. I had every intention of starting it but after the brief bubble of enthusiasm I had was burst by YouTube videos, I ended up deleting days later without trying it.
We were also provided Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, a nine year old expansion to Borderlands 2, a game I never liked. While I was understandably furious about this, I didn’t have to lift a finger to show frustration as it felt like the entire internet erupted in protest at this appalling affront to subscribers, so at least I knew I wasn’t alone in my frustration. The other game being EA Sports UFC 4 shouldn’t require an explanation, as sports game have no place on PlayStation Plus listings and so I have had to blank this entry from my mind.
Things aren’t looking too good are they? Heading into March with renewed dread on how Sony would take the piss this time, we were met with four games instead of three, though all but one of them were multiplayer titles..
March contained the first game this year which I actually had an interest in playing but not paying for, Ghostrunner. While I will absolutely get around to playing it eventually, I’ve been warned that I should not go into it expecting an easy or relaxing game, dampening my interest somewhat though not fully extinguishing it. Ghostrunner now comfortably resides on my ‘to play but not yet installed’ list.
Ghost of Tsushima: Legends was up first for the multiplayer games, and while it was free on the PS4, it appears we are now expected to pay for it on PS5 or be grateful it is a Plus entry.. Moving swiftly on! The other games were Team Sonic Racing which I am told by those with young children was a very welcome title so I’ll let it slide, and also by ARK: Survival Evolved, a game so frequently featured in digital game sales I’d be amazed anyone even vaguely interested didn’t own it already!
With its extra fourth game March was smugly looking like it could be the strongest month of the first third of the year, and you’ll see why with a quick refresher of the insults, sorry I mean games, we were treated to in April!
The ‘big’ game for this month was Hood: Outlaws and Legends, a game I was fairly interested in when announced even if it is just another PVE experience. I happen to still have it installed on my PS5 to try at some point, but as it has been there over six weeks at time of writing its chances aren’t looking good quite yet.
The other April games were Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom, another child friendly game following Team Sonic Racing from February which I won’t complain about as it was so well received, and Slay the Spire, a roguelike deck-building game. I can comfortably, without playing them, say that neither of these are games I would enjoy without a dangerously high quantity of alcohol in my bloodstream, but provided at least Spongebob seems to have made a billion adults and kids sink to their knees in appreciation for their PS Plus subscriptions, I don’t think I can openly criticise them without getting hunted by an angry mob.
Suffice to say I’m yet to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of my Black Friday investment, but I’ve gone on record in the past saying the annual subscription pays for itself predominantly through access to the PlayStation Plus collection on PS5. The newly announced additional tiers of Plus will be available next month and may start to contribute to my opinion of the service, depending on how much more money Sony want out of me!
The first four months of Plus in 2022 leave a lot to be desired, and if it wasn’t for Ghostrunner at the very least I’d feel very jaded at the expense. What do you think of the PS Plus games so far this year? Time will tell if things improve so part two of this series will be out in September judging May to August, so I’ll catch you then. Thanks for reading!