Long story short, there were a couple of games on Playstation Now that caught my eye. The 3-month subscription was $25 and the value of all those games definitely added up to more than that. So, as any rational third-world-country resident would, I went through the usual week-long "Is this worth spending my precious dollars on?" existential question and, in the end, I concluded it was.
I tried not to fall into the pressure of rushing playthroughs (because more games played = money better spent) and instead took it easy. Even so, I somehow managed to play more games than I expected. I've calculated how many hours each game took and I'm still not sure how the math adds up, but whatever. Here are my thoughts on each!
(Or the "I just spent 25 dollars on games I wasn't gonna buy wtf am I doing" phase).
Not knowing how to measure the time I had, I played each game without rushing anything but also never stopping to see how well that "building burning down in the background" looked. Completed a single playthrough of each game and then moved on, leaving behind some optional missions and missing trophies my completionist brain is still coping with.
The Surge 2
8.0 / 10
The Surge 1 didn't blow my mind but it was good enough to make me interested in the sequel. Besides, I love watching Deck13 progress in their journey to the "memorable souls-like game." They still have some flaws to fix, but going from Lords of The Fallen to The Surge to this clearly shows they're one step closer each time.
The Surge 2 builds upon the base of the first game, providing improved gameplay, smoother movement, more customization, and overall just a better experience—lamely all this doesn't come without sacrifices. Compared to the first game, the atmosphere feels generic and the story didn't really grab my attention (especially since The Surge 1 had one or two "wow" moments that really caught me off-guard). And while this sequel fixes the repetitive "corridors and more corridors" level design of its predecessor, it also leaves aside the claustrophobic feeling that said corridors and said more corridors provided.
If you enjoyed The Surge, I heavily recommend you check this out. If you haven't played it but enjoy the main souls series, this game did scratch that itch for me, so give it a chance! I'm excited to see what Deck13 pulls out next and oh it's Lord of the Fallen 2… Well, not gonna lie, it's quite a bold decision to make a game that carries the weight of a weak predecessor, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
Thomas Was Alone
9.0 / 10
All I knew about this game is that it had a bunch of rectangles. For some reason that was interesting enough for me to want to play it (how am I not a compulsive buyer?).
In the end, Thomas Was Alone does have a bunch of rectangles, so I'm satisfied. Jokes aside, the minimalistic look is only a part of what makes this game so charming. The puzzles are entertaining and evolve in really interesting ways, the story is simple but intriguing, and the soundtrack is the kind that you'll be looking up on Youtube after the credits roll. If anything, I'd say the movement could've felt better (considering that's as far as the gameplay goes). I'm bad at platformers so maybe it was just me, but the jumping mechanic gave me some trouble when close to the edge of a platform.
This game is cheap and fairly short (2 or 3 hours), so consider giving it a try if you haven't already.
Deadlight Director's Cut
6.5 / 10
I remember this game catching my interest back in the PS3 era, so it was long overdue. Deadlight provides a serviceable 3-hour-long story through a 2.5D world, filled with zombies and abandoned buildings. The atmosphere is well-executed and the cutscenes are stylish, which was enough to keep me going. Lamely, this game shoots itself in the foot with some of its level design. There are a couple of sections (some, way too long) that rely on quickly avoiding traps or events that one-shot you. The controls are simply not polished enough for this to feel fair. Not even close. Considering the game is rather short, these sections were enough to taint the whole experience.
9.5 / 10
Oh boy. After playing and loving the masochist experience the first Nioh gave me, I was looking forward to this. I consider this one the first "mammoth" of this list.
This game is basically Nioh 1 with more enemies, more levels, and more weapons. And you know what? That's all it needs to be. Besides some new mechanics, Nioh 2 solves the "variety" issue its predecessor had. There are enough levels to keep you engaged and wanting to explore everything, and the amount of different enemies is just right: each type appears often enough for you to learn their movements and tricks, while new ones show up every now and then to keep things fresh. You'll start the game feeling like you should run to the furthest corner, away from all the enemies that want to eat you for dinner; but give it time, and soon the tables will turn. You'll find a weapon you click with and a couple of spells/skills that will make everything easier. You'll learn the enemies' patterns and when to punish. You'll be the one crushing them. (Except ippon-datara. Fuck ippon-datara.)
