This month, Sony is offering a slew of quality games for loyal PlayStation Network Plus subscribers, including some critically acclaimed old favorites and exciting, contemporary indie titles. A membership with PSN+ remains at a price point of $17.99 for three months and $49.99 for one year.
Free on Playstation 4:
- Tower of Guns
Pick a weapon, select a perk and be ready for anything. In Tower of Guns, an ambitious twitch shooter by small developer Terrible Posture Games, each stage is built to surprise the player with randomized enemies, loot and even bosses. The game is meant to be enjoyed in short bursts, as the action is non-stop and different each playthrough. A snarky, tongue-in-cheek presentation rounds out the game’s identity.
Success in Tower of Guns hinges upon sure aim and constant mobility as massive batteries of turrets and other hazards unload endless ordnance upon the player. One can even the odds by collecting upgrade power-ups to improve weapon capabilities, but the upgrade meter is emptied along with the player’s health by taking damage, adding to the game’s difficulty.
Fans of classic arena shooting experiences like Tribes or Unreal Tournament may find something to enjoy with Tower of Guns, albeit in a more bite-size package.
- Never Alone
Last month, we were treated to Ubisoft’s historical adventure Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a sidescrolling puzzle and action game packed with facts and details about WWI on top of the game’s own engaging and personal story. With Never Alone, we see another game with both educational and entertainment value.
Part documentary and part platformer, Never Alone offers an outsider’s tour of the living history and culture of the native Inuit tribes of Alaska, specifically the Iňupiat people.
The player takes the role of Nuna, a young girl of the Iňupiat tribe who sets out into the cold wilderness to discover the source of an unnaturally strong blizzard that threatens her people. Along the way, she meets an arctic fox who aids her in her journey. Nuna and her furry friend also rely on “spirit helpers” to make their way through the tundra. A second player can control the fox, creating a laid-back and welcoming cooperative experience.
By progressing through Never Alone’s story, players unlock short videos that tell the story of the Inuit people, as real-life members of the community explain their culture and what makes it unique. Never Alone offers a rarely seen combination of pleasingly simple game mechanics and fully implemented biographical materials, with the end product helping to spread awareness of an oft-overlooked culture.
Free On Playstation 3:
A few years ago, this hotly anticipated project from the makers of the Thief franchise made a splash with its first-person mix of stealth and action set in a dystopian dieselpunk-esque world.
Now, PSN+ is offering a chance for those who missed out on Dishonored the first time around to visit the dark, troubled city of Dunwall as Corvo Attano, a man framed for a terrible crime who must set affairs to rights by using his natural skills for combat and infiltration and newly-imbued mystic powers. Players can opt for the straightforward approach by hacking and shooting their way through each level, bypass threats undetected without taking a single life, or employ a middle-of-the-road strategy.
Those who haven’t played through Dishonored yet or have been meaning to do so again are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the April PSN+ lineup.
- Aaru’s Awakening
When the primeval embodiments of Night, Dawn, Day and Dusk divide the earth into four domains, they become so preoccupied with ruling their own territory that they are blind to a grave threat to the entire world. That’s where Aaru, the champion of Dawn, comes in.
As the beastly Aaru, players must traverse dangerous fantastical landscapes using well-timed jumps, charge dashes and teleports. The original teleport system relies on timing and aim slightly reminiscent of Portal. Aaru can fire out an energy orb that bounces off walls and floors and when the player hits the fire button a second time, Aaru will teleport to the orb. On top of traversing each level, this ability allows players to vanquish enemies by teleporting inside them.
The player’s performance in each level is judged on speed, so success depends on a solid understanding of Aaru’s capabilities, quick reflexes and of course, some trial and error. This charming indie platformer also boasts detailed backgrounds and animations and a soft, natural art style.
Free on PS Vita:
- Killzone: Mercenary
This shooter franchise from Guerrilla Games has established itself as an institution in the first-person action genre and as a flagship series exclusive to Playstation. For the month of April, one of the stronger spinoffs from the main Killzone games is free to PS Vita players.
In Killzone: Mercenary, players take control of a – you guessed it – a mercenary, who takes dangerous assignments on both sides of an interplanetary conflict. Similar to Killzone: Shadow Fall, the franchise’s latest entry, Mercenary also lets player off the leash to some degree, allowing some customization of load-out and approach towards mission objectives.
- Monster Bag
What if Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends was a video game? You might get something similar to Monster Bag, which presents a cartoonish and lighthearted but somehow ominous game world.
In a world where monsters exist in secret alongside us, one creature must find his way back to his owner while avoiding contact with humans. Players will need to utilize distractions and misdirection to safely traverse the world. Challenging puzzles and bosses also keep things interesting.
Move quickly to get your hands on these free games before the end of the month!
What do you think of April’s PSN+ lineup of free games? Let us know in the comments below!