Well… it’s that time of the month again – the April Playstation Plus Update is inbound, and I have all the details for you (if you thought I meant a different time of the month, then shame on you!) This month is a bit of an indie bonanza, so if that’s up your alley… read on.
First off, it bears noting that up until 10th April if you purchase a year of Playstation Plus, you get an extra 90 days free… which is a pretty decent bargain at almost three extra months. Snap this offer up while you can guys and girls!
OK, if you’re not familiar with the benefits of Playstation Plus, or want an idea of what’s been on offer in the past, check out my original PS+ article from last month.
Right so as you know, the general rule of thumb is for us to get something new, we have to lose something… so I’ll detail what’s going to leave the Instant Game Collection first:
- 3rd April: Mass Effect 3
- 3rd April: Mortal Kombat
- 3rd April: Guardians of Middle Earth
- 10th April: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
- 24th April: Puddle
So if you haven’t picked these up yet you have until the dates above to download them. Please make sure you’ve at least tried Mass Effect 3 and the MGS collection… they’re essentials!
Your new additions for April 2013 are as follows:
- 3rd April: Ōkami HD
Ōkami HD is (as the name suggests) an HD remake of the Playstation 2 classic from 2006 by developer Clover Studio. The word “Ōkami” literally means “great god”, “great spirit” or “wolf”, and the game is an action-adventure title based around Japanese myths and legends. It tells the story of how the land was saved from darkness by Amaterasu- the Shinto sun goddess, who takes the form of a white wolf.
To be honest this game is pretty awesome, and should be your first port of call if you haven’t purchased it already. The action is fast and furious (but with less Vin Diesel) and the visuals are an awesome watercolour-stylised cel-shaded affair and is exceedingly pretty to look at. The sound and music is also great and fit the atmosphere of the game really well.
- 3rd April: Lord of the Rings: War in the North
Lord of the Rings games have been a little hit-and-miss, bar the recent Lego title (which you NEED to play) however War in the North was generally received pretty well. It’s an RPG from developer Snowblind Studios (the guys behind Justice League Heroes) from back in 2011, and is set around the same time that Peter Jackson’s film trilogy runs. As you may be able to guess from the title, it follows the war in the northern territories of Middle Earth, so you’ll see locations like Mount Gundabad, the Ettenmoors and Mirkwood along with more familiar locations like Bree and Rivendell.
I haven’t played this title myself, but I’m a big fan of Tolkein’s work, as well as Peter Jackson’s, so despite not being much of an RPG player, I’m still going to check this one out. Judging by the gameplay videos and combat trailers I’ve seen, this looks pretty intense, and falls in line with the style and epicness that Peter Jackson’s movies have been well-known for.
- 3rd April: The Cave
This title from Double Fine is an awesome puzzler. Originally released in January this year, it’s a great indie title with dark humour and awesome 3D aesthetics with 2D gameplay. It’s about a magical talking cave that lures seven people inside. The protagonists are come from different spaces and times, and all have their own dark secret- the cave believes that by making them explore the labyrinth of tunnels and perils that they will discover something about themselves, and explores their darker sides to their personality.
This is another game I’ve not (yet) played, but I’ll definitely be taking a look at it come the 3rd. The game was really well reviewed on it’s release though criticised slightly for some of the seemingly easy puzzles and long treks through the cave.
- 10th April: Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
Developed by Chunsoft, this adventure game is the indirect sequel to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The main game consists of an interactive story where you choose to help or betray characters, and your decisions denote how the game progresses. The gameplay also consists of puzzles that again denote how the game plays, often drastically changing the layout of a room. You play Sigma who is kidnapped and wakes up in a lift with someone else. You’re then introduced to Zero III- a talking bunny who inducts them into a game where the aim is to escape the building.
This is another game I know absolutely nothing about, and I’m not familiar with the prequel either – however with a decent slew of reviews from several sources, I’d say this is definitely one to try if you’re into the adventure/puzzler genre.
Finally we have the BAFTA-nominated & quirky indie platform puzzle game Thomas Was Alone by developer Mike Bithell. In a Tron-esque story, the game takes place in a computer mainframe where some artificial intelligence routines go a little haywire and gain personalities. The different AI routines are denoted by a coloured shape, with each shape having its own unique abilities. The game also employs a narrative which helps to develop the AI personalities and help the player connect with them.
The very basic graphical style helps to accentuate the gameplay in this title; predominantly for the PS Vita, this game will feature cross-platform play with the PS3 as well.
And that’s your lot for the European Playstation Plus update for April- make sure you stay tuned for next month’s update! And if you’re based in the US, then you’ll have your own PS+ update coming soon.