If you played Nioh 1, you have to play this one. It's honestly hard to see how anyone would prefer the first game. And if you haven't played either… what are you waiting for? This is as close to Fromsoft-levels of quality as you'll get.
7.5 / 10
This is a Diablo-like game with some amateurish feel to it. There are also some aspects that haven't aged that well; for example, it can feel a tad slow. Okay, that sounds pretty negative, but this game is hard to put down. You just wanna kill a couple more enemies, level up one more time, complete one more area—all while thinking what your next build is gonna be.
If you wanna scratch that Diablo itch, I actually heard Grim Dawn is better for that. But for us console peasants, Titan Quest works just fine.
7.0 / 1
As someone who never played the original, I ventured into this remake knowing it probably dragged some of that questionable old-school design with it. The style and atmosphere is charming, and the gameplay is fun. However, yeah… it can be a frustrating game. The usual "no lives = start over" is present here, as well as the below-ideal camera lots of old games seemed to struggle with.
I would recommend this game for those who want a hit of nostalgia. Now, if you haven't played the original, your experience might not be as pleasant.
8.0 / 10
I had to see what all the fuss was about. Indeed, Undertale is charming and unique. What starts as a simple game ends up being a memorable experience. There are a lot of punches packed here, from the unique mechanics, to the surprisingly high amount of choices to make and paths to take. Definitely give it a go if you're craving something quirky and "different."
7.0 / 10
A mix of Dungeon Keeper with Warcraft that falls a bit short on both. Still entertaining, though. The humor is good, if not too on-the-nose, and the gameplay is serviceable.
As a fan of DK and WC3 games, I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because RTS have died. I'm frustrated because Dungeon Keeper provided an amazing formula that just didn't pick up. I'm frustrated because War for the Overworld is PC-only. Oh well.
9.0 / 10
Went into this blind and it paid off. From the moment I saw a mimic, you know, mimicking stuff, I was hooked. The gameplay is smooth and the level design is really clever. See that room with the locked door? That vent on the ceiling? Chances are you have more than one way to get in there.
Just like there's a chance you'll die more than once. This game is not easy (unless you choose Easy difficulty, like I did). But that's not a bad thing. In fact, I don't have anything particularly bad to say about this game. Go ahead and dive into it, you won't regret it.
(Or the "little did I know, the best was yet to come" phase).
By now I'd realized I had more time than expected. The game I thought would take the longest, Nioh 2, was long gone in my library, and I felt like I had already tackled most games I was interested in. So I took a deep breath and dedicated more time to each game.
7.0 / 10
This 2.5D puzzle game nails the dark and creepy atmosphere. Lamely, it seems I didn't enjoy the game as much as most other people. The movement felt kinda sluggish and sometimes it was hard to figure out what the game wanted you to do. It relies a bit on trial and error, and "error" here means "death" (and I did die a lot). Dying and having to move across a room or a platform section again felt tiresome. That is not to say that I didn't like the game, but it did kill my interest in the sequel, at least for now.
9.5 / 10
Now THIS is the 2.5D puzzle game I was waiting for. As a big fan of the series (who conveniently skipped the third instalment), Trine 4 is everything I wanted it to be: fun puzzles, creativity, and a pack of easily the most beautiful landscapes I've seen in a video game. The game provides a decent amount of hours of content, without overstaying its welcome. My only complaint is that some of the mechanics seem overly simplified compared to previous games (don't know about you, but I enjoyed having to draw shapes to create objects with the Wizard instead of just pressing a button). Also, some of the late-game abilities are OP, trivializing most if not all puzzles.
Trine 2 and 4 are a must-play, if you ask me.
Slay the Spire
9.5 / 10
You know that feeling when you play a new game for an hour, and you go like "Yep. This is digital cocaine and I'm pre-Marvel Robert Downey Jr."? As soon as I finished my first run (by rightfully dying), I knew this was gonna be great. The gameplay loop in Slay the Spire is easy to pick up, but you'll need to get familiar with each of the tools at your disposal to beat the final boss. You'll need a good deck to get far and a great one to win. Sinergies and combos are key. Also, luck. Also, unlocking The Silent. Literally won my first run as The Silent (second run total).
