PS+ Celebrates 10 Years With Adequate AAA Titles for July
Sony’s PS+ subscription service is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month, and, frankly, it’s kind of a big deal for any company in the video game industry to continue doing the same thing for a decade. This is a cause for celebration that should, in theory, drive Sony to dig up some of the best of the best in free game downloads for the month: a way of celebrating the service’s past and showing off with where they’re at now. There’s an effort here that’s built around anniversaries of highly popular franchises, but one can’t help but still feel short-changed by the pair of selections for this particular “celebration”. Despite both being AAA-caliber titles, one’s a middle sequel that’s been around for several years now and the other’s a sports franchise entry that earned ire for its loot box issues. Let’s take a look, but before we do, don’t forget to Grab a One Year PlayStation Plus Subscription Card at Amazon.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Even though the franchise has spread out to other consoles over the years, you don’t get much more “PlayStation” than Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise. It took the reboot a little time to finally arrive on Sony’s platform due to exclusivity deals, but once it did, PS4 players could enjoy the Definitive Edition out of the gate with all the bells-‘n-whistles. This reboot of the franchise transformed Lara Croft into a more realistic, flawed, down-to-earth heroine whose talents with survival and spelunking narrowly get her through challenges, unlike the guns-blazin’ superhero from the early PS days. Shortly after the successful initial release of this overhauled Tomb Raider, with a similar exclusive release window, this sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider arrived on the scene to celebrate the character’s 20th anniversary on the small screen, and it does so by refining every aspect of the game into a tighter, more exhilarating and fully-formed experience for Lara Croft and her journeys into perilous landscapes.
The first release of the NBA 2K series arrived on the Dreamcast in 1999, and it hasn’t missed a beat in releasing a game every year since then. 2K20 stands as the product of two decades of persistent, annual refinement of 2K’s approach to the NBA, evolving across consoles into the standard bearer of the basketball subgenre … even above EA’s NBA Live series that dominated for so long. Therefore, it seems odd that 2K Sports would elect to go down a controversial path in celebration of their 20th anniversary. While the core NBA 2K20 game itself remains of predictably high quality, both the polished basketball games themselves and the assortment of game modes and legacy features, 2K20 introduces some loot box ideas that come under fire for being too close to digital “gambling” for its own good. Some of those mechanics get involved with real money microtransactions, while others are just quirky elements of game selection activities. Regardless of being a fine basketball game, NBA 2K20 took its eyes off the ball.