It’s that time of the month again where PlayStation Plus subscribers receive a lovely free batch of games on all platforms, including my current platform of choice, the PlayStation 4. In the first of a regular series of mini reviews, I’ll be giving you a quick overview of what’s on offer to PS4 users, and, more importantly, whether it’s any good or not.
Last week (April 8th) saw the addition of several new games to the PS Plus line up, including Tower of Guns and Never Alone, two indie games that are stylistically worlds apart, but both equally fun.
Tower of Guns:
First up is Tower of Guns from GRIP games, a randomised first-person shooter, structured in a roguelike format. For those unfamiliar with the term, this essentially means that once you die, your game is over for good, and you must begin afresh from the beginning of a new set of procedurally-generated levels.
The randomised generation of each level guarantees a new and unique gameplay experience on each attempt, and the driving goal of finally beating the game is what should entice you back into attempting multiple playthroughs.
Tower of Guns is certainly an acquired taste, but for those into fast-paced shooters that don’t take themselves too seriously, it’s great fun. The look and feel of the game is retro in every sense, but having been built on the ever solid and reliable Unreal engine, the game runs smoothly and still looks great.
Featuring an assortment of crazy power-ups and guns to unlock makes the experience worth repeating, even if you are unconcerned with beating the game. Starting with guns such as the ‘Portable Pizza Thrower’ gives you an idea of what’s in store to unlock as you progress
Overall, the game can be a fairly repetitive single-button-bashing experience, but for those times when you’re after a quick gaming session requiring little thought, it’s worth reaching for Tower of Guns
The highly acclaimed Never Alone from Upper One Games is a great addition to the April line-up. The puzzle-platformer follows the story of an Alaskan girl and her arctic fox companion as they struggle through a relentless blizzard.
Gameplay is interspersed with a fascinating and insightful selection of ‘cultural insights’ in the form of documentary-style videos throughout, with the intention to explore much of the heritage of the indigenous peoples of the land, whilst using this as a basis to create new and interesting puzzles throughout.
As you swap between the two characters, it is your goal to overcome the treacherous conditions of the land and the wildlife. The format is not wildly different from previous puzzle-platformers, but does feature some novel new ideas, such as the guiding spirits which aid the duo, controlled by the arctic fox, and appearances from many mythological and real creatures, from “little people” to the polar bears.
If I was looking for a complaint, I’d perhaps say that the gameplay can feel somewhat empty at times, but the game’s story and characters more than make up for that. Overall, it’s a fun, linear exploration of a beautiful landscape, featuring loveable protagonists and an in-depth look at an esoteric and mysterious world. What more could you ask for?
Also available this month is 2D platformer Aaru’s Awakening (PS3 & PS4), stealth action title Dishonored (PS3), FPS spin-off Killzone Mercenary (PS Vita) & puzzle game MonsterBag (PS Vita)