Welcome to our August selection of games on the PlayStation Subscription Service. For this month, we have selected a theme of Heroes. This time around we will highlight some of the best Hero-based games on the service for you to work through your fantasy of being either a Super-Hero or a Hero in the broadest term. Here are the Best Games on PS Premium and Extra of August 2023.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales
Swing back into Manhatten as a new Spider-Man on the streets, set some months after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man’s The City that Never Sleeps, players take control of the titular Miles Morales.
Pitted in a city that prefers the original Spider-Man, Miles must rise to the mantle of Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man and put a stop to the villainous forces that threaten the peace, built by Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. In Miles’s quest, he learns how he differs from Peter, confronts his own nemeses, and becomes Harlem’s Personal Spider-Man, in this thrilling winter adventure in a city that never sleeps.
This game also serves as something else important for MCU fans and is highlighted with a trophy for its late creator Stan Lee. Stan Lee, Who has played a pivotal role in both the movies and the first Spider-Man game is arguably the most important and critical character throughout, although his passing was before the launch of this title the team over at Insomniac honored the memory of this incredible creator with a statue.
Developed by Insomniac Games, and published by Sony this take on the famous superhero builds on what the original 2018 game did, and is still a real game-changer for Spidey fans. Coming back to the Spidy-verse as not Peter Parker’s Spider-Man but rather the younger prodigy introduced in 2018’s Spider-Man. Released in 2020 for the PS4 and PS5 this Spidy outing is really an improvement on what the original had and is enough of a difference to make any Marvel fan want to check it out. Thankfully on the service you can play it on either or both PS4/ PS5 and claim your two shiny platinum trophies that are relatively easy. As highlighted in the April Games selection, the expanded Story that The City That Never Sleeps provides expands what the base game had and even ties into Miles Morales flawlessly. It is highly recommended to have experienced The City That Never Sleeps learning Miles’s role there before starting on Miles’s Story however it is not necessary.
Batman: Arkham Knight
So we have an MCU selection, you know that there will have to be a DC, let’s face it this list wouldn’t be complete without a DC game from the service. Enter into the Dark underside of the Superhero world with Batman. Experience the epic conclusion to the critically acclaimed Arkham Series developed by Rocksteady Studios.
Step into the role of the Vigilante Super-Hero which is only some guy in a suit. That’s probably a little cruel to say but he has the battle experience and cool gadgets to back up his hero classification. In this conclusion to the Arkham trilogy, Batman is put to the ultimate test where his actions determine the fate of Gotham City and one wrong move means the city’s fall into chaos.
Set on the holiday of Halloween, the scarecrow returns to Gotham with a scheme to undo the Dark Knight and unmask Gotham’s greatest hero. Threatening to unleash a toxin on the city the Civilians evacuate and leave the city a lawless and ravaged shell with only The Dark Knight standing between the factions ripping the city apart. Take on the likes of Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler and a threat from within in the concluding chapter, Arkham Knight!
Developed by Rocksteady Studios, and published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment this concluding chapter to the Arkham games is one to enjoy and remember. Released in 2015 for the PS4 even now it still looks good and plays smoothly, despite the advancements in technology. Both Characters and Environments feel alive and although it would have been nice to see an edition release on PS5 before the launch of the continuation to the series (The Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice Leauge), I think the conclusion we got to the story was good enough to keep fans guessing for the years since.
InFAMOUS: Second Son
Coming to Super-Hero games that sparked a generation, we have InFAMOUS. Originally dating back to 2009 with the Hero/Antihero Cole Macgrath, InFAMOUS has a lot to answer for on PlayStation. Second Son is the overall third installment (Unless you count Festival of Blood) in the series and the first one which doesn’t let players play as Cole, who the team at Sucker Punch built up to the Role of Hero/ Villian, instead players take control of the newly awakened conduit Delsin Rowe.
As always in an InFAMOUS game there is a Morality System that determines how the game plays out and whether you will be a Hero or Villian. The difference with Delsin, that Cole never needed to deal with is his powers. Delsin is more versatile with how his powers work, whereas Macgrath only had his Electric powers, Delsin has access to crazy powers like Smoke and Neon which make his playstyle drastically different and his options to confront situations different to Macgrath. Essentially Delsin draws off the energy within a person rather than the sources that, for Cole, were anything that had electricity.
Developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, as an early title on the system, and a different entry from Sucker Punch. Released in 2014 as an exclusive title for the PlayStation 4, this Super-Human adventure has its share of twists and turns, but at the end of the day… its WHO you choose to be, remember “With great Power comes Great Responsibility” and InFAMOUS embodied this fantastically.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Everyone knows Dragon Ball, whether in passing or completely. This selection was a little hit-and-miss as Goku is arguably a saviour and destroyer with his immense power, and with the lack of intelligence to know more than Fight, this came as a difficult pick. Let’s face it, where is the difference between Goku and Kratos? Well, there is a massive difference, and here is why Kakarot gets a spot on our list.
Kakarot is a fighter through and through, this much is certain, not only does his Physique illustrate this but his mindset. Throughout the Anime, Goku/ Kakarot is after the next big fight, particularly in Dragon Ball Super, I mean come on he fights a Destroyer God just to test his power, how crazy, right?
The game takes you through some of the best bits of Dragon Ball until the inclusion of Z. Super is included as a DLC which will include the improved Super Saiyan Blue and of course the tournament of Powers Autonomous Ultra Instinct mode. Unfortunately, they are not included in the base game which is the version on the Subscription Service, what is included is the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game, which have separated Trophy lists and let you auto Pop the PS5 copies trophies if you have them for the PS4. We understand this isn’t as good as beating opponents using some of the coolest powers shown in Super, however, it comes a close second. As anime games go this this is a good one that keeps true to the anime style and doesn’t break it too much during gameplay. What we refer to is the fact that, particularly during playing you can almost sink into thinking you’re watching the anime rather than playing Kakarot.
Developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, like most anime games, Bandai Namco publishing Kakarot is no different. Originally released in 2020 on PS4, Xbox, and Windows a Stadia and Nintendo Switch release saw a little later date in 2021. The game was eventually relaunched on the PS5 and XBox Series in 2023 as a Free upgrade to existing owners. As it is set in the Dragon Ball universe you will get the likes of both Goku and Vegeta but also other characters who are prominent throughout the series, whether good or bad, like Launch, Future Trunks, Raditz, and Shenron.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Embark on a journey to avert the Mayan Apocalypse with the greatest Tomb Raider yet. From humble beginnings in the 2013 retelling of the Tomb Raider franchise Lara Croft has gone from one danger to another, overcoming obstacles and becoming the person she was born to be. Shadow of the Tomb Raider builds on that, in ways that show Lara is what Roth was hinting at in Tomb Rider (2013).
Starting the game you begin to wonder what you have been dropped into with Lara squeezed between rocks and what looks to be struggling, as you begin to claw your way out of the dangerous situation you begin to see that the game starts here for a reason, however unclear it is. Progressing on you find that Lara, in her misguided sense of justice and determination to beat her competitor, inadvertently caused events to spiral throwing her into a race against time to stop the end of the world. The game is full of twists and turns that keep you wanting to find out if it is possible to make a difference and see if Lara can become the Heroic person that can save the world. Unlike the previous instalments in the remake series of games (Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider), this instalment seems to have more depth to everything. Whereas in Tomb Raider (2013) Lara would get covered in environmental debris like mud or, in some sequenced blood, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider has more depth to this and is only illustrated by the above image.
Similar to the previous two instalments in the series there are plenty of dangers in the world to get caught up in. One of the most memorable is the Jaguar hunt near the beginning of the game. Where this is scripted it has a feel that you are in danger and you are being hunted by a dangerous creature.
Developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by Square Enix, like most of the rest of the Franchise, this one is probably the best in recent history. Originally released in 2018 for all major systems it was ported over to Linux, macOS, and Stadia in 2019. The game was later released as a Definitive edition with all post-launch content included.
