Playstation Plus Post-E3: Worth The Investment?

Posted by Protome (347 posts) -

E3 was a let-down in a lot of ways this, but some great things got announced among the disappointing non-games. One such announcement came in the form of a revamp of Playstation Plus for Ps3 users.

PS+ is a subscription service which Sony created to encourage users to visit the playstation store more often and purchase games, it intended to do this by giving weekly discounts on various games and monthly "free" games which users would lose access to when their subscription lapsed. Often these games would be worth significantly more than the subscription's cost, including such great games as Wipeout HD and Shatter, and occasionally brand new PSN titles would be given away for free to users at their launch, most recently this occurred with Awesomenauts. The typical month would include 2 PSN titles, 2 minis and 1 PSone title however this is what Sony has announced they are changing, starting this month.

The new Playstation Plus will still cost the same price (£11.99 for 3 months) but now instead of offering a couple of games a month when you first subscribe you will ALWAYS receive 10 games, made up of PSN games and digital copies of full retail games. So, how does it work? Well, each month there will be 10 free games, however 7 of them will be carried over into the next month with 3 of them being changed up with new titles. This will mean overall subscribers are getting less content each month, but it will be theoretically of a higher quality. Whereas before users would be recieving minis which they probably never played and PS1 "Classics" which often weren't impressive, now they should be receiving much higher quality PSN and retail releases.

So is the new PS+ a good deal?

Well, it's too soon to tell in a lot of ways. This new system will only work if Sony can keep giving great games every month, otherwise long-term subscribers will get shafted while new ones don't. It's possible that a lot of subscriptions could lapse and return 3-4 months later when most of the 10 games which existed around their subscription time had completely changed. Allowing them to pay less for the same content as continuing subscribers. This is assuming that Sony replaces games in order, it's probable that to avoid this very issue some games will remain in the list for longer than others. But it's too soon to tell! all I can tell you is that the first round of games is great.

Outland - An indie platformer which uses a colour-shifting mechanic similar to Ikaruga while also blending some metroid-vania exploration into the mix. This game was initially scheduled to come out during the PSN crash of last year and as such a lot of people missed this challenging and fun game.

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - First coming out on the Original Xbox, this game was a departure from the usual platforming fair of the Oddworld games. Instead it's a hybrid of third person action and first person shooting with an open world where you play a bounty hunter hunting the wierd inhabitants of Oddworld. I'll be honest I had never even heard of this game till PS+, but it's a lot of fun.

Motorstorm Apocalypse - One of the biggest first party IPs Sony has, Motorstorm is established as one of the best racing series. Apocalypse maintains the fantastic driving and track designs the series is known for, but it has a short single-player with and awful story which lets it down a bit. Still a really good game for multiplayer however.

Darksiders - Imagine Zelda, but with Devil may cry combat and a far better story. Got that? Okay, now take the usual bad Zelda sidekick/companions and replace them with MARK FUCKING HAMILL that's right, Luke Skywalker and the best voice of Joker. That's basically Darksiders in a nutshell. I'm underselling it quite a bit, but trust me, Darksiders is nothing short of amazing.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine - A third person shooter with no cover system (yay!) and an incredibly basic melee combat system (boo!) which is required to be used to regain health (boo!). I'll admit, I've not played much of this game yet, but so far it seems to be the weakest of the bunch.

Renegade Ops - From the makers of Just Cause 2 comes a top-down shooter with a heavy co-op focus where you blow up so many things. I mean like, a LOT of things. It's insane and fun in the same way as Just Cause 2 while also having a crazy amount of depth.

Infamous 2 - If you like comic books and haven't played the Infamous series you are missing out. Suckerpunch's open world series sees you playing as Cole, a regular dude turned super/anti hero as you fight bad guys and monsters and stuff. Infamous 2's story goes very X-men at times, but has some unique and genuinely great plot twists of its own. It also has some of the best building-climbing mechanics around and some great combat too. Definitely worth playing.

LittleBigPlanet2 - So, as a game LBP2 isn't that great. The jumping is a bit floaty, the stock levels are okay but nothing memorable. But that's not the point of LBP2. The insanely intuitive and easy to use level editor and the creations you can download from online are, and they make the game well worth sinking a lot of time into. Also, Stephen Fry narrates. Need I say more?

Virtua Fighter 5 - A series which has become strangely niche recently, virtua fighter is still one of the most interesting fighting games around. It takes quite a bit of time to get the hang of though compared to some other fighters. I'm not very good at it, but I find it fun.

Chime Superdeluxe - I'll be honest, this is the one game here which I don't really like much. I'll admit that Chime is a good game, with some really good music, but I never really got into its style of puzzling. But maybe you will! I don't know!

On top of all this, subscribers this month seem to recieve all of last months content too which included 9 PSN games, most of which were mediocre. But Awesomenauts and mushroom wars were in it and they were Great!

