PSN Summer Sale: The highlights

Sony’s PlayStation Network Summer Sale is in full swing, with nearly 90 titles receiving reductions. There’s everything from adventures, shooters, HD re-releases, to PlayStation classics. Separating the wheat from the chaff can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so here’s some of the highlights as cherry-picked by Past the Pixels.

I Am Alive - £6.49

One for: Those who want something a little different.

Ubisoft’s disaster survival title didn’t quite live up to the high expectations that initial trailers created. Despite some inadequacies, there’s a fairly decent game buried in there. Given its style and subject matter, it’s also a pretty unique experience on this generation of consoles. At a reduced price I Am Alive is definitely worthy of consideration. Give the demo a try first if you’re not completely sold.

Crysis: £10.99 (£8.79 for PS+ subscribers)

One for: Those who didn’t play it on PC already.

Crysis was a game-changer on its initial PC release, being dubbed by PC Gamer as a “creative and technological marvel”. Melding simply stunning visuals, deceptively cunning AI and a neat tactical approach to the player’s abilities, it was an instant classic in many eyes. It’s a title that must be sampled by genre fans at some point in their playing lives, even if the package has aged a little since 2007.

Riff: Everyday Shooter – £6.29 (PS3 or PSP/Vita version)

One for: Anyone who liked Super Stardust HD, 2D shooters.

Taking the tried and tested 2D shmup, and making sound one of its main components was an inspired choice. Each level sticks to a particular set of instruments, and players are composers as they create the phonics by despatching enemies. Putting together an impressive string of scoring, and being aurally rewarded, is especially pleasing. It’s not for everyone, but those who ‘get’ Riff will love it. Also, wear headphones for best results.

PAIN: £3.19

One for: Those who want to share something simple with non-gamers. And immature people.

This one will divide opinion. One the one hand, PAIN is a dumb Jackass-styled distraction that prides itself on slapstick violence and toilet humour. On the other hand, it’s a pretty funny party game that can be enjoyed by gamers and their non-gamer friends alike. Launch the guy from the catapult, cause mayhem, and that’s it! Make up your own drinking games to play along and you’ve got a decent pre-pub laugh for all. It even supports stereoscopic 3D, to make further use of that big telly you’ve got.

DC Universe Online expansion packs – £3.99 each

One for: Those who play the main game. People with big hard drives.

DC Universe Online is great. No really it is! I’ve spent hours and hours running around helping out Batman and the crew and not even put a penny in. The three packs in the sale are: Fight for the LightLightning Strikes and The Last Laugh. Perhaps the coolest pack is Fight for the Light, which allows players to create their own Green Lantern-inspired Lanterns (sparkly power ring as well). Each pack unlocks new missions, items and attributes, like the Flash’s super speed or The Last Laugh exclusive shield weapon. DCUO players will attach their own value to the contents of each pack, but at this price they’re total win.

Kane and Lynch/Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days: £6.49 each

One for: Co-op enthusiasts. Those who stay in rural locations.

Both Kane and Lynch games are victims of their own story-telling scope and ambition. You can’t help but think of what could have been when playing through. Putting that to one side though, the games are still fun to play through with two players. The first title is *slightly* better, with the sequel trying a bit too hard with its Michael Mann impersonations. Violent, twisted, dark, it’s gritty romp through the criminal underbelly. If you have the hard drive space, and can’t get to a shop to easily pick up a copy second hand, then purchase away.

Sam and Max – Beyond Time & Space/The Devil’s Playground (£9.99 each)

One for: Fans of ‘point n’ click’ games, Lucas Arts adventures.

Both Sam and Max adventures are hilarious escapades through the most unlikely of scenarios. The engine created by Telltale Games keeps the fundamentals of the original wave of PC adventure games and updates it for the PS3 generation. A great puzzler for parent and child or couples to enjoy together.

The Walking Dead – Season Pass: £12.99

One for: Fans of the show/comic book, Telltale fans.

Another good adventure by Telltale, this time the comedy is replaced with palpable tension. Taking its cue from the dramatic decisions displayed in the comic books and TV show, The Walking Dead game manages to put players in life-or-death decisions on an episodic basis. With a lot more action than the likes of the Back to the Future game, this one should appeal to a broad range of gamers. Given the PC version is £20.99 on Steam right now, this is some deal.

Splinter Cell Trilogy HD: £11.99

One for: Fans of the ‘sneaky sneaky breaky necky’ genre.

It wasn’t that long ago that these three games were being touted on the PSN for around £11 each, so this is particularly good value. The star here is undoubtedly Chaos Theory which is still enjoyable today, if a little restrictive in some aspects. The HD (and 3D!) sheen tidies up each game rather well, making them look respectable on the massive displays that now populate living rooms. Stealth fans will have stopped reading by now, they’ve already bought it.

Fear Effect: £1.99

One for: Those with class, taste, and an appreciation for the finer games in life.

In 1999, Fear Effect was pretty far ahead of its time. A twisting, violent storyline involving Triads, double-crosses, and dismemberment. atient types will appreciate FE’s unforgiving gameplay and control scheme are a little bit reminiscent of the original Resident Evil. The visual style still looks fairly good today, some achievement for an original PlayStation game. If anything, Fear Effect is an impressive curio from the PSX era.  Hands up, I love this game and at £1.99 it’s not much of a gamble to find out if you  will.

Deus Ex: £2.99 (£1.50 for Playstation+ subscribers)

One for: Those curious as to where Human Revolution came from.

Yep, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is on sale for £7.99 (complete edition) but it’s not included here as most of you should have got that for free if you’re PS+ subscribers. The original PS2 Deus Ex is another classic game that really opened eyes as to how varied the FPS genre could be, even the S at the end of FPS is debatable here given the multiple ways the game can be played. It’s an absolutely classic title, and at £2.99 it is more than worth the asking price.

There’s plenty more bargains in the Summer Sale, these are just some of my personal choices. Let me know in the comments or via Twitter what you end up buying!

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