By Amanda Yeo
Sony announced on Tuesday it will offer all PlayStation 4 users a few free games to help them through our coronavirus social distancing — part of the company’s new Play at Home initiative. Being stuck indoors sucks, but it sucks a bit less when you have video games.
Starting 8 p.m. PDT on April 15, beautiful indie game Journey and treasure hunting action-adventure Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will be available as free digital downloads in almost every PlayStation Store around the globe (China and Germany will get Knack 2 instead of Uncharted.) Once you grab the games they’re yours to keep forever, but you only have until 8 p.m. PDT on May 5 to do so.
That’s four free games all up, since The Nathan Drake Collection includes the first three games in the Uncharted series: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
All of the games Sony is offering are older titles, but they’re also all still pretty well-regarded. Journey made a significant impact upon its release in 2012, with many praising it as a stunning, emotional game. It’s worth noting however that though players can enjoy Journey in single player mode, much of the game’s strength was in its multiplayer, requiring a PlayStation Plus subscription.
The Uncharted collection should also keep you entertained for a while. Uncharted follows the Indiana Jones-like Nathan Drake on his globetrotting quest to hunt down treasures and traipse through important cultural sites. He’s basically an archaeologists’ worst nightmare with a gun. Each game takes around 10 hours to complete, so that’s approximately 30 hours of free entertainment.
That’s 30 hours you’re not flicking mindlessly through Netflix’s catalogue. (Though you may still have to do some flicking — Sony notes game downloads may take a little longer due to its efforts to reduce traffic and preserve internet access.)
Sony also announced today that it has set aside $10 million to support independent game developers — a second part of its Play at Home initiative. Further details on that will be released at a later date, but it’s good to know some small studios will be getting much needed support. With millions turning to the arts to help them cope with our waking nightmare, the importance of creative industries has become increasingly apparent.