So do I advise you to buy PS+ this month? maybe. If you haven't played even one of the games available in the relaunch then you'll be saving money to buy 3 months of PS+, the issue is if you don't finish them in those 3 months you'll be needing to resubscribe to play them more. Usually the discounts offered by PS+ are enough to help you balance out the cost but there are none that I can see this month, which is a disappointment.

Whether more than 3 months of subscription is justified right now is a mystery however. If Sony fails to keep the quality of games high and varied then PS+'s value is going to decrease dramatically. All we can do is wait and see. And play games.

#1 Edited by Protome (347 posts) -

E3 was a let-down in a lot of ways this, but some great things got announced among the disappointing non-games. One such announcement came in the form of a revamp of Playstation Plus for Ps3 users.

PS+ is a subscription service which Sony created to encourage users to visit the playstation store more often and purchase games, it intended to do this by giving weekly discounts on various games and monthly "free" games which users would lose access to when their subscription lapsed. Often these games would be worth significantly more than the subscription's cost, including such great games as Wipeout HD and Shatter, and occasionally brand new PSN titles would be given away for free to users at their launch, most recently this occurred with Awesomenauts. The typical month would include 2 PSN titles, 2 minis and 1 PSone title however this is what Sony has announced they are changing, starting this month.

The new Playstation Plus will still cost the same price (£11.99 for 3 months) but now instead of offering a couple of games a month when you first subscribe you will ALWAYS receive 10 games, made up of PSN games and digital copies of full retail games. So, how does it work? Well, each month there will be 10 free games, however 7 of them will be carried over into the next month with 3 of them being changed up with new titles. This will mean overall subscribers are getting less content each month, but it will be theoretically of a higher quality. Whereas before users would be recieving minis which they probably never played and PS1 "Classics" which often weren't impressive, now they should be receiving much higher quality PSN and retail releases.

So is the new PS+ a good deal?

Well, it's too soon to tell in a lot of ways. This new system will only work if Sony can keep giving great games every month, otherwise long-term subscribers will get shafted while new ones don't. It's possible that a lot of subscriptions could lapse and return 3-4 months later when most of the 10 games which existed around their subscription time had completely changed. Allowing them to pay less for the same content as continuing subscribers. This is assuming that Sony replaces games in order, it's probable that to avoid this very issue some games will remain in the list for longer than others. But it's too soon to tell! all I can tell you is that the first round of games is great.

Outland - An indie platformer which uses a colour-shifting mechanic similar to Ikaruga while also blending some metroid-vania exploration into the mix. This game was initially scheduled to come out during the PSN crash of last year and as such a lot of people missed this challenging and fun game.

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - First coming out on the Original Xbox, this game was a departure from the usual platforming fair of the Oddworld games. Instead it's a hybrid of third person action and first person shooting with an open world where you play a bounty hunter hunting the wierd inhabitants of Oddworld. I'll be honest I had never even heard of this game till PS+, but it's a lot of fun.

Motorstorm Apocalypse - One of the biggest first party IPs Sony has, Motorstorm is established as one of the best racing series. Apocalypse maintains the fantastic driving and track designs the series is known for, but it has a short single-player with and awful story which lets it down a bit. Still a really good game for multiplayer however.

Darksiders - Imagine Zelda, but with Devil may cry combat and a far better story. Got that? Okay, now take the usual bad Zelda sidekick/companions and replace them with MARK FUCKING HAMILL that's right, Luke Skywalker and the best voice of Joker. That's basically Darksiders in a nutshell. I'm underselling it quite a bit, but trust me, Darksiders is nothing short of amazing.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine - A third person shooter with no cover system (yay!) and an incredibly basic melee combat system (boo!) which is required to be used to regain health (boo!). I'll admit, I've not played much of this game yet, but so far it seems to be the weakest of the bunch.

Renegade Ops - From the makers of Just Cause 2 comes a top-down shooter with a heavy co-op focus where you blow up so many things. I mean like, a LOT of things. It's insane and fun in the same way as Just Cause 2 while also having a crazy amount of depth.

Infamous 2 - If you like comic books and haven't played the Infamous series you are missing out. Suckerpunch's open world series sees you playing as Cole, a regular dude turned super/anti hero as you fight bad guys and monsters and stuff. Infamous 2's story goes very X-men at times, but has some unique and genuinely great plot twists of its own. It also has some of the best building-climbing mechanics around and some great combat too. Definitely worth playing.

LittleBigPlanet2 - So, as a game LBP2 isn't that great. The jumping is a bit floaty, the stock levels are okay but nothing memorable. But that's not the point of LBP2. The insanely intuitive and easy to use level editor and the creations you can download from online are, and they make the game well worth sinking a lot of time into. Also, Stephen Fry narrates. Need I say more?

Virtua Fighter 5 - A series which has become strangely niche recently, virtua fighter is still one of the most interesting fighting games around. It takes quite a bit of time to get the hang of though compared to some other fighters. I'm not very good at it, but I find it fun.

