PS Plus for June, + Changes!

We interrupt your typical weekly blog for a bulletin. Everything you know about free games with PS Plus is about to change. Starting in June PS4 users will get 2 free games a month, and starting in July the full list of free games will be available from the first Wednesday of the month until the first Wednesday of the following month. This marks a big change in the way PS Plus subscribers download their content, and if you download the free games the moment they release anyways then its nothing to worry about at all.

 

Coming in June PS4 users everywhere will get to play PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate and Trine 2: The Complete Story. PS3 users everywhere will also get NBA 2K14, considered by IGN to be the best basketball sim game ever. Now the rest of the list differentiates depending on whether you are in Europe or North America. European users will get Lone Survivor (PS3), Surge Deluxe (Vita) and Dragon’s Crown (Vita) while North American users will get Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3), Terraria (Vita) and Mutant Mudds Deluxe (Vita). Whether something else will also be coming in June is yet to be seen, as the last couple of years have seen something special announced at E3 for PS Plus subscribers, but that remains to be seen.

Watch_Dogs

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One of this years highly anticipated games, Watch Dogs from Ubisoft, has finally dropped on the scene. Before jumping into the review please note that I played my copy on the PS4 and while I intend to attempt some multiplayer there have been issues with Ubisofts UPlay servers since the games release and I have been unable to avail myself of the experience.

STORY

Watch Dogs’ story is handled excellently. From the emotional tug regarding the reason for the game in the first place to the interactions Aiden Pearce, the main character, has with those around him. Dealing with the environment of this futuristic Chicago is nice, and I’ll touch on that later, but through the campaign storyline you really get a feel for Aidens motivation and I found myself right there with him. Whether his choices are moral or not, and how he completes his “mission” is up to you the player to decide, and it makes for some interesting moments during the scripted play. Overall the story seems interesting and pulls me in to find out more.

VISUALS

Watch Dogs version of Chicago is beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because I grew up in Chicago suburbia. The city is visually stunning and the attention to details is magnificent. From the Sears Tower (I refuse to call it Willis Tower) to the L Train Ubisoft took great care to get the city as close to the real thing as they could while also adding in a bit of flair for the futuristic ctOS system and of course avoiding outright copying a couple of locations they couldn’t use for one reason or another. The city comes to life around you and is most stunning at night and during the rain in my opinion, as that is when the visuals really seem to pop for me.

SOUNDS

The audio in this game is pretty awesome too, whether you are listening in on someones conversation, or just driving around listening to the radio. The songs you have unlocked from the beginning are fairly random, but cool, and through hacking you can unlock more songs as you go along, literally swiping the mp3s from other peoples phones. Being hacked into the system also allows you to hear the police broadband while entangling with them, which can help you to avoid them or get around them fairly well. The city is bustling around you, and you won’t continually hear the same thing over and over again. It makes Chicago feel real as you play through and I for one love it.

 

Gameplay

For a game focused on hacking into the system obviously the first thing to talk about is the hacking mechanic. In the case of this game while it can seem a bit repetitive at first the farther you go in unlocking new skills you find yourself with a wide array of abilities to work with which is perfect. My favorite missions so far come in the form of out and out stealth hacking missions. I love the fact that I can sit outside in my car while taking over cameras, even those on enemies, and bounce around an area to hack into a system to retrieve data while causing chaos and explosions around the enemies just for fun. When you have to resort to violence though the gun play is fairly standard with hiding behind stuff to avoid fire while popping out to take a shot. The AI isn’t too smart where they know your every move if you avoid their range of sight, but they are smart enough that you can’t run under a spotlight and not be detected. You have to play smart to take them out or get around them. My only problems with the game so far have come in a couple missions where you start a section cornered and surrounded and you have to fight or escape. Escaping can be near impossible while fighting seems hopeless when you are getting hit from all sides. Its an annoyance, but not an inescapable one.

Driving is also fairly standard fair, with hacking allowing you to mess with the traffic lights, garage doors, blockades and spikes in order to assist your escape from whomever is trying to chase you, or stop who you are chasing. Interacting with the civilians in the game is interesting to as you can walk around in an area while your phone gives you a detailed rundown of the people around you and, if you have the right skills, allows you to hack the best targets for money, hacking supplies or information. The experience outside of the campaign in the side missions can also be fun as you play through several mini-games, such as taking down gang leaders or taking out other hackers, and you can mix them up so things don’t get stale. There is a lot to offer going in to avoid getting bored and honestly I find myself frustrated at my failure more than anything and I can’t blame the game for that… completely, lol.

OVERALL

When it comes right down to it, I love this game. Would I change a few things about it, sure, but the things I don’t feel comfortable with I can see others finding the positive side of. I know right out of the gate this game has been getting reviews all over the place as people go into the game expecting a GTA with hacking, and this is not that game. Go in expecting things to be a little more real, a little more human, and you won’t be disappointed. While the game play has its moments and could use some fine tuning, overall it is still a great game worth checking out.

