Last year’s 2020 Play at Home Initiative from Playstation gave Playstation owners Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey absolutely FREE. Two great games, but when you think about it it’s actually four great games (the Nathan Drake Collection is made up of Uncharted I, II & III). This year, with many of us still stuck at home, the Play at Home Initiative is a bit of a bigger deal.
This year’s Play at Home began with Rachet and Clank (2016) for FREE. I already owned this game in my library thanks to PS Plus’s monthly free games. And, when Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart was announced for the PS5 I searched my PS4 library to check for any Rachet and Clank games (having never encountered any titles in the franchise). I found this game and quickly played through it and loved it. I’m still hoping to watch the Rachet and Clank movie from that year one day.
Last night, Playstation released nine FREE indie games for Playstation owners. Five standard games (Rez Infinite, Abzu, The Witness, Enter the Gungeon and Subnautica) and four PSVR games (Moss, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Paper Beast and Thumper). I do already own a few of these in multiple places (Nintendo Switch, Playstation, Steam and Epic Store), but it’s still exciting to receive such a big haul of non-first party games for free.
SIDE NOTE: Ever since the launch of the Playstation 5, Sony has been more generous with its FREE monthly games. They’ve been giving out good, great and also some brand new games each month. Game Pass is still the best deal around, but Playstation seems to actually be trying to create competition for Xbox with it’s FREE monthly games.
One thing I like about PS Plus FREE games is that I get to keep these games in my library forever (as long as I “add to library” and as long as the PS store doesn’t close any time soon). Game Pass works like Netflix and streaming services in that most games are only there for a limited time (average time one year). I did some research and learned that if you’ve downloaded the game to your Xbox you get to keep it after it leaves Game Pass
Back to FREE PS Games
Of these nine FREE games being offered I’m mostly excited to finally try out Rez Infinite. The same studio created Tetris Effect, which is the most beautiful way to experience Tetris.
Abzu and Subnautica are both underwater games that I already own on my PC. I have played a few minutes of Abzu and although it was very nice to look at I didn’t really get into it. I heard that Subnautica is kind of a spooky underwater adventure, and being trapped in the endless abyss of the deep sea is scary enough, I don’t need some spooky sea monsters added to the equation.
The Witness is a game that I may already own in my PS library. I have been looking for a relaxing puzzle-solving game like this, however I really want it on my Switch. I’ve been wanting a game like this to play in handheld mode right before bed. I want something new to sub out for Picross once I beat Kemono Friends Picross. I will definitely test it out some time soon to see if it’s that game I need on my Nintendo Switch.
I own and have played so many hours of Enter the Gungeon on my Nintendo Switch. I still haven’t made it through the entire Gungeon though. They recently released Exit the Gungeon, but I thought How can I exit something I’ve never truly entered? I will most likely continue to play this game on the Nintendo Switch.
I heard great things about Moss and would most likely give it a try if I had the PSVR. Since I don’t own a PSVR I will have to give this game a pass for now. The same goes for Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and Paper Beast. Thumper is a different story though.
I own Thumper on the Nintendo Switch and I was quite obsessed with it when I first bought it. I started off playing Thumper in handheld mode, but once I played on docked mode and experienced it on the big screen it was a totally different story. There’s something magical about this game on the big screen. It’s a simple game where there’s only a few commands for your Thumper pod. It’s such a gorgeous looking game, plus the music and sound hits you with every movement. I will definitely download this one to play on the PS5. This would definitely be a game I would love to try out on the PSVR.
Horizon: Zero Dawn (FREE on 4.19.21)
If these nine games aren’t enough for you don’t worry, there’s more. Next month, starting April 19th you can download Horizon: Zero Dawn (Complete Edition) for absolutely FREE. This is great news. I did beat Horizon: Zero Dawn back when it came out, but I never got into the DLC. I hope I can pick up where I left off and just play through the DLC, if not I may just wait for Horizon: Forbidden West. I may also start the game over just to get back into that world for a little bit.
Ashly Burch did such an amazing job as Aloy in this Horizon. She’s such a bad ass character. Hunting Dinos with her future weapons. It’s also nice to hear Ashly voice a character using her real voice after hearing her voice characters like Tiny Tina in the Borderlands games. I love Tiny Tina, but it’s always cool to see the range.
Playing at Home
Last years Play at Home initiative was a nice gesture from Playstation. Now that we’re still stuck at home, one year later, it’s nice to see Playstation trying a bit harder to bring us some fun, free games. Nine free games at once is kind of a big deal.
One thing that Playstation has been doing lately, and I think it’s a great thing, is giving away the previous title in an upcoming franchise. They’ve been doing this for some time now to drive sales of their new releases. Oh, we have a new Uncharted coming out soon, here’s the first three for you. How do you get more people excited for the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West and Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart? Give them the previous game to play for FREE!
Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime and streaming services have been using this formula for years. Release the previous movies in a series, or the original before a remake to get people excited for what’s coming. Godzilla vs Kong comes to HBO Max next week, and for a few months now they only had Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters available on their platform. It wasn’t until last week that they brought the first Godzilla (2014) into their library. Before that I thought, well if I can’t do a proper rewatch of all three movies before the new one then I don’t care, but now that the first one is available I already started watching it last night.
I always enjoy rewatching prequel movies when a sequel is on the way. I’ve watched the entire MCU multiple times, leading up to new MCU movies. I’ve watched the Daniel Craig James Bond movies every time a new one is on the way. I watched all of the Jurassic Park movies leading up to Jurassic World. I’ve watched all of the Star Wars movies in order, multiple times. Especially each time the past five Star Wars movies were released.
I do this with games too. Right before God of War (2018) was released, I bought and played through God of War III Remastered. It’s a totally different game, but I did want to learn a bit about Kratos before jumping into he new game. Sometimes it’s fine to just jump into the latest thing without knowing anything about the previous work in the series. The first Die Hard movie I watched was Die Hard with a Vengeance. The only Sharknado movie I’ve watched was the 4th or 5th one (and I’ve only seen a couple of minutes).
With games I like to visit or revisit the history and lore of the franchise, but sometimes I just jump in. Like with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Final Fantasy VII. Some games may be part of a series, without really being part of the series. They just have the name in common but the story, characters and everything else may be stand-alone.
I don’t know how I reached this conclusion, but I’m excited to play some free games and see what else Playstation gives us in the coming months. And you should be excited about it too!