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February’s Free PSN Games Are Awesome

Official Control artwork depicting lead character Jess Faden

Ah, the power of free stuff. There have been some pretty amazing months on both PSN and Xbox Live Gold when it comes to freebies, all acting as a nice little bonus. But February’s line-up of free titles on PSN might be one of the strongest we’ve gotten thanks to Sony announcing a trio of kick-ass games. These will be going up on the 2nd of February, so remember to add them to your download queue even if you don’t intend on playing them just yet, that way they’ll be added to your library and you can download them whenever you want.

The line-up kicks off with what I deemed the best game of 2019, although look back I was perhaps too soft on it in regards to its performance issues on the Playstation 4. Yes, Control is is the first of February’s free PSN games. It’s an incredible action-adventure experience with a riveting story, excellent combat and one of the most engaging worlds in gaming. You explore the Oldest House, which is the base of operations for the Federal Bureau of Control who investigate all things paranormal and strange, from murderous fridges to magically teleporting rubber ducks. Along the way you’ll get some handy superpowers like being able to hurl objects with your mind and levitation, all of which feel bloody amazing to play around with.

But Sony isn’t just giving away Control, it’s giving away Control: Ultimate Edition. That means along with the base game you get the two expansion packs titled Foundation and Awe, the second of which ties Control into Remedy’s Alan Wake games, officially making them part of the same universe. Having the Ultimate Edition also means you get a free upgrade to the Playstation 5 version if you have the console, opening up the choice of either a 60FPS performance mode or a 30FPS mode with ray-tracing. Both modes will have a resolution of 1440p.

my verdict is that Control is truly brilliant, a bona fide contender for the Game of the Year crown. It boasts great performances, a strong story, a detailed and intriguing world and superb gameplay. It has issues, and the narrative’s vagueness might irritate as many people as it impresses, but ultimately a review is all about a personal experience and I utterly adored and loved every damn minute of Control. Right now it is my game of the year.

My review of Control

I’ve been meaning to replay Control, so this is the perfect excuse to fire back up and check out the DLC which I never got around to play, despite my utter love for the base game.

It’s a little surprising to see the Ultimate Edition up for grabs, but perhaps Remedy and 505 Games are looking to earn a little good will back after their prior slip-up where they revealed that people who owned the regular version of Control would not be getting a PS5 upgrade, even if they owned all the DLC as well. Instead, they’d have to shell out for the Ultimate Edition. Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well with fans of the game, myself included.

On top of that, Concrete Genie will be up for grabs. I’ve got no personal experience of this one, but it currently holds a 77 on Opencritic.

Concrete Genie is a creative and family-friendly game that dazzles thanks to its player agency in coloring its world. With fun painting abilities and puzzles balanced for its demographic, Concrete Genie survives a late-game makeover and wins many hearts.

Opencritic Summary

Considering Concrete Genie is a Playstation exclusive it got treated pretty poorly by Sony who barely even acknowledged the game’s existence. Left to die with no marketing, Concrete Genie failed to make much of an impression, so hopefully being included in the line-up of free games might help it find the audience it deserves. I’m planning on being part of that new audience, especially after having watched ACG’s excellent review.

Finally, we’re getting the long-awaited PS5 exclusive, Destruction AllStars. This is the most intriguing of the bunch simply because we still don’t know a lot about it. It was meant to launch alongside the Playstation 5 as a fully-priced game, only one of three properly console exclusives alongside the Demon’s Souls remake and Astro Bot. Basically it seems to be a vehicular combat game that looks like it might be leaning on the E-sports idea, and since it’s not a free game I wouldn’t be surprised to see quite a few microtransactions wedged into the cracks. Looks like it could be a good time, though.

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