SCORE: 8.5/10

This Week in PlayStation! (5/27/14)

*note – all bold words are links to the stories discussed*

Hello again intrepid readers, its time for another run down on all the news that is news in the world of PlayStation!  While generally I don’t lead with news on game announcements, this news is the biggest to me, Minecraft for PS4, Vita (and XBOne, but meh, lol) is coming in early August!!  The long awaited announcement came last week with news that you can upgrade the digital version from PS3 to PS4 for $4.99 and that the Vita version will be cross-buy/cross-save with PS3.  Your worlds will transfer up from PS3/Vita to PS4 but not backwards, as the PS4 will have a larger world to work with.  The PS4 version will run the normal $19.99 if you do not plan to upgrade, and there are ongoing discussions with Sony as to the possibility to upgrade even if you bought the disc version for PS3 which was recently released.

Beyond this exciting news comes news from Sony affirming that the PS4 is already profitable for the company. Sony President and CEO Kaz Hirai also noted that about half of all PS4 users are also PS Plus subscribers at this time.  Early this morning Sony announced that the PS4 will also be coming to China, now that the country has lifted its 14 year ban on consoles, and will be working with the Chinese company Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development in order to manage local manufacturing, sales, licensing and distribution.  No release date has been set yet, but with the XBOne coming to China in September you can be sure the PS4 will be looking at releasing in China around that time frame.

Lastly comes this weeks round of game news, starting with the delay of The Order: 1886 to 2015.  In a post on the EU PS Blog developers Ready At Dawn stated they are looking at a release for early 2015 while also discussing some behind the scenes work on the game.  In other news Harmonix reached its goal during their Kickstarter campaign, assuring that Amplitude will return to PS3 and PS4 in March 2015.  Sony has revealed that SingStar will be coming to PS4 later this year.  Lastly Tarsier Studios, the developer behind LittleBigPlanet Vita, has announced a new third-person action-adventure game titled Hunger coming to PS4, though no release date was given.

This weeks PS Plus offers start with Limbo (Vita) free as well as a free 20 hour trial of Battlefield 4 (PS3) for subscribers. There are also discounts on all version of The LEGO Movie Videogame as well as discounts on Mind Zero (Vita) and Master Reboot (PS3). Check the PSN Store for prices.

When the PSN Store is updated the following games will be available digitally:

ACE Combat Infinity (PS3)

Lemmings Touch (Vita)

Mind Zero (Vita)

Monster Monpiece (Vita)

The Sly Cooper Collection (Vita)

The Wolf Among Us Episode 4 (PS3)

Thief (PS4 Demo)

Watch Dogs (PS3, PS4)

Check on This Week in PlayStation! for your weekly round up of news, and keep your eyes peeled her for previews, reviews as well as updates for PS Plus and the PSN Store!

This Week in PlayStation! (Post-SC Edition)

 

Well now, its a brand new day with a brand new location for this blog.  With the possibility for new readers lets get a quick explanation out there.  This blog is dedicated to PlayStation news, most of which could be looked up if you wanted.  That said, this is the quick hits and gets everything together in one location.  First up for PS4 news is the April sales figures which showed that it has outsold the XBox One for the fourth straight month, while Titanfall remained on top of console game sales.  This also came on the heels of the end of the fiscal year numbers (which ended on March 31st) which officially showed that Sony overall has posted a $1.29 Billion loss.  Of that however only $78 Million was losses from the gaming division which was expected due to the shuttering of several MMOs as well as the launch of the PS4.

 

In PlayStation Now news, the closed beta is coming to the PS4 starting tomorrow (May 20th), so keep an eye on your inbox for invites if you’ve previously registered.  It was also announced that when the service launches for the public that it will release with hundreds of titles available for streaming.  Lastly, before diving into game specific news, Scuf has announced its 4PS controller for the PS4 which can be seen thru the video link below.

Only a little news left, so lets hit the home stretch.  Transistor, the newest release from SuperGiant Games, had a new mode revealed called Recursion mode.  Recursion mode is unlocked after beating the game once and functions sort of like a ‘new game plus’ mode.  Killzone Shadow Fall has some new DLC set to release in June which will premiere 4 player co-op for the game.  Lastly Ubisoft officially announced that Watch Dogs will not be running at 1080p/60fps on either XB1 or PS4, despite the features having been notated on listings which were taken down previously.

This week PS Plus subscribers get two free games!  Puppeteer (PS3) and Surge Deluxe (Vita) will be free when the store is updated.  There are no discounts to speak of this week.

When the PSN Store updates the following games will be released digitally:

Dragon Beat Legend of Pinball (PSone import)

Drakengard 3 (PS3)

Heroine Dream (PSone import)

LEGO The Hobbit (PS4 Demo)

Mugen Souls Z (PS3)

NEO PLANET (PSone import)

R-Type Dimensions (PS3)

Sarara’s Little Shop (PSone import)

Shin Megami Tensai: Digital Devil Saga (PS2 Classic)

Sparkle 2 (PS4, Vita, Demo available for both consoles)

Tokyo 23-Ku Seifuku Wars (PSone import)

Transistor (PS4)

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS3, PS4)

Thank you for checking out the new home for This Week in PlayStation!  Keep your eyes peeled for all the latest news, previews, reviews as well as updates for PS Plus and the PSN Store!