Chime Superdeluxe - I'll be honest, this is the one game here which I don't really like much. I'll admit that Chime is a good game, with some really good music, but I never really got into its style of puzzling. But maybe you will! I don't know!

On top of all this, subscribers this month seem to recieve all of last months content too which included 9 PSN games, most of which were mediocre. But Awesomenauts and mushroom wars were in it and they were Great!

So do I advise you to buy PS+ this month? maybe. If you haven't played even one of the games available in the relaunch then you'll be saving money to buy 3 months of PS+, the issue is if you don't finish them in those 3 months you'll be needing to resubscribe to play them more. Usually the discounts offered by PS+ are enough to help you balance out the cost but there are none that I can see this month, which is a disappointment.

Whether more than 3 months of subscription is justified right now is a mystery however. If Sony fails to keep the quality of games high and varied then PS+'s value is going to decrease dramatically. All we can do is wait and see. And play games.

#2 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

Are you in the UK? That list of games is way better than the one that US subscribers get.

#3 Posted by Protome (347 posts) -

Yeah, I am. Are they much different? I haven't actually looked at the US list, because you guys usually get a slightly better deal than us xD

#4 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

I actually prefer the US deal, (UK here). But yes, it is a good deal if you are going to play through the games within the timeframe and are interested in them.

#5 Posted by JacDG (2126 posts) -

Yes, it is worth it...

#6 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

US List. Outland, Oddworld, Renegade Ops, and Darksiders are the ones I'm jealous of.

#7 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

If you regularly buy PSN content, PS+ is almost a no-brainer. I've had it since the program launched and have easily saved more money on discounts alone than the subscription cost, without even talking about the free games, betas and other crap you get for being a member. For me, the value is definitely there.

#8 Posted by Pr1mus (3918 posts) -

Of course it's worth it. You pay less for 3 months than what it would cost you to rent 3-4 games for a week. That's without considering the other extras you get with PSN+.

Online
#9 Edited by Kidavenger (3557 posts) -

I picked up a year, it was cheap and I wanted to play Infamous 2 and LBP2, the rest is just gravy.

I do wonder what will happen once the PS4 comes out, I'm sure PS+ will be a part of it, but will the games carry over?

I also need to get a bigger hard drive now, I have a 320gb from an old work laptop that I could use, but I'm wondering if a 500gb may be worth a purchase.

I also wish they had more PS+ deals on the video service, say $1 off of rentals or exclusive weekly specials on movies that are recent releases would go a long way towards getting me actually renting from them.

#10 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I'm starting to think that because I am a huge Sony fan and already buy most of the games, that Playstation + is pointless for me.

#11 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -

Actually, I'm not sure how different it is in the UK, but the "official" list of things we get per month is one PSN game, two minis, and a PSOne game. But they often break their own rules. For instance, some months we'll get three our four PSOne games, two or three minis, and like last month with the Awesomenauts, Trine 2 and Rock Of Ages. It's not set in stone that it's all you'll get, but it's a bare minimum that they break all of the time.

#12 Posted by Protome (347 posts) -

@N7: That was how it worked in the UK too. Last month we got 9 PSN games, 2 minis and Max Payne 1 PS2 classic.

Now however it is completely changed for both, minis and classics have been dropped in favour of more PSN games.

#13 Posted by bchampnd (108 posts) -

If you are the type of person that goes and buys most games that you're interested on Day 1, you're not going to benefit much because you'll probably already own the good games that are released for free on PS+ so you'll only be getting the games you weren't very interested in for "free". If, on the other hand, you tend to wait it out for a price drop, a lot of the big PSN releases do end up becoming free, or at least heavily discounted (beyond usual PS+ discount for most PSN games), at some point on PS+.

With that said, now is a great time to jump on board if you were thinking about PS+. We haven't seen offerings like this since the PSN Blackout led to Infamous 1 being a freebie.

#14 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

didn't realize that we'd only be getting 3 games each month from here on out. wondering what the weekly updates will entail as well.. hoping for more free psone classics.

#15 Posted by Protome (347 posts) -

@killacam said:

didn't realize that we'd only be getting 3 games each month from here on out. wondering what the weekly updates will entail as well.. hoping for more free psone classics.

The EU PS blog said they'll be putting up free PSOne classics when there is something great to give away. So not just any old thing like they've been doing.

#16 Posted by BoFooQ (674 posts) -

I'm very happy started warhammer and infamous 2 afterwards moving onto just cause 2 and saints row 2. I've never played any of them and need something to keep me busy till borderlands 2 in sept. I was wondering about how often they will rotate the games too, and this is the first I've heard of the 3 new games a month. All ready I have hours and hours worth of gaming ahead of me. I got the one year plan and am very pleased already after just one month, I don't think they could do anything to make me change my mind.

Also I wish they would throw some movie deals in as well, Should be easy enough to give away some free sony movies.

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