Spring is in the air, Lockdown Part 2 is easing (at least in Blighty) and there are free games aplenty on your Playstation platforms to distract from the increasingly warmer rays of the sun. From a double dose of zombie culling to the return of a lovable icon, Sony has you covered for April.
As always, Plus titles should be added to your library while they’re available so you can play them at a later date. As long as you have a valid Plus subscription, of course.
An unlikely hero and freedom fighter of the Mudokon people, Abe has been kicking around the Playstation in one form or another since the PS One, so who better to usher in Sony’s latest console than an old gaming pro? In Oddworld: Soulstorm (a direct sequel to 2014’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty and a re-imagining of 1998’s Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus), Abe continues the struggle to free his people from the oppressive industrial ways of the Glukkons. Retaining the steampunk design and 2.5D side-scrolling platforming of the previous games, Abe has added crafting to his arsenal of liberation tools (not forgetting his impressive shamanic possession ability!).
For the first time, players have the ability to choose how they free the enslaved Mudokons: by using the tried-and-tested stealth tactics of the previous games or creating powerful weapons to arm freed slaves and take the fight to the Glukkons! With over 1,000 Mudokons to rescue from slavery as revolution takes hold, Abe must use his newly-freed allies wisely. Greater numbers can provide the sheer force to remove more powerful enemies standing in your path, but they can also help solve some of the myriad puzzles that also obstruct your progress. Trial and error are no strangers to Abe, and it will take quick wits and creative thinking to overthrow
Available on PS5 from April 6.
Fusing elements of TV’s Sons of Anarchy with the apocalyptic worldbuilding of The Last of Us series, Days Gone follows Deacon St John (motion-captured by Star Wars: The Force Unleashed favourite, Sam Witwer), a drifter and gun-for-hire navigating a world in upheaval after a viral pandemic has turned much of the populace of the continental US into ‘freakers’ – mindless, bloodthirsty cannibals (sometimes called zombies). One of Sony’s impressive library of first-party single-player games for the PS4, Days Gone is a third-person open-world survival game that follows Deacon and his bounty hunter partner, Boozer, as they scavenge the wastelands of post-apocalyptic Oregon. While this is an undeniably bleak portrayal of post-pandemic life, Deacon is offered an unusual chance at hope when he learns that his wife, thought long dead, may have survived the initial outbreak in a remote location.
While the human survivors of the apocalypse are naturally not to be trusted, Deacon and Boozer must take on various less-than-savoury jobs from the makeshift camps they encounter to make ends meet. From scouting and scavenging to assassinating rival factions and destroying freaker nests, players will be able to employ various methods and environmental aids to complete their objectives, but an over-reliance on guns and munitions may prove hazardous in a world where weapons and gear must be crafted and maintained.
The map of Days Gone is expansive, requiring traversal via Deacon’s trusty motorcycle, and subject to a day/night cycle and weather elements that can affect any given situation. While players will be required to constantly forage for food, ammunition and provisions, it’s best to watch out for the roving hordes of literally hundreds of freakers too. Not to mention the infected wildlife.
Available for PS4 and PS5 from April 6.
ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR
The second title of our zombie double-header may be a little more on the nose about its antagonists than Days Gone but that won’t grant the shambling hordes of the undead any more merciful a death. One of the lesser-discussed aspects of World War II was the part where Hitler summoned an army of zombie soldiers to defeat the allies before being cast into the fiery pits of Hell for all eternity, but yet, one year on from his defeat, said undead are still loitering around Europe and it’s up to you and three friends to diminish their numbers by any means necessary!
Featuring the patented gruesome attention to injury detail made famous by the Sniper Elite games, players will have access to a wide array of practical, impractical and downright occult weapons with which to violently dispatch the unending sea of Nazi zombies. Far less nuanced than Days Gone, Dead War is about killing as many zombies as possible and crafting the ultimate survivor that suits your particular style of deathdealing.
Available for PS4 and PS5 from April 6.
So that’s your forecast for April: lots of zombie killing coupled with darkly humourous puzzle-platforming. Well, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows, can it?