July’s free games for Playstation Plus subscribers are now available (until August 3) as Sony celebrates 10 years of the service that set the standard for consoles. As always, remember that Plus games can be added to your library if you don’t have enough space to download them right away and that they are only playable with an active Plus subscription.
RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER: 20 YEAR CELEBRATION
First up is the highly regarded second entry in Crystal Dynamics’ Lara Croft reboot trilogy. Back when the console wars were at their fiercest, Microsoft bagged a year of exclusivity with Rise at launch but Playstation fans were rewarded for their wait with this anniversary edition, celebrating 20 years of tomb raiding.
Leaving the events of Yamatai Island behind her, this younger iteration of Lara delves into the mystery of her father’s death during his search for the mythical holy grail, an artefact that is rumoured to grant eternal life. As Lara searches for the lost city of Kitezh in Siberia, the last recorded resting place of the grail, she is pursued by a sinister organisation known only as Trinity who seek the grail also.
Refining the third-person action-adventure mechanics from 2013’s Tomb Raider, Rise was praised for its impressive visuals and story, while improving the stealth, gunplay, puzzle-solving and spectacle we’ve come to expect from the Tomb Raider series. PS Plus members get to take home the 20 Year Celebration edition of the game for free, which includes all of the story DLC, adds PSVR support to the Blood Ties expansion, introduces a new zombie mode with ‘Lara’s Nightmare’, adds more challenge with the ‘extreme survivor’ campaign difficulty setting, expands functionality for Endurance Mode with co-op play and adds a host of skins to kit Lara out with. There’s improved performance for PS4 Pro owners as well.
If you’re a basketball fan who’s been circling 2K’s blockbuster annual franchise but not yet pulled the trigger, now has never been a better time to get your hands on NBA 2K20 with a whopping £49.99 discount and just a few months ahead of this year’s entry.
With a plethora of modes, current season rosters, classic teams, official commentary/half-time content and, for the first time, all 12 WNBA teams included, NBA 2K20 is the ultimate NBA simulator. Create and customise your own character and take them to the top of the league through on-court and off-court activities in MyCareer, manage your favourite team in the MyGM and MyLeague modes or create the ultimate fantasy team with your favourite players in the MyTeam collectible card game mode.
And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s competitive online play available for you to take on the world or even just your mates if you’re slightly less ambitious.
Last but not least is an unusual throwback to the CD-ROM interactive games of yester-year. Like a live-action version of Detroit: Become Human (a previous Plus offering), Erica is a present-day thriller where you make critical decisions and decide the fate of the cast in a story that has multiple different endings.
Placed in a strange hospital ward for her own safety, Erica (with players help) must solve a murder by investigating her environment, interacting with a cast of suspicious characters and even reaching back into her own troubled family past. Seamlessly merging modern film and game mechanics, Erica is an unusual and engaging experience that can be navigated using either your Dualshock 4 controller (making welcome use of the often overlooked track pad) or a downloadable phone app.
And if three free games wasn’t enough, there’s also a free theme celebrating 10 years of Plus available for a limited time from the PS Store!