Sony’s finally begun the process of rolling out reparations for its millions of consumers that were affected by the Great PlayStation Network Hack Of 2011. Whether or not you’re happy with Sony’s response to the whole fiasco, they’re still offering up free stuff, so you may as well take advantage of it. Before we get to the fun stuff, be sure to enroll in the AllClear ID PLUS identity theft protection that Sony is paying for all PSN users. If you’re a PS3 user, you get to pick two out of the following titles: (We’ve included a quick one line description of each game)
- Dead Nation – 2D twin stick action shooter kind of like Robotron or Geometry Wars with zombies
- inFAMOUS – Third-Person open world action game. Think Grand Theft Auto if you were the only super hero in town.
- LittleBigPlanet – A 2D platforming game (Think Super Mario Bros.) with up to 4 player cooperative play. You can design your own levels and play ones designed by other players.
- Super Stardust HD – Traditional 2D twin stick action shooter in space with lasers and powerups.
- Wipeout HD + Fury – A fast paced futuristic racer with weapons. Think Mario Kart meets F-Zero with even more speed.
All things being equal, we would pick up the titles in this order:
- WipeoutHD + Fury
- Super Stardust HD
- Dead Nation
For what it’s worth, inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet were originally $60 retail titles, while the other titles were downloadable games ranging from $9.99 to $19.99. Despite that, all of the games Sony offers are all quite good and hit a wide variety of genres. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with any of the titles – they’re all good games in their respective genres. If you’re in the mood for a racer, definitely pick up WipeoutHD because it’s quite possibly still the most thrilling racer on any video game system. If you’re looking for something to play with your kids or someone who doesn’t play video games all that often, be sure to pick up LittleBigPlanet because it’s essentially a cute 4-player Mario-like platforming game. PSP owners can choose from two of the following games:
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP) – A portable version of the PS3 game – it’s got completely different levels if you were worried about getting both LittleBigPlanet titles.
- ModNation Racers – A GoKart racer (Think Mario Kart), but with the ability to create and share your own racetracks like LittleBigPlanet levels.
- Pursuit Force – An arcade combat-racer where you’re a rookie cop chasing criminals.
- Killzone Liberation – A top-down isometric view action title with cover-based gameplay similar to Gears of War.
In full disclosure, of the available PSP titles, we’ve only played Killzone Liberation. However we can wholeheartedly recommend that title if you’re an action fan — it’s surprisingly provides similar gratification to playing a third-person shooter on a console. We’ve also read up on reviews for the other titles and if it were up to us we’d rank them in this order:
- Killzone Liberation
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
Again, feel free to pick by your desired genre, though we think there may be a marked quality difference between the first two titles and the last two ones. Other than the games, Sony is also offering a package that includes the following:
- A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
- 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
- Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
- Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
- Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
- To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.
Since Sony hasn’t announced which movies will be available through the “On Us” program, we can’t really give any recommendations on that front. We can, however, still say that PlayStation Home is still a complete waste of time.