Loved this game, and the only reason I stopped playing (after many, many runs) is because, well, I had more stuff I didn't wanna miss! If anything, I feel it could use more enemy variation. Once you've played a few runs, you've kinda seen it all. Also, I enjoyed the simplicity of the two original characters (Ironclad and The Silent) more than the ten-steps-ahead calculations you need to do with the two others. That's just me, though.
10 / 10
I usually stay away from media that includes overly-sexualized waifu warriors, but I gave this one a chance. Besides the excellent combat and controls, Nier Automata surprised me with its unconventional quirks, and how well they worked. It hooked me all the way through Route A and B. And just when I was ready to declare it a great game, the third playthrough came… From beginning to end, one of the most impressive and thought-provoking playthroughs of any game I've played.
In the end, this was an amazing surprise, one I won't forget any time soon. One with a truly memorable story. One with characters that manage to fill not only the weebs' dicks with blood, but also my heart with love.
(Or the "relaxing feeling of money well spent, with still one more punch to give" phase).
After Nier Automata, I didn't care anymore. I could've paid $25 for that game alone, and it still would've been fine. So the third month was more of an aftermath, in which I could "play a few extra games" just because I had the time.
Still, PS Now surprised me with one more game, The Last one in this list (get it?).
The Spectrum Retreat
7.0 / 10
Serviceable game with an interesting plot and a bunch of puzzles based on the simple concept of "swapping colors." I won't go into details about the puzzles, but my main gripe is that, while good and simple in nature, they become… bigger. Not better or more interesting. Just bigger, to the point where your head will hurt at the mere sight of all the shit you'll have to go through.
And the last puzzle, oh god… It's incredibly long and big, with no checkpoint and many ways to soft-lock yourself. So I don't regret using a guide for that one (but, hey, that's kind of a compliment when it comes to the story! I still finished the game cause I wanted to see the ending).
8.0 / 10
This game feels like a faster-paced and more action-oriented Helldivers. Choose one of the three classes and start shooting at aliens until they blow up (or you bite the dust). The campaign is not too long but there's definitely a lot of replayability value here, especially if you have a friend to play with.
8.0 / 10
You're gothic Geralt, and you're here to kill skeletons, zombies, and gargoyles. This is also a "cheap" Diablo-like game and it's… surprisingly good? The gameplay is fun, the controls are smooth, and the variety doesn't go too deep but it's good enough. What caught me off-guard, though, is the verticality. You can jump in this game. No, scratch that. You can WALL jump in this game. That way you can reach higher platforms and even rooftops. Very unique mechanic for this genre.
This game is better than it seems. Check it out!
The Last of Us: Part 2
9.8 / 10
Just when I thought my PS Now subscription had run its course, literally the game I wanted to play the most was added to the library. Thank you, random luck.
So, what are my thoughts on one of the most controversial sequels out there? Well, you've already seen my score. I feel like I could write a thousand pages here, but I don't wanna go too crazy. In short, this game takes some extremely bold decisions (you know what I'm talking about), and while I wasn't sure how to feel about them while playing it, in retrospect, I think it pays off. TLOU2 puts you in the front row of a devastating cycle of vengeance. It's about being unable to count your losses, because too much has been lost to let go. It's sunk cost fallacy in its cruelest form. This is both tragic and beautiful. And by beautiful I mean, hooly hell, how does this game look so good? How does it run on a PS4? How does it load so damn fast? Did I just spend the last two minutes staring at grass?
Listen, I don't think it's necessary to talk about the amazing graphics and top-notch animations. I understand the story is not everybody's cup of tea (to say the least), but, what can I say? It worked for me. The way the game made me care for you-know-who after you-know-what happened, and every other character involved in that storyline, was an incredible twist. It shows you it's all a matter of perspective, which fuels the theme of "devastating violence" the game is about.
