We’d been offline for well over three weeks, the PSN’s downtime giving many gamers chance to catch up on some single player stuff (or, of course, defect and jump onto other ships) but over the weekend things started to grind back in life, culminating in a stuttering restart on Sunday and everyone (except Japan) back online Monday. It’s been an odd few weeks, people generally feeling a bit left in the dark but hopeful that Sony would get everything fixed and we – the loyal gamers – would get rewarded.
Well, yesterday evening the various territories announced their Welcome Back packs – a selection of PS3 and PSP games that PlayStation gamers could opt for, once the Store’s back online. Whenever that’s going to be. Were people happy? Well, despite the games being offered generally being pretty good titles, the general concensus around the internet (and from 11 pages of comments here on TSA) is that Sony’s most loyal gamers are feeling a little bit hard done by – mainly because they’ve already bought most, if not all, of the games listed.
Let’s take a look at the European options, then. First up, the PS3 games. We’ll be able to pick two out of the following five: LittleBigPlanet, Infamous, Wipeout HD, Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty and Dead Nation. Now, we don’t know about you personally, but that’s really not a bad selection of games. You’ve got the wonderful (albeit slightly dated now with the superior sequel) LittleBigPlanet, a massive third person action game in the shape of Infamous, one of the best racing games ever created with Wipeout HD (and the Fury add-on), cute platformer Quest for Booty and top down zombie blaster Dead Nation.
Really, what did you expect?
We’ve seen comments around the net from those that had already bought all five complaining that there’s nothing in there for them – but these are popular, high scoring games, so anyone regularly buying them would have already got them – that’s going to be the case whichever five titles Sony picked. And of course they’re all first party titles, we’d imagine the logistics and licensing behind trying to secure third party titles would have been a nightmare, not to mention the physical restriction of having to ensure the games were available to download from the Store, you’re not getting Blu-rays here.
The PSP selection’s equally strong: LittleBigPlanet is great, ModNation Racers is one of the most rounded games on the platform, Pursuit Force is an oldie but worth looking at, and Killzone Liberation’s a decent enough filler for anyone looking for more Killzone, albeit third person and top-down. Again, all first party, all downloadable, and – yes – if you’re a hardcore Sony fan you’ve probably already got them.
But what were Sony supposed to do? Offer credit for every account? Even if it’s just £20 – a rough figure pulled from approximating the value of the above games – that’s over one a half billion pounds, hardly realistic in anyone’s eyes, right? Could they have offered newer games? Certainly – although Dead Nation’s recent enough the others are a little dated now, but we weren’t ever going to get LittleBigPlanet 2 (it’s still selling) and inFamous 2’s just around the corner, so presumably Sony thought a refresher with the first game might have been a good idea.
Warhawk, though, should have been on there. With Starhawk announced and hype at an all time high, securing the first game would have ignited interest and got people talking about Lightbox’s 2012 offering. Why it’s not on there is anyone’s guess, licensing, perhaps – who knows – but swapping the third person multiplayer shooter for the rather short Ratchet and Clank episode might have swayed people’s minds a little.
And if you have got all five games (and the PSP titles) then at least there’s 30 days of PlayStation Plus to keep you going – but hey – let’s hear your opinions…