This time of year is always a good time for gamers with the run-up to Christmas seeing a flood of tempting big releases all vying for your time (or a slot in that ever-increasing backlog). However, this October is also turning into a bit of a goldmine for the more patient or frugal gamer.
Xbox live’s Games with Gold (GWG) and Playstation’s PS Plus have long provided “free” games but this month has thrown up some particular gems. I’ve already sung the praises of the Tomb Raider reboot but if you haven’t downloaded it already you still have a few more days to do so (it’s available until the 15th). However, Valiant Hearts (1st-31st October) is also well worth a look and one of my favourite experiences of the past year – combining a stylish and fun adventure with a surprisingly touching and educational story. Finally on Gold comes the complete first season of Telltale’s brilliant The Walking Dead. Not to be outdone, PSPlus offers PS4 owners the full version of Broken Age, the infuriating platform perfection that is Super Meat Boy and Unmechanical: Extended (the lowest rated of the six but still well regarded and rated). Anyone who waited for or simply missed any of these games is in for a treat.
That said, for the next few days I wouldn’t blame you for just playing the Star Wars Battlefront beta (available free on both Xbox One and PS4 and expected to run until Monday 12th). Personally I’ve only managed 2-3 hours so far but it’s been enough to take me from cautiously optimistic to shameless whooping fanboy. I’ll share more thoughts on the game itself another time but it also struck me just how slick and polished the beta is. Yes, I guess it should be with a the release date so close but memories of Battlefield 4 are still fresh enough in my mind that it’s still a pleasant surprise. So, for nothing, you are getting access to an amazing near-final multiplayer experience and the the chance to live out those long-held Alliance fantasies. You did want to be a rebel right? Well as least until you play as Vader 🙂
What else? Well, both digital stores continue to provide major discounts on some fairly new releases e.g. if you waited a few months for the PS4 versions of Rory McIlroy PGA Tour or the Borderlands Handsome Collection you will have saved 50% for your patience. And that’s not the end of the “freebies” if you already have or can swallow more subscriptions. EA Access just continues to get better and better – with Battlefield Hardline due to be added this month and everything already in the Vault, I’d argue that it’s probably the best £20 (annual fee) you’ll spend all year. Not to be outdone, Sony have finally launched the subscription version of PS Now with a 7 day free trial available now. The only question is going to be how to fit it all in!