The PlayStation Plus free titles and Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced for June 2018. It’s time to pit the collections against each other to see which console comes out on top with June’s offerings. Welcome to PS Plus vs Games with Gold!
Let’s take a look at the contestants. First up, the PS Plus Instant Game Collection.
- Heavy Rain (PS4)
- Absolver (PS4)
- Rayman 3 HD (PS3)
- Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PS3)
- Space Overlords (PS Vita)
- Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (PS Vita)
Next, here are the Xbox Games with Gold that you can grab on Microsoft’s platform next month.
- Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One)
- Death Squared (Xbox One)
- Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (Xbox 360, Xbox One w/ backwards compatibility)
- Splinter Cell Conviction (Xbox 360, Xbox One w/ backwards compatibility)
PS Plus Free Games July 2018
Sony preceded Detroit: Become Human’s June release by offering Beyond: Two Souls back in May. They are now following up Detroit’s success by offering the PS4 remaster of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream’s PS3 crime thriller. Personally, I thought Heavy Rain was a fantastic game, and liked it a lot more than Beyond. The mystery behind it was twisting, and even if it mostly culminated in one place, the decisions you made along the way had some pretty major impacts. This will also give everyone the opportunity to play the meme-inducing “Press X to Jason” scene if they haven’t yet experienced that magical moment in interactive entertainment.
Absolver is a crazy hybrid of fighting games, brawlers, and RPGs. The unique blend led the game to mixed reviews overall. The formula seemed to click with some players, while for others it just fell flat when they couldn’t fully wrap their heads around it. As a love-it-or-hate it kind of game, that makes it a perfect pick for PlayStation Plus. For some, Absolver will be a gem this month, and for others, they’ll just be glad they didn’t need to pay for the game to try it out. I haven’t played it myself yet, but I’m eager to see what all the fuss is about.
Where previous months have been throwaways on PS3 and Vita, July actually has some okay releases, even if you have to fire up the old console or handheld to play them. Rayman 3 HD may not have the same charm as the more recent side-scrollers like Rayman Legends and Origins (Seriously Ubisoft, where’s a new Rayman game? Also what’s up with using Origins as titles for so many of your games?), but it’s a good quality remaster of a classic game. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is a game riddled with untapped potential, but worth checking out if you’ve got nothing else to play.
And finally on Vita, Sony is offering both an amazing title and burning pile of garbage (to put it nicely). To start with the bad, Space Overlords is a game so bad it doesn’t even half enough reviews to have a metascore. The four reviews it does have (two on PS4 and two on Vita) are very low scores. I would say that the Vita wouldn’t be worth turning on this month, but the second game is Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma, which is a fascinating puzzle game/visual novel that shouldn’t be missed.
According to the PlayStation Blog, none of the games are cross-platform this month, so that means you get your two PS4 games, two PS3 games, and two Vita games. This is a huge disappointment, because three of the four games are also available on PS4, including Zero Escape. If you don’t have a PS3 or Vita however, you’re out of luck on being able to play these.
Xbox Live Games with Gold July 2018
Xbox has some pretty good games this month. First up is Assault Android Cactus, an arcade-style bullet-hell game that is full of cute humanoid androids blowing up other robots. If you’re looking for an adorable challenge full of chaos, look no further than Assault Android Cactus. We had some problems with being cued into the taking damage based on all of the sound going on at once, but it’s still an enjoyable experience.
Death Squared is a multiplayer puzzle game that’s been well-received by critics, even if it’s not a high-profile name. The biggest downside is that it works best when playing couch co-op with real-life friends, so if you want to play solo, Death Squared might not be for you. After getting The Witness a couple of months ago, most other puzzle games seem a trivial addition to this lineup that can’t really match up.
Backwards compatibility gives Xbox One players the chance to play Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. At the time of release, it was called one of the deepest fighting games around, but with more than six years between then and now, the fighting game landscape may have shifted quite a bit. Offering games like this when there are fighting communities keenly interested in other games seems like a move that will leave many uninterested.
The final Xbox 360 backwards compatible game for July is Splinter Cell Conviction. The highly praised Splinter Cell game was the second to last one released. Many expected a new Splinter Cell announcement to come at E3 but we were left disappointed. Does Splinter Cell’s addition to Games with Gold foretell a coming announcement? We can dream, but the answer is probably much more mundane.
All four Games with Gold June games are playable on the Xbox One.
PS Plus vs Games with Gold: Which Lineup is Better?
July goes to Sony if you’re considering every single game, but without cross-buy on the PS3 and Vita games, the list is prematurely crippled. For PS4 owners, Sony has Heavy Rain and Absolver. I would have loved to see Zero Escape be compatible on PS4 too, so Sony takes a bit of a hit by only offering the Vita version.
Even only considering Heavy Rain and Absolver, the PS4 just has a stronger lineup going for it this month. The best game on Games with Gold is a near decade-old Splinter Cell, though to be fair, the best game for PS4 is a near decade-old Quantic Dream remaster. Honestly, Sony missed a pretty big opportunity to make their list stand out, above the crowd. While Heavy Rain is arguably a better headliner than Splinter Cell: Conviction (or even Assault Android Cactus, which is positioned as the “headliner” for this month’s Gold), Sony has some real misses this month with other lackluster titles and lack of cross-buy on the games that matter. Players will potentially be able to find things to love about both lineups, with more games on Xbox One, but it’s not a particularly strong month for either.
Wondering how August’s lineups will fare next to one another? Come back next month when we pit the newly announced free games lineups against one another in PS Plus vs Games with Gold. Do you agree with our verdict? Which lineup do you think is better?
PS Plus vs Games with Gold July 2018: Which Free Games are Better?