November Playstation Plus line-up goes on an indie kick

November 1, 2014 9:00 AM

By: Tabitha Dickerson


As readers no doubt know by now, Sony accidentally released the upcoming November Playstation Plus lineup on October 29. Our very own Matthew Duke reported to this effect on the day, revealing that the line-up for Playstation Plus PS4 would be the debut of the newly reissued Binding of Isaac: Rebirth as well as the well regarded Steamworld Dig. On the Playstation 3 we have Frozen Synapse Prime and Luftrausers, followed by The Hungry Horde and Escape Plan for Vita owners. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYk4AyMlwsU?feature=player_detailpage&w…; Due to the discourse posted across several sites about how lackluster this upcoming months Playstation Plus lineup is, we at Techraptor decided to shed some light on these the soon to be released titles. We felt this necessary, due to the amount of people complaining about the lack of AAA in Playstation Plus, including one reddit user who posted this image. He used it to compare the number of "great titles" on Playstation Plus last November to now. This saddened us greatly as we at TechRaptor feel there are actually very few games in existence have with no merit whatsoever. Even the infamous ET: The Extraterrestrial was able to teach us something about game development and cash-ins, so on that note we intend to show the merits to these games that some people are less than pleased about on Playstation Plus.

[caption id="attachment_18080" align="alignnone" width="598"]It actually smells worse than it looks. It actually smells worse than it looks.[/caption]




The Binding of Isaac, affectionately called TBOI by fans has been remade and will be released initially in November as part of the line-up. The original Binding of Isaac was a well received top down 2 dimensional rogue-like released on September 28th 2011. It chronicled the struggles of a young boy named Isaac as he braved the dungeon under his house in order to escape his mother, encountering all matter of unearthly things out for his blood.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth this time round has undergone some changes. The graphics are updated greatly with the basic flash animations gone, according  to Edward McMillen. Rebirth is no longer in flash, has controller support, a full updated score and extra effects like fog and lighting. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will also contain a fully remodelled, and revamped version of the original game as well as Wrath of the Lamb, the expansion. There are new enemies, items, characters and endings, secrets, rooms, challenges, and more. An example of these additions is the ability to export your Isaac at the endgame to share online as well as streaming against other players online. Sadly co-op will only be local, no server support. New playable characters will be appearing as well as new tarot cards, trinkets and basic item pickups.



The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth looks almost like it will be a brand new game when the devs are finished with it. Perhaps this is a good time for this writer to actually give it a go this time round on Playstation Plus.

[caption id="attachment_18079" align="alignnone" width="600"]"Apparently He ain't runnin' on Valve time." "Apparently he ain't runnin' on Valve time."[/caption]



The next Playstation 4 title in the November Playstation Plus line-up needs no introduction. SteamWorld Dig is also a 2 dimensional game like TBOI, however SteamWorld is a platformer.  You will mine for resources, and ore, as well as investigating the old mines underneath a Western town named Tumbleton. You play as Rusty, a robot who uses a pickaxe at the start but can upgrade his tools and weapons as he progresses. Upon collecting ore or resources you can take them back up to the surface and sell them for financial gain. Should one get stuck while progressing through the game on any puzzle or area, then Rusty has a handy self destruct code that allows them to respawn back on the surface. Dying isn't free though unfortunately, as it costs money for Rusty to be repaired. As you dig deeper you'll encounter several layers to the game world, as well as new and harder enemies that you'll need your handy upgrades for. For fans of Terraria and Chariot, this meticulous platformer should satiate anyone's desire to go deeper.

Moving onto the first of the Playstation Plus PS3 November titles we have Frozen Synapse Prime, an asynchronous turn based strategy game. Based on the original Frozen Synapse, Frozen Synapse Prime was first released in PS Vita in September on the 23rd. Designed in a way to allow anyone, competitive or casual players to enjoy the game, Frozen Synapse Prime has the correct level of depth regardless what sort of player you are.

