Every month, subscribers to Sony’s PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) are given three games to redeem and own for free, so long as they subscribed to the online service. In August 2022, the games on offer are all excellent, which certainly helps boost the image of the service after they launched the all-new 3-tiered version of PS Plus in July 2022.
The three games on offer are Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, and Little Nightmares. All are redeemable for subscribers of the basic PS Plus service (Essential) as well as those on higher tiers (Extra and Premium)
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is the most recent game of the lot, the eighth mainline game in the Yakuza series, and one that begins a fresh start for the franchise with a new protagonist and turn-based combat system.
Set in contemporary Japan and revolving around conspiracies in the Japanese underworld, the Yakuza series is famed for its deftly juggling heavy gangster melodrama with lighthearted, slapstick antics. The character work and detailed world are top-notch, and while the series has been around for quite some time, its popularity with Western audiences has skyrocketed in the past few years.
In addition to Yakuza: Like A Dragon being made available for PS Plus Essential members, PlayStation also announced that Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 would be made available for PS Plus Extra and Premium members in August, with the other Yakuza titles: Yakuza 3 Remastered, Yakuza 4 Remastered, Yakuza 5 Remastered and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life coming later in the year.
It means that mid- and high-tier PS Plus members will have access to every mainline Yakuza game. These games are also all available on Xbox’s game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is the excellent remake that rebuilds and refreshes the iconic arcade skateboarding game for modern sensibilities. Develop by Vicarious Visions, the title maintains the classic mechanical feel of the original games, while incorporating features that came much later in the series. The game updates and reimagines the stages of both original Tony Hawk games to reflect a mid-COVID world, and the real-life skateboarders have all been aged to reflect their current-world appearance. Additionally, new skateboarders – namely women, non-binary, and Olympic skateboarders – have been added to add a greater diversity of skating styles to the roster.
It recently came to light that a follow-up game, likely titled Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3+4 was unfortunately cancelled following Vicarious Vision’s absorption into Blizzard Entertainment. It’s well worth playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and imagining what could have been.
Finally, Little Nightmares is a delightfully unnerving puzzle platforming game, where you play a small child journeying through an underwater vessel, avoiding and escaping twisted, macabre beings right out of a child’s nightmare. Think Tim Burton, but darker.
All in all, these are three fantastic titles worth adding to your library if you’re a PS Plus subscriber. And if you’re not, these titles definitely make it worth considering a temporary subscription to give them a whirl – they’re excellent experiences that’ll keep you occupied for a month, if not longer.