PS+ Has February Under Control With Racing, Painting, Psychokinesis

By on February 16, 2021

For the first time in numerous months, it looks if Sony has slowed down and might be playing a bit of catch-up with their PS+ free titles. Since the release of the PS5, they’ve been great about releasing significant, noteworthy titles for both their current system and the next-gen hardware. While they’ve still done so in this February, the profile of the titles isn’t nearly as high as the past few months. Their next-gen exclusive release is a delayed brand-new one that’s more of an indie genre-blended title, while another one has been an available game through their competitor’s game pass subscription service for quite a while now.

That being said … ? On the whole, it does look like a pretty fun package of freebies for those who haven’t played the games, a solid variety that both offers completely new titles and affords PlayStation owners the chance to play one of the better games of the last few years. Let’s take a closer look, but be sure to Grab a 1-Year PS+ Subscription Card at Amazon first.

PS5

Control: Ultimate Edition (Also for PS4)

Control has shown up in some of my other articles, but this marks the first time covering it since the release of its next-gen update. Inherently, this game from the developers responsible for Alan Wake and Quantum Break have taken their design up another notch, both in terms of the chaotically immersive gameplay style and the outlandishness of the science-fiction involved.  Remedy Entertainment merges these sides into a dazzling piece of work that earned its fair share of game-of-the-year attention in 2019.

Players who previously grabbed this Ultimate Edition likely did so for two reasons: one, it includes all the preplanned expansions and additional DLC; and two, it promised to include a newly updated version of the game for the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles later on. Well, that update finally arrived at the beginning of February, and while it hasn’t really improved on any misgivings some had over sluggishness in the controls, the fluidity from the escalated graphics, tightened loading times, and other minor tweaks are worth the wait.

Destruction AllStars

There are easier, more timely comparisons to draw between Destruction AllStars and other current games, but longstanding PlayStation players might be thinking something a bit different when looking at Lucid Games’ title. Yes, there’s certainly a good amount of Rocket League baked into this automotive arena brawler, from the vibrant colors to the navigation strategy across the stage’s layout, and it’s obvious that this is the intended subgenre they’re going after with the gameplay style. 

However, old-school players might discover some fond memories of the Twisted Metal series in the head-on collisions and fighting aspects, which emphasizes both sporty competitiveness and the dangers of these being combustible vehicles. Where Destruction AllStars differs can be found in the drivers themselves, who will evacuate their vehicles and jump into others scattered across the arena’s space. Its only downfall, according to critics, is that there isn’t a lot to it other than what’s on the surface.

PS4

Concrete Genie

There’s an odd sort of inverted bell curve that represents the relationship between how quality games can be either action-packed or therapeutic and atmospheric through repetition. Obviously, you’ve got just regular games at one peak, but at the other peak you’ve got these beautifully conceived gaming experiences with unchanging controls and design ideas that are uniquely pleasurable; think games like Flower, Journey, and Abzu. Middle ground is hard to reach because repetition and slowness can disrupt an action game’s energy, and a spike in energy could disrupt another game’s peaceful repetition and slowness.

Concrete Genie can be seen as an experiment to see how close to the center developers Pixelopus can get with a third-person adventure, in which an artist’s sketches are scattered about an abandoned town by bullies and must be retrieved. While doing so, he discovers a magical ability to bring his illustrations to life, and using the DualShock controller the player paints over them with different colors to grant his creations unique personalities. The beauty and creativity in Concrete Genie are impressive and players can get lost in free-form painting aspects of the world, though some might be put off by the simplicity of both the story and controls.

About Thomas Spurlin

Film, home-media, and videogame scribe who digs green tea and walking his dogs.

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