Aug 9, 2011

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PSN PLAY Summer Program Begins Today

With Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade event drawing praise from critics and gamers alike it was only a matter of time before Sony decided to draw some attention to its midyear downloadable offerings as well. Last week, Pierre Gravereau (Digital Distribution Manager for PlayStation Network), announced via the official PlayStation Blog that PlayStation gamers would soon see the debut of a new summer program called PLAY. This annual event focuses on the season’s four biggest PSN games and will offer customers bonus DLC for buying each game and an extra reward for pre-ordering. In addition, each title is marked down 20% for PlayStation Plus users. Finally, purchasing all four of this year’s games before September 19 will net you a voucher code for PAYDAY: The Heist, an upcoming first-person-shooter in the vein of Valve’s Left 4 Dead series. Gravereau followed up his original post today by announcing that all four games are now available for pre-order. The following is a list of each game, along with a game description and their respective bonuses, courtesy of PlayStation Blog:

 

Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition (Capcom) — $14.99

This action-fighting title features 20 playable characters, HD graphics, more than 200 pieces of unlockable content, more than 100 trials and more than 100 challenges.

Purchase: Unlock GILL character

Pre-order: Game theme

Pre-order available until: August 18, 2011

 

The Baconing (Hothead Studios) — $14.99

This action-RPG title is the third in the popular DeathSpank series. Attempt to defeat the Anti-Spank and his army of Cyborques, before they cast an evil shadow over Spanktopia. Discover exciting new worlds and battle hordes of enemies as you search to unlock the secret within the Fires of Bacon.

Purchase: Unlock additional co-op character Roesha

Pre-order: Exclusive theme

Pre-order available until: August 25, 2011.

 

BloodRayne: Betrayal (Majesco Entertainment) — $14.99

This 2D side-scrolling platformer features 15 bloodthirsty levels where Rayne attempts to infiltrate a treacherous castle, take out a fiendish horde and stop an evil vampire massacre.

Purchase: BloodRayne: Betrayal virtual item for PlayStation Home avatar; exclusive dynamic theme

Pre-order: Exclusive static theme

Pre-order available until: September 1, 2011

 

Renegade Ops (SEGA, Avalanche Studios) — $14.99

This top-down, driving shooter from SEGA features a huge variety of vehicles, guns and endless enemies. The game features Sandbox-style missions, so there are many different ways to play.

Purchase: Vehicle & Character Pack with two new vehicles and special weapons

Pre-orders: Exclusive static theme

Pre-order available until: September 8, 2011

 

PAYDAY: The Heist (Sony Online Entertainment) — $19.99

This gritty, first-person shooter from Sony Online Entertainment lets players take on the role of a hardened career criminal executing intense, dynamic heists in constant pursuit of the next “big score.”

Purchase: Free with purchase of all four PLAY games

Pre-order: Static theme

Pre-orders start on: September 20, 2011

 

I’m definitely looking forward to PAYDAY and anxious to see what SOE can do with the Left 4 Dead formula in bank robbery scenarios. However, the rest of the program’s offerings aren’t exactly guaranteed sellers and their varied backgrounds could deter some gamers from picking up the whole package for PAYDAY’s payoff. Renegade Ops is a new IP from Just Cause 2 developers Avalanche Studios, while Betrayal’s two-dimensional platforming gameplay will likely appeal to both BloodRayne fans and players with fond memories of the 2D Castlevania games. Meanwhile, The Baconing is third in the DeathSpank series of action-RPG’s that have sold moderately well on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network since the debut title launched in July 2010, and will draw interest from the franchise’s cult following. Finally, Street Fighter III Third Strike will definitely draw fighter fans but with Street Fighter IV already established on the market, what sort of community will this remake be able to garner?

However the program is eventually received, PlayStation Plus subscribers can at least celebrate a discount on the titles that interest them. Do you feel that PSN’s PLAY is a worthy answer to Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade? Are you disappointed with this year’s offerings, but looking forward to what Sony brings to the table next summer? Sound off in the comments below!

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

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About Kyle Prahl

You can friend him on PSN (geist226) and follow him on Twitter: @PaybackPrahl