Every month, Playstation Plus members get a variety of new games and deals for the various systems. This month, this included games such as Fez, The Road Not Taken, and Proteus. It was a good month for indie developers, with the only game that was considered a “major release” in the past being Crysis 3. The Playstation 3 had Crysis 3, Fez, Proteus, and Dragons Crown available on it, the Playstation 4 had Fez and Road Not Taken, and finally the Vita had Fez, Proteus, Dragon’s Crown, and Metrico as an exclusive game.
Fez was the most prolific of the bunch and also one of the easiest to play. It has a very simple control scheme and is quite easy to just pick up. It’s a puzzle platformer with one goal: collect all the cubes. You start in a world where only two dimensions exist, and soon after you’re shown the wonders of this new third dimension, something goes wrong. The cube that you see explodes, and it’s up to you, Gomez, to collect all the pieces since you know the truth about the third dimension. While it appeared on all the platforms, the game works well on the Vita. Its premise and simple controls allow for it to be a wonderful handheld game. I would highly recommend at least checking it out. It is also available on Xbox 360 and through Steam for PC gamers.
Puzzle games seem to be coming back into style, as seen by Road Not Taken, a game where you have so many moves to get all the children back to their parents. You can pick up objects with your magic stick and fling them through the level and even into other rooms or objects to create new things. This can be a boon or a burden, however, as you might find yourself accidentally chopping down a tree you needed to open a door or angering a spirit and making your situation worse. The game’s controls are quite simple, but it is a tough game to master. The art style is unique and lends itself well to the almost whimsical feeling of the game as a whole. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes puzzle games and is looking for a challenge. It is also available through Steam for PC and Mac.
Crysis 3 is the one game this month that was not an indie game. It’s a First Person Shooter that tries to merge story and gameplay, and some might say it succeeds. The first two games cover an alien “invasion” of sorts and the subsequent taking over of the government by a shadow organization, leading to the main character being the only hope of taking down the enemy. It has quite a few mechanics that were interesting to play with, namely the stealth mode and the way using various functions of the Crysis suit would deplete energy. Overall, though, it felt like the response time was slow, and it controlled like most other FPS games out there. While it is an interesting premise and a pretty fun game, I would recommend waiting for it to go on sale. It’s available on PC as well as the Xbox 360.
Experimental games are all the rage, and Proteus is one of many that have come out in the last few years. The game itself is about exploration and discovery. As you move about the island you’ve been placed on (one that is randomly generated when you begin the game), various musical cues will fade in or out depending on what you’re doing. Going high onto a mountain will cause the music to fade, for example, while different creatures appearing will cause different sounds to cue up. There has been some discussion as to whether this could be considered a game or not, since there seems to be no real goal, and that is something to keep in mind when playing. Overall, the art, music, and sound in the game are all quite lovely. It is also available on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Dragon’s Crown is a tabletop game. Or at least, it feels very much like one. It’s a fantasy RPG that takes side-scrolling elements and makes a dungeon crawl out of them. The game starts with choosing a class for your character and launches into a narration of how the character you’re playing met with the party’s rogue, an NPC that you can control. It’s couched in a story told at a tavern, and the whole feeling is evocative of playing Dungeons and Dragons. The art is a bit much at times, however, with jiggle-physics being in full effect during some scenes. The 2D nature of the character model can also make movement difficult at times as well. The controls are not overly complex, however, and the game is quite a bit of fun for those who are not turn away by the artistic style the game chose to take. The game is Playstation Exclusive, and is not available on any other platforms.
The final free game for Playstation Plus users was Metrico, a game about infographics. It’s another platformer that uses information to create and alter the platforms that make up the level. The different challenges are interesting, with some platforms only moving when you hit the ground a certain number of times, others only moving when you walk to the right, and other various things all couched in percentages and data feedback. In addition, the game utilizes all of the Vita to create new and interesting levels. As such, it’s a Vita exclusive, and one that I would recommend for anyone who owns the system and enjoys puzzle-platform games.
That’s everything for this month. PSN members should always remember to check out the store to see what new deals are available even if they aren’t a Plus member. Tune in next month to see what’s new in the Plus lineup.