PlayStation Plus October freebies include Resident Evil and Transformers: Devastation

PlayStation Plus’ Instant Game Collection for October includes the most recent Resident Evil remake and Transformers: Devastation for PS4.

Other notable entries include Eric Chahi’s volcano god game From Dust and Techland’s off-road racing game Mad Riders.

Vita titles included in the promo include visual novel Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ and interactive story Actual Sunlight, which is described as being about :love, depression, and corporation.” Happy gaming!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan review

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine is an oddity which, despite not being all that great, enraptured a generation of players. The XBLA re-release’s incredible sales suggests most of them still play games and, for whatever reasons, Turtles arcade is one of those games that has a little bit of resonance. Not least because most other video game interpretations of the Turtles, which seem to be prime ‘game’ material, have fallen so woefully short.

Even before Mutants in Manhattan was announced there was some buzz about the potential of it on social media – maybe it was a marketing plant, but it was one that worked because the combination made sense. Platinum Games, the action specialists, with a beloved action license – and if Transformers Devastation was anything to go by, the least we could expect is a solid brawler with a beautiful nostalgia-kneading visual style. This would have been an acceptable outcome but, for reasons best known to itself, Platinum has chosen instead to spin the wheel and bet it all on the number four.

There are good reasons for focusing on co-op multiplayer, of course, not least the fact that the Turtles are a foursome. But it’s worth establishing upfront that of all the things it gets wrong, Mutants in Manhattan offers a below-par single-player experience. There are many reasons for why it feels so empty but the crux is that this is a game designed with an ideal scenario in mind – which is four players co-oping. Once you understand this, things like the short, randomised stages and the power of the turtles’ abilities when comboed begin to make sense. In a reversal of normal roles, single-player ends up feeling like the offshoot.

Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is Platinum’s most disappointing game

Platinum Games has been around for nearly ten years at this point and has produced some of the best action games ever made. As the studio has grown, however, various teams within the company have taken on smaller, lower-budget projects, including last year’s surprisingly solid Transformers: Devastation. The results aren’t always so successful, however, as we saw with 2014’s The Legend of Korra – a game many viewed as the studio’s worst title. But, with the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, that may have changed.

A red flag is raised on starting the game; after passing its opening pre-rendered sequences, you’re launched into an experience that runs at just 30 frames per second. While Platinum has certainly released 30fps titles in the past, including the excellent Vanquish, the studio’s less visually ambitious titles still typically aim for 60fps. We’re surprised to discover that Mutants in Manhattan has a 30fps cap, without any real visual extravagance to justify it. It’s strange, especially given the game’s producer as a cause for omitting a multiplayer split-screen mode – a feature that never made it to the final product.

Unfortunately, this slower refresh doesn’t translate to a much improved image, either. While the game operates at a native 1920×1080 on both PS4 and Xbox One, the lack of any anti-aliasing method results in a rough presentation. Anisotropic filtering is also absent, which means textures appear blurred at oblique angles, while shadows also have a coarse, low resolution appearance. The game’s comic-book aesthetic works in its favour, at least, but this rough image quality and low frame-rate detract greatly from the experience.