It’s That Time of the Month
The summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean there are any fewer games to play. Each month, Sony and Microsoft reward players subscribed to their online services with two free games for each of their platforms. These come in the form of older AAA games, new indie releases, or indie darlings that more people should try out.
PlayStation Instant Games Collection
Below are the PlayStation games for the month and their original prices:
- Just Cause 3 ($59.99)
- Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry ($14.99)
- Super Motherload ($14.99)
- Snakeball ($9.99)
- Downwell (Crossbuy with PS4) ($4.99)
- Level 22 ($6.99)
If you do nothing else this August, you need to download the free PS Plus games for this month. Even if the PS3 and Vita games do nothing for you, both PS4 titles are absolutely stellar experiences. Just Cause 3 is a great exercise in pure fun. Grappeling the ground, using the momentum to transition into parachuting, and then whipping out your wingsuit to glide over the rolling hills never gets old. Neither does blowing up everything in the game’s gorgeous world. The story and characters are paper thin, but they are mainly there to let you wreak havoc and have a great time doing so.
On the other end of the spectrum is Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry. Taking place after the end of Assassin’s Creed IV, Freedom Cry follows Adewale, Edward Kenway’s first mate, as he sets out to free slaves from oppression. The short adventure is packed with emotion, action and plenty of memorable moments. It’s great even for those who haven’t played the main game.
On PS3 you can sink your teeth into Super Motherload. Alone or with up to four friends, you can dig your way through the earth, collecting rare gems and striving to reach a new high score. It’s straightforward, addictive fun. Snakeball is also a great party game, especially if you’re in a groovy mood. Each player controls a snake made up of floating discs and collects orbs to rack up a score and best other players. It’s another example of a unique party game meant to be purely fun.
Rounding out the PlayStation Plus offerings for July are Downwell and Level 22. Downwell is challenging but rewarding in the best kind of way. You control a small, blob-like man as he falls endlessly down a well, using machine guns in his boots to halt his descent. Not only is this a good way to reach platforms as you hurtle towards the center of the earth, but a great way to eviscerate enemies.
Level 22 is similarly unique. Its premise is properly bizarre, which makes everything much more enjoyable. After a drunken night on the town, Gary is late for work. But this isn’t his first infraction and if he’s caught he could be fired, so he must sneak through every office, working his way up to his cubicle on the 22nd floor. It’s a fun stealth game with a unique twist and a take on a problem we’ve all had at one time or another.
All of these games combined will save you a whopping $111. Just downloading Just Cause 3 will save you the $60 that it costs to become a PS Plus member. It’s a lot of savings and a lot of great games, ranging from indie gems to fantastic AAA offerings.
Xbox Games With Gold
Below are the Xbox games for the month and their original prices:
- Slime Rancher ($19.99)
- Trials Fusion ($19.99)
- Bayonetta ($19.99)
- Red Faction: Armageddon ($29.99)
Xbox is going big with its Game with Gold offerings for July. Slime Rancher is still in game preview but Microsoft is letting players give the game a try for free. It’s not your typical game. You’ll hunt down and vacuum up various types of Slimes. These bizarre creatures can be used to expand your farm, make money, and explore more of the game. It’s fantastic for those looking to wander through a beautiful looking game and just lose themselves in the micromanaging and hunting.
Trials Fusion is pretty much exactly what you’d expect out of a Trials title. You’ll race, flip, and crash through futuristic levels. Each new challenge will likely cause you to face plant even more, but the feeling you get of successfully making it through a level cannot be beaten.
The Xbox 360 side of Games With Gold will bring back Bayonetta. This is Platinum Games at its peak. The action is fast and frenetic. Learning strings and memorizing combos is rewarding and the moves the Umbra witch can pull off are absolutely ridiculous. The story is pure nonsense and completely over the top, which only makes the entire game better. It’s one of the best character action games in recent memory and worth checking out.
Red Faction: Armageddon lets Xbox One and 360 players relive the final Red Faction title. Taking place in the bowels of Mars, you can wield a dangerous arsenal of science fiction weapons against the insectoid hordes that crawl through the tunnels below the red planet. Plus, if you get Mr. Toots you can fire rainbows out of a small unicorns backside. You know, typical dystopian things.
Downloading these four games during the month of August will save you $90 in total. That is definitely worth the price of entry, especially when you get to try out a game that hasn’t been fully released yet and dive back into gems from last generation.
The Console Savings War
PlayStation comes out on top this month with more than $100 worth of savings. Regardless of which console you have pledged your allegiance to, if you are subscribed to an online service you will be able to get your hands on some great titles this month. Well, not actually because they are all digital but you catch our drift.
Being able to dive into AAA games you might have missed or discovering indie titles that may end up becoming some of your favorite games is always fun each and every month. As the summer drought comes to an end, at least there will still be great games to sink some time into.