Did TLOU1 need a sequel? Not at all. If Part 2 never existed, I would've been just happy. But I also don't think it was a mistake. In fact, having characters you already love at the center of this tragic cycle is what makes it so powerful, in my eyes.
So, why not a 10? Well, I just think I needed to address the fact that the story does have issues, unlike the first game (imo). For one, the pace can get messy, especially with all the time-jumping and the "flashbacks inside flashbacks" thing. Also, as much as I loved each area, I do feel it didn't really need to be twice as long as the previous game. They could've tightened the plot, had they wanted to.
And then, there's the subject of complexity. We all love a complex story. We all love having a thousand characters and dozens of factions and them going to war and beheading each other (I miss Game of Thrones), but… as captivating as complexity can be, there is just so much value in simplicity. Let me summarize the first game: you're a guy who's lost his daughter and who takes an immune girl to a laboratory to create a cure for the virus that's killing everyone, but once there you learn she has to die, so you kill all the (relatively) good guys and get her out, because you refuse to loss another "daughter" again. That's it. The whole story. Of course, I could go into details about Joel and Ellie's relationship, about the lore, the people they meet, etc; but the base is simple. And I think the relation between that simplicity and the punch the story carries is what made the game so iconic. TLOU2 doesn't work the same way. There are so many characters (some, of questionable relevance) and so many events and so many time-jumps and so much context and… it's all tangled. So I could describe it using many positive words. It's great. It's impressive. But I don't think I'd use that word, "iconic."
Also, where the fuck is Factions 2?
If the question is, "Was it worth it?" then all I have to say is: "I paid 25 bucks to play TLOU2, Nier Automata, and Slay the Spire. So, jeez, yes." But the thing is… I'm pretty much done with it.
It obviously doesn't hold a candle to Gamepass. Then again, it's cheaper. But, considering how similar both services are (in terms of how they work) it's so weird that Sony's not fully committing to it. I get it, Sony, Playstation has more players so you don't have much to worry about. But Gamepass is a strong beast, it's growing like crazy, and it's promising. Gamepass players know exclusive games will drop on day one, and stay there. They know new multiplayer games could drop day one too. They know each month, they'll get a big collection of games, and at least some of them will pique their interest. So it's much more justified to stay subscribed to the service.
Meanwhile, Sony seems like it's trying to persuade their players into buying both services (PS Plus and PS Now) by alternating which one gets the bigger budget each month. Hell, sometimes the PS Plus and PS Now games overlap, so having both services can be a disadvantage. Exclusive games don't stay on PS now, let alone drop on day one. The library is not even that big, and I think Gamepass adds more games per month.
So the final answer is that PS Now is not in a better state because Sony doesn't need it to be. At the same time, I'm not gonna renew my subscription because I don't need to either. I played most of the games I was interested in, the remaining ones are not good enough for me, and there's no guarantee the next couple of months will bring something worth staying for.
So, even if PS Now is your only choice, I'd say the best course of action is to do what I did: subscribe for a limited number of months, play what you want, then call it quits. I will only subscribe again if there's a really good offer (like, 1 month for 1 dollar), or if a really good game is added (Sekiro is the only one I can think of).
Hope you enjoyed the post!
- None Found
More about Gaming NewsPost: "I subscribed to PS Now for 3 months. Here are the games I played and my thoughts on the service." specifically for the game Gaming News. Other useful information about this game:
- Perpetuum Online – Free open-source sci-fi sandbox MMO
- I Platinummed Assassin’s Creed Unity – The Best AC Game
- Gaming, Collecting and Mental Health
- Remembering My Favourite 3 Consoles: Number 3 – The Sega Saturn – Often Ignored but had a Rich Library of Games
- Marvel’s Avengers is not terrible, but misses greatness.
Top 20 NEW Medieval Games of 2021
Swords, dragons, knights, castles - if you love any of this stuff, you might like these games throughout 2021.
10 NEW Shooter Games of 2021 With Over The Top Action
We've been keeping our eye on these crazy action oriented first and third person shooter games releasing this year. What's on your personal list? Let us know!
Top 10 NEW Survival Games of 2021
Survival video games are still going strong in 2021. Here's everything to look forward to on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and beyond.