The free games included with each console’s online subscriptions have been middling of late, but I must admit that June’s Instant Game Collection for PlayStation 4 owners is pretty sweet. The only problem? I already own both. Sucks to be me. The games that PlayStation 4 owners who subscribe to PlayStation Plus will be able to download next month are Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and Sonic Mania, both of which are excellent.
The Handsome Collection, as you likely already know, contains the sublime Borderlands 2 and its less-than-impressive follow-up, Pre-Sequel. Initially, it was just a simple, uninspired port (that took up way too much hard drive space) but it was recently updated to include shinier textures, visual and gameplay enhancements and is a much more satisfying package; two words I’ve never personally heard together before. Anyway, the updated collection is a great way to preserve Borderlands, while keeping it looking fresh and modern.
“You’ve got a pair of terrific games, a ton of extra content and they simply pop on a proper 4K display when run on the right hardware. I know the more cynical amongst you will eyeball this update as Gearbox making a quick buck by giving Borderlands a shot in the arm, but hey: there’s a lot of hard work that goes into making an old game look this good again.”
The other game you’ll be able to play is the frankly fantastic Sonic Mania. While it looks like classic Sonic, it’s an all-new game with brand new levels, designed and developed by people who have a genuine, deep-rooted love for the blue blitz ball.
“So many modern Sonic games add too much to Sonic, Tails and Knuckle’s repertoire (not even mentioning the menagerie of other friends and foes the series has picked up over the years), diluting the good stuff while adding unnecessary fluff. Sonic Mania keeps everything simple, with Sonic really just having his tried and tested Spin Dash, and a new drop dash that lets him transition from a jump into a dash. That’s really it, but the simplicity of it resulted in a more focused game. Sure, it’s narratively lacking, but that’s hardly a complaint. It’s all about Sonic and friends collecting Chaos Emeralds and giving Dr Robotnik (Eggman is a terrible name, now and forever) a solid kicking – as they’ve done countless times before – but damn is it fun to play.”
June’s a good month then – provided you don’t already own both games.
Last Updated: May 30, 2019