It’s that time of the month again where we get a tidy bunch of free games, most of which we either aren’t really bothered about or have never even heard of. Well, luckily for you, GameRVW have decided to help you out by shouldering the burden of not knowing: we plan to try out all the games that get released and then tell you whether we think they’re worth your time. We have very cleverly titled this feature: The Freeder’s Digest
So be sure look out for all our reviews in the weeks to come. You never know; perhaps buried in this roster of random titles could be hiding your new favourite game…. Alright, probably not. But no doubt some will at least be worth a look.
First, let’s do a brief round-up of the games that will be releasing this month:
Starting with PlayStation Plus, as they tend to have the more exciting titles, from today you can download the PS4 Remaster of Quantic Dream’s famous cinematic-thriller Heavy Rain.
Following 4 protagonists who get caught up in the dark mystery of the ‘Origami Killer’, this game immerses players in a decidedly tense and emotional story, affording them unique interactive control over its movie-like presentation and the ability to make difficult in-game decisions that will affect the game’s narrative and the fate of its characters. If you haven’t played a Quantic Dream title yet, this is certainly the one to start with. It’s also much better than the ambitious but highly flawed Beyond: Two Souls, which Quantic released on PS Plus a couple of months ago.
The second PS4 title made available today will be Absolver, developed by SloCap games.
Billed as an ‘online melee combat experience’, the game sees players wandering the forsaken lands of the Adal empire, engaging in tactical real-time melee battles against NPC enemies and other players to prove they are worthy of joining the elite ranks of the Absolvers. Think of it as a smaller version of Destiny, but with swords instead of guns.
Those of us that still enjoy booting up our PS3 once in a while will also get access to Rayman 3 HD and Extreme Exorcism.
A remastered version of 2003’s Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, the game offers a light-hearted and whimsically comical adventure featuring plenty of old-school puzzle platforming.
Extreme Exorcism, on the other hand, is a couch-competitive 2D platformer that asks you to gather a few friends and fight to the death in a series of pixelated haunted house levels. The gimmick however, is that winning a round spawns a ghost that ‘mimics’ all your actions from the previous round, thereby adding an extra challenge to each game.
PS Vita owners, alternately, can participate in Chime’s interactive-narrative/escape-the-room puzzle experience, with Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma.
Or try out Excalibur Games’ isometric 3D multiplayer shooter Space Overlords.
Games With Gold
Now let’s take a look at Microsoft’s offerings:
Xbox One players can currently download Witch Games’ arcade-style shooter, Assault Android Cactus.
This slick and addictive, not to mention considerably well-reviewed, twin-stick shooter offers players an intense and engaging, yet surprisingly accessible, action experience that can be enjoyed in single player or in local co-op with up to 4 friends.
Additionally, this month’s first backwards compatible entry is the latest revision to Sega AM2’s fantastic arcade fighting game Virtua Fighter 5, released way back in 2007.
Titled Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, the game builds on the stylish and varied beat-em-up action contained in the original by offering a new playable character to the roster, along with some new costumes and a whole host of balance tweaks that make for a decidedly smoother and even more enjoyable experience. The combat system is certainly simple enough to intrigue casual players, but it’s tactical counter-play and remarkably varied character command-lists ensure die-hard fighter fans will also have plenty to get their fists on.
Both these games are available to download now, although Virtua Fighter will expire on July 16.
From July 16, Xbox One owners will get access Death Squared, a simple but entertaining puzzle game about ‘cooperation, communication and robot explosions’.
Taking players with guiding little square-shaped robots through a shifting level of traps and tricks, SMG Games’ arcade puzzle experience can be played alone but is most entertaining when played cooperatively.
Also available from July 16, is the 5th console entry in Ubisoft’s beloved stealth-action franchise, Xbox 360 exclusive Splinter Cell Conviction.
Released back in 2010, Conviction polarised gamers due to its significant departure from the series’ traditional stealth gameplay in favour of a more action-oriented and cinematic experience. While it doesn’t hold a candle to the sublime Chaos Theory, or even the massively underrated Double Agent, Sam Fisher’s updated outing (and the last game to feature the brilliant Michael Ironside as the gruff title character) still makes for a wildly exciting, and unusually brutal, action/stealth adventure. Play it for the uncomfortably satisfying ‘interrogation sequences’ alone.
And that raps up this month’s round-up of free games. Not sure which, if any, seem worth your time? Hopefully our reviews will help you out