Image: Omega Force and P-Studio/Atlus
Shoot ’em up, beat ’em up, and hoon it up in 2022
PlayStation Plus subscribers will get free access to three games in January: Deep Rock Galactic (for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5), Dirt 5 (PS4, PS5), and Persona 5 Strikers (PS4). All three games will be available for download via PS Plus starting Jan. 4.
Deep Rock Galactic, from Ghost Ship Games, makes its PlayStation debut as a PS Plus game. Originally released in 2020 on Windows PC and Xbox One (after a two-year early access period), Deep Rock Galactic is a four-player cooperative shooter in which players take on the role of cranky space dwarves employed by an intergalactic mining company. Their mission: explore mineral-rich asteroids for bounty while trying to survive waves of angry extraterrestrials.
Codemasters’ Dirt 5 is, of course, an off-road rally racer that has just enough MotorStorm vibes to satisfy Technovanguard’s technical racing enthusiast, Owen Good. Here’s Owen crooning about Dirt 5’s hooning:
If Dirt 5 is an homage to Evolution’s best work, then it’s a beautiful one. The demanding Dirt audience is somewhat divided, though, and I can understand it. The arcade/action tack the series has taken is a sharp turn away from the tough rallying sim they got in Dirt Rally 2.0. And that game was a response to the more mass-market Dirt 4, which feathered in accessibility concessions and appeal to its core rallying feature set.
Taken together, however, I think they’re a library of three titles serving distinct needs and interests, and just as playable today as the day they launched. It’s sort of an off-road Neapolitan: Dirt Rally 2.0 for the chocolate; Dirt 4 the vanilla; and Dirt 5 is your strawberry, brightly colored and very sweet.
Finally, Persona 5 Strikers is the Musou-style spinoff of Atlus’ role-playing game series. Set six months after the events of Persona 5, Strikers blends beat-’em-up action with storytelling that gets the Phantom Thieves back together.
January 2022’s PS Plus games will be available to download through Feb. 1, 2022.
December’s PlayStation Plus games — Godfall: Challenger Edition, Mortal Shell, and Lego DC Super-Villains — are still available to download through Jan. 3, 2022. Further, PlayStation VR owners can pick up The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Until You Fall, and Firesprite’s The Persistence through Jan. 3, 2022.