If you thought that is all we had this month think again. Due to not covering a June Selection, we will be adding 2 bonus games this month, which also adhere to the theme of Heros. These bonuses were a lot harder to pick with just 2 choices and with the number of candidates that could be argued the Heroic actions of the protagonist, with that said we hope you enjoy them.
BONUS GAME 1:
There was a lot of discussion on this pick however it was agreed that out of all the Jak games, Jak 3 showed the most Heroic aspects we were looking for. This is to do with the events over the franchise that make Jak the character you know he has to be, however starting to game as an outcast due to the events of Jak 2 is a little more than confusing.
The game only gets more interesting when you have to break into the city that you protected in Jak 2 to find it in chaos in most areas, and the tyrannical ruler, like most tyrannical rulers, doesn’t care about the population as long as he achieves his goals. Learning that he is eventually after the power of the legendary all-powerful precursors Jak and Daxter know that they need to act in order to prevent future damage to the city or worse the world.
Unlike the previous instalment in the series, this one takes place outside of the safety of the city you know in the second game. Here it is an untamed wilderness where the strong survive, really it has a very Mad Max vibe where you get races in buggies.
Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 this title couldn’t stay away from modern systems. Originally released in 2004 this might look dated and old in the modern age but it still holds up, some controls seem and feel sort of clunky but it works for the game. In 2012 this got its first of 2 revivals making it to the PS3 and PS Vita (a year later) in a Jak & Daxter Collection accompanying the first and second games (Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, and Jak 2 “Renegade”). Its second Revival brought this classic to the PS4 in 2017, however, this time it was accompanied by Jak X.
BONUS GAME 2:
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Our final pick is from the now-rebranded franchise Yakuza. Departing from the long-standing protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, in favour of Ryu Ga Gotoku’s newest hero Ichiban Kasuga.
Unlike other instalments in the Yakuza franchise, now Like A Dragon, this instalment took a radical turn changing from its roots of an action game into a Turn-Based Strategy type game. At first glance this might be a game to miss even if you are a long-standing fan of the franchise however we urge you not to, and here is why. Ichiban as a character might be more lovable as a character than Kiryu, at least at times, his goofy yet serious attitude perfectly shows off the dynamic between the characters of Kiryu and Majima in the rest of the franchise, however in a single character. This alone makes you want to know who this character is and how his story is intertwined with the departed Kiryu along with Ichiban’s role in the Tojo Clan. Granted at first glance it seems that its a retelling of Kiryu’s tale with a twist, Ichiban going to prison for a murder he didn’t commit to protect someone he cares about seems to be a signature of the team at Ryu Ga Gotoku’s protagonists (Takayuki Yagami from Judgment excluded). The part that really puts a few gamers off is that it is a departure from the traditional way of playing a Yakuza game, and moves to a turn-based, at first this can be daunting but the way things flow it is easy for someone coming from Kiryu’s Yakuza to play Like A Dragon with ease.
The reason this is included is Ichiban literally has a job called Hero, let’s face it he’s definitely no Yakuza, and Hero, however misguided it seems, fits for Ichiban. Along with the story of the game, you get all the normal things that the franchise is known for like the minigames, side missions, strange characters, and epic battles. Some of the most interesting things in the game are the minigames, such as the Dragon Karts, Watching Movies and Can Collection, that being said the impressive cut scenes and battles are still ever-present. The only disappointment in the game was that the English audio track seemed off, whether this is because you get characters you know talking throughout the game and it is strange to finally hear them in English or not is yet to be seen, I would recommend sticking with the Japanise audio and read the sub-titles if you are English.
Developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega this is the first mainline title in the Yakuza franchise which is a turn-based RPG, and an abandonment of its long-standing lead role. Originally released in early 2020 as an exclusive to Japan and Asia for PlayStation 4, this finally saw its long waited journey to the West later that same year launching for PlayStation 4, Windows, XBox One and XBox Series. It saw a release to PlayStation 5 in 2021, fortunately, the Subscription has both editions, PS4 and PS5 for you to try out and earn the Platinum trophies in both, however, no auto Poping can be achieved. Sorry, this is a long journey to Platinum, both times if that’s how you want to try it.
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