[caption id="attachment_18108" align="alignnone" width="586"]Insert witty pop culture comment here. Insert witty pop culture comment here.[/caption]

Frozen Synapse Prime is all about reading the terrain and learning the different types of environments as the game is procedurally generated. You can't memorise any maps but there are some tricks here and there you can learn. Analysing your cover and learning how best to use the terrain to your defense or offense. Another fairly effective skill is predicting your opponent. Frozen Synapse Prime has an option to have you enemies play out certain scenarios so you can answer questions and eventualities before they happen. Very handy. The game isn't about luck or balance or anything of the sort. You have your wits and that is literally it. If someone dies in your squad, it's your fault and you'll have learnt a valuable lesson. You won't be left questioning how it happened or thinking the computer is a cheating b*stard. The game has over 40 challenging missions and the asynchronous online multiplayer allows you to fight several battles with opponents worldwide simultaneously. It really is a unique title with a lot of depth to offer. A game all about committing to a set plan you concoct and sticking to it in order to accomplish your job. A welcome addition to any strategy gamer's Playstation Plus



[caption id="attachment_18113" align="alignnone" width="495"]The minimalist approach really works. The minimalist approach really works.[/caption]

The last title in the Playstation Plus PS3 line-up  is getting, is the artistic Luftrausers. Released March 18, this sepia-toned 2 dimensional dogfighter received a lot of praise. Boasting bold aerial combat, this shmup is nothing to scoff at. The concept is simple with only four controls, however complicated to master. With unique weapons and plane bodies, Luftrausers is full of customization.  You can fine tune your plane to the point where handling is perfect for you. Using an array of ingenious firearms you will blast through 100 action packed missions as you gun down enemy opponents in your sights. These enemies can come in the form of planes, ships, and of course numerous bosses to test your mettle on. You are offered various jobs that will unlock further upgrades to your plane as you careen across the sky. Unlockables provide a lot of variety and replayability, with tonnes of combinations for you to consider. Is the default game mode too easy? Don't fret, because there's a hardcore mode which will have you playing til your eyes bleed. This game is truly a delight for those with discerning tastes in shoot em ups (shmups). A distaste for Nazi's also helps. Luftrausers is truly either a love it or hate it game. Among shmup aficionados it's quite highly though of but if you're not a fan of those then you might be more interested in the handheld offerings on offer in Playstation Plus, starting with The Hungry Horde.

[caption id="attachment_18147" align="alignnone" width="582"]"One minute to Midnight!" "One minute to Midnight!"[/caption]

The Hungry Horde, a new game coming to Playstation Plus has a simple concept. You start off as a handful of zombies and as you progress through the streets you can bite other humans, infecting them. This will cause them to become a member of the shambling undead. The problem is the more people you recruit into your horde, the more you are likely to get noticed.The governments then senses the danger and decides to quarantine the area before dropping nuclear warheads. Your goal is to amass an army of the undead and destroy the human defenses before they wipe you out. One bite is all it takes to infect a human and presto you have yourself an instant army. You will gain influence and grow your army through the use of mini-games as well to carry out your task. An example given for one of the minigames is something of a zombie conga line. Yes you read correctly, a zombie conga line. The developers seem to take their job with a grain of salt, focusing on fun over seriousness and it shows. The Hungry Horde will be debuting this November as part of the Playstation Plus  line-up on PSVita.



Now we come to the end of the PSVita and in fact the Playstation Plus line-up itself. The final title is Escape Plan. This title was the number one selling Playstation Network game on the PSVita in 2012, so it makes sense that it would be in November's Playstation Plus selection.

[caption id="attachment_18162" align="alignnone" width="589"]Image courtesy of GameDynamo.com Image courtesy of GameDynamo.com[/caption]

From the Makers of Fat Princess, Escape Plan is an intriguing puzzler that takes advantage the PSVita's multi-touch display, rear touch panel, swipe interface and motion sensors to allow you to guide two individuals, Lil and Laarg to the safety out of Bakuki's lair. There is an absolute plethora of traps and dangers within the lair. You'll have to dash past sausages blasted at your face, skipping over pools of cheese almost as the sun and tonnes of other death traps. Lil and Laarg can traverse the dungeon in a number of ways, being inflated with helium which requires use of the motion sensor, or pulling the two quickly to safety from a trap via the touch pad. They move slow but luckily you move quick, depending on your reaction time, so the duo stand a chance with your help. The art style for Escape Plan is rather unusual in that it uses something called chiaroscuro (light and dark) to great effect with only monochromatic shades. Artistically the game is rather impressive and will provide many a puzzler fan hours of fan and challenging gameplay on their Playstation Plus account.

That's the line-up as we understand it for the November Playstation Plus line-up. We at TechRaptor hope that anyone disappointed with the Playstation Plus selection  for next month can find some enjoyment within these diverse ad unique titles. We hope they don't judge a book by it's cover and will be willing to give these little gems a chance to shine some light into their  dissatisfied hearts. We guarantee they'll be glad that they gave this Playstation Plus choice a chance.

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Tabitha has been playing games since she was 4. The first console she ever received from her parents was a SEGA MegaDrive. She has joined the website to gain further experience in an industry that… Read More