This past April, PlayStation announced their Play At Home initiative to encourage gamers to stay at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through Play At Home, PlayStation put two great games (Journey and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection) up for free download for a limited time, and if you haven’t downloaded these games yet, you have until the 5th of May to do so, and you don’t even need to sign up for a PS Plus subscription. You can also download Knack 2 for free as part of the Play At Home initiative if you have a German or Chinese PlayStation account.
Alongside the free games released through the Play At Home initiative, last month’s free games from PS Plus were Uncharted 4 and Dirt Rally 2.0, and you can download these games for free until the 4th of May if you have a PS Plus subscription.
As we approach the beginning of May, and going to a game store to buy physical copies of games has been nigh impossible in the past month, the idea of getting a digital subscription service for games has started to look like a good alternative, with all the free games that come with them. But before you call up your local game store to purchase a subscription card or some PS Store money, let’s take a look at the free games up for grabs on PS Plus this May.
Note: Prior to the announcement of the PS Plus free games for May, a “leak” was circulated online claiming that PS Plus subscribers will be able to download Dying Light and Dark Souls Remastered for the month of May. Sadly, this leak turned out to be false, but the actual games being offered on PS Plus this month are pretty good, too. Looking back, it’s pretty hilarious how different the actual free games are to the games in the “leak”.
With a tagline like “Farm Like Never Before”, it’s easy to joke about Farming Simulator 19, and many might overlook its deep gameplay and highly addictive qualities. If you’re used to farming crops on Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, you might be surprised to find that Farming Simulator 19 is far from the pixelated farming experience that we often associate with games that include a farming mechanic.
In Farming Simulator 19, you are the lord of your terroir, and you’re tasked with keeping hectares of soil working to grow your precious crops. New mechanics introduced in Farming Simulator 19 are horse farming and the ability to grow oat and cotton crops, which helps to increase the efficiency of your farming as well as diversify your wide array of crops. After all, it’s hard to find crops that can grow in every season, but oat and cotton crops are able to grow for most of the year.
You also have access to true-to-life farming equipment, as Farming Simulator 19 includes tractors and motor vehicles manufactured by brands like Komatsu and John Deere. Not only does this improve the gameplay’s immersive experience, but it’ll also teach you a thing or two about how crops are really planted, grown, and harvested. There’s much more to farming than the average person knows, and you’ll soon find out that the process of farming is perfect for a simulation game as its many variables and payoffs mirror that of the average game’s quest and reward formula. You’ll find that fighting monsters for loot and ploughing a hectare of land for a perfect turnip aren’t so different.
If you’re disappointed that we didn’t get Dark Souls Remastered this month, then don’t worry, Farming Simulator 19 is every bit as addicting. The only difference is that you won’t be dying every 10 minutes. Oh, and did we mention that there’s an esports league for the Farming Simulator games? You have to see it to believe it.
For those of us who grew up playing SimCity games and were eventually disappointed by the lackluster release of SimCity (2013), with its always-online mechanic and buggy gameplay, there was no better game to migrate to than Cities: Skylines.
Cities: Skylines is the city-building game that scratches that SimCity itch all while improving the SimCity formula with new features. As you grow your city, you can create districts for various industries and create infrastructures to improve the quality of life for your population. You can put up campuses and laboratories, public parks and recreation districts, and even new buildings to accommodate tourists wanting to sample the hospitality of your city.
Aside from the city-building itself, you can also enact policies and plans for your population to follow in order to maintain your city’s efficiency. You’ll have to consider issues like pollution (both in the air and through noise), traffic congestion, and the educational attainment of your city-dwellers. It’s a dream for every gamer and control freak who loves seeing things happen as planned and in order.
Whether you’re aiming for utopia, or you want to create a large communist estate, Cities: Skylines provides the blank canvas for all your urban planning dreams. And while the PS4 version can feel janky at times as playing with a controller can be tricky if you’re used to playing with a mouse, the game itself is just as good as it is on PC. And hey, it’s a free game, but if you want to get it for your Mac or PC, it’s available on Steam for ₱759.95.
If you’ve got a PS Plus subscription, these games might be just the answer to your stay-at-home blues. And even if you don’t, we can expect more free games from the Play At Home initiative once the download period for Journey and the Uncharted trilogy expires.
For PC gamers, you can also keep track of free games being offered on Steam and Epic. Steam recently released Total War: Shogun 2 for free for a limited time (until May 1), and Epic’s free game of the month is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With such high profile games being made available for free on several platforms, it’d be a waste to let these literal steals pass by.
We’ll be keeping you posted on all the free games that’ll be made available for the coming weeks, so stay tuned, and stay at home.
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