Although credible rumors are circulating on the Internet suggesting that Sony will re-launch its PlayStation-themed subscription services, the publisher has continued to enhance its present offering with caution, while remaining strangely silent on the matter. While it remains to be seen what the alleged and curiously named Spartacus project actually means, players who have bought PlayStation Now and PS Plus can still get an eclectic selection of exciting games that emerged during the introductory month of 2022.
The PlayStation Now offering in January was particularly appealing as it offered six new titles available to PS4, PS5, and Windows PC subscribers throughout the months to come, portraying a wide range of genres of the games. Between brutal fighting games (they are now positioned lower in the eSports tier than titles like Dota 2 or Counter-Strike iterations, which were spurred by the fighting genre and are interesting for betting on sites at Bookmaker-Expert.com), cult JRPGs, and beautiful indie hits, there’s probably something on offer for most tastes and sensibilities. As it has become a tradition for the current iteration of Sony’s streaming service, it should be noted that titles are on offer for all their downloadable PS4 versions directly. If a free PS5 game upgrade is available, subscribers are unfortunately denied access, as PS Now doesn’t currently support upgrades to the latest Sony console.
Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age
The appearance of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age in January’s PlayStation Now lineup won’t be a big surprise for ‘eagle-eyed’ subscribers. This is because the final arrival of the legendary JRPGs was first announced back in September, around the same period as the series’ withdrawal from Xbox Game Pass was announced with significantly less fanfare. Ever since, admirers of the Final Fantasy anthology’s 12th main edition have had to wait patiently while Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9 have slowly made their way onto the subscription service of Sony.
As this wait finally drew to a close in March, PlayStation Now subscribers can dive into the extensive 40-hour adventure Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age. Subscribers who choose to engage in this adventure will be rewarded handsomely thanks to the lovely ground characters and the once groundbreaking semi-open world and real-time combat system. Originally released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, many have often underestimated this title in the long-running series. Thanks to the arrival of a redesigned version of the game on PS Now, subscribers have the opportunity to fix this injustice.
Mortal Kombat 11
January 2022’s PlayStation Now headline is the latest entry in NetherRealm Studios’ cult fighting game series, Mortal Kombat 11. Originally released back in April 2019, subscribers can now download and experience a title that was eventually crowned as a fighting game of the year at the 2020 Game Awards celebration. With unparalleled levels of customization and bold new combat mechanics, critics of the acclaimed Mortal Kombat 11 say it retains the cult franchise atmosphere and spooky fatality endings, favorite by fans.
As for the narrative on offer, the latest NetherRealm entry in the series continues the action film-style story started by Mortal Kombat X. Although previous experience with the series is far from necessary if newcomers want to enjoy a rollercoaster adventure, it should be noted that the latter was aptly introduced as one of the free PlayStation Plus titles back in October. Given that Mortal Kombat 11 was also launched at Microsoft’s comparable Xbox Game Pass in February, the increase in publicity could be an indication that the studio is preparing to announce its next venture soon.
Super Time Force Ultra
Super Time Force Ultra is the second retro-inspired scrolling shooter to break into the PlayStation Now in March. However, as the title of the indie hit Capybara Games suggests, STFU revolves solely around concept and time manipulation. Throughout the diverse array of historically set locations and missions in the game, players are imbued with the ability to rewind time 30 times when faced with premature death.
This unique mechanics amplifies the hellish nature of Super Time Force Ultra, as those former incarnations remain in action even when a regular flow of time is established. With a truly hilarious story and a cast of top characters, there’s a chance that long-term PlayStation Plus subscribers may have already experienced the game thanks to its inclusion in Sony’s September 2015’s line. For those who missed the STFU on that occasion, its arrival at the publisher’s alternative digital subscriber service represents an opportunity to fix history.
Presented as an action platform where every “kill” drives a player, Fury Unleashed initially entered the PlayStation ecosystem 2020. Revived by the charmingly named Awesome Game Studio from Kraków, Poland, the PlayStation Now debut boasts an eclectic array of inspirations including Metal Slug, Contra, and Dead Cells.
What sets this indie title apart from these games and other genre contemporaries is the fact that the high-octane weapon Fury Unleashed takes place on the pages of several visually distinct comics. Subscribers can now split into an ever-changing adventure to discover the meta-humorous plot that hides within the game after it received a decent Metacritic rating of 76%.
Unturned is an interesting title with a survival theme developed for two by a Canadian indie studio, Smartly Dressed Games. After reaching a respectable level of popularity in 2017 as a free PC title, the paid console version finally arrived on the PS4 and Xbox One in the final months of 2020.
With the arrival of Unturned on PlayStation Now in March, subscribers within Sony’s ecosystem have the opportunity to subsequently dive into a series of zombie-filled maps on their own. With Roblox-inspired aesthetics and a level of customization, inspired by previous study experience in that game, Unturned comes complete with all the basic PvE and PvP gameplay mechanics that made titles like DayZ popular.
Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition
The last title to arrive in PlayStation Now orbit last month was the Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition space travel simulator. Developed by Mexican indie studio Squad, the main play loop in the title instructs players to download the space program from the ground and go to the stars. Despite the lovely cartoon look of the titular Kerbals themselves, Squad’s play is a challenging thing to master.
Given that the Kerbal space program revolves around the literal concept of rocket science, this isn’t entirely surprising. While the path to the star is naturally permeated with trials and errors, the sense of ultimate fulfillment that players receive, along with the charm of Kerbals, undoubtedly makes the space simulator necessary.