PS+ Welcomes the PlayStation 5 With Quality Free Titles in November
For the time being, the folks at PlayStation have made the future of their PS+ subscription platform much more concrete. The big news: Sony has made a “curated” lineup of 20 PS4 games available to play on the scarce, unsurprisingly popular PlayStation 5 for subscribers of their legacy service. From God of War and Bloodborne to Fallout 4 and Mortal Kombat X, the titles are massively attention-grabbing and can be seen as a huge boon for both new adopters and longstanding subscribers, and will be available as free downloads in all territories by November 19.
That’s great and all, but what’s in store for the folks who can’t manage to find or get a PS5 right now? Turns out, Sony’s on top of the ball by also offering a noteworthy AAA open-world title and a fantastic 2D action game, putting forth a substantive effort to satisfy its audience in the month leading up to the holidays. Let’s take a closer look at the PS+ titles, and be sure to Grab a Year Subscription Card for PlayStation Plus at Amazon.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
While video game adaptations of Tolkein’s universe – perhaps more accurately, of the movie universe – had been executed marginally well a time or two beforehand, it’s with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that the industry figured out how to really do “a LOTR game”. Granted, the folks at Monolith Games generously borrowed from the Batman: Arkham series in their execution – both are underneath the WB Interactive Entertainment umbrella – but the comfort-zone aspects of that familiar open-world stealth framework made it easy for players to relish the new environment.
Shadow of Mordor was a roaring success, so it’s no surprise that a sequel would come along, and thus enters Shadow of War. Continuing in the Hobbit-era stage of the narrative, the game once again follows Talion as he sets out to craft a new Ring of Power in his continued battle against Sauron. Critics weren’t as kind to Shadow of War, though, notably to the turns taken by its seemingly manufactured narrative and the prevalence of loot boxes.
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
Five years back, Team Cherry launched and successfully managed a Kickstarter campaign for a “beautiful and mysterious 2D adventure through a surreal world of insects and heroes”, designed with PCs in mind but with a clear eye for eventual console – and mobile – releases. Almost immediately upon release, the game began forming its reputation as darkly atmospheric in its world-building, exhilarating as a Metroidvania title, and challenging enough for it to frequently show up in the same conversations as the Dark Souls line of games.
It only took about a year and a half for Hollow Knight to make it onto all consoles, and during that time several add-ons were released that have been included in the Voidheart Edition of the game. Critics and players can be somewhat hesitant with their praise dur to the simplicity of the control design and the unrelenting difficulty, but that doesn’t stop folks from acknowledging that it’s one of the best modern platformers available.
And now, we’re entering somewhat uncharted territory. Sony hasn’t really made it clear where they’re headed with additional freebies in the PS5 generation, whether they’ll try to regularly slip in a new next-gen title – small as it may be – alongside the 2 other PS4 free downloads on a monthly basis. Perhaps we have an answer with Bugsnax, introduced as the “very first PS5 game to join PlayStation Plus”, which suggests that it’s the first of more to come. Bugsnax looks to be a charmer, utilizing an energetic, yet somewhat casual design space as the player controls a reporter who’s collecting the titular critters “bugsnax” with various devices, reminiscent of the sidequests in the classic game Beyond Good and Evil. It’s a release-date indie made free to PS5 owners, and that in itself is exciting.