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3 underrated PS Plus games to check out this weekend (June 28-30)

Key art for Matterfall from Housemarque and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Some games don’t get the love they deserve when they come out. Maybe it’s because they launched during a crowded time of year, weren’t in a mainstream genre, or had negative public perception as they headed toward release. These games become underrated cult classics and can gain new life and attention on subscription services like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus, where players have more control over which games they play, how long they want to play them, and how much money they want to spend on them.

That’s why I looked to these underrated games when determining what PS Plus Premium and Extra game catalog games to recommend this weekend. One is an exhilarating shoot ’em up platformer hybrid from the developers of Returnal. Another is the Marvel strategy game and RPG from the studio that makes series like Sid Meier’s Civilization and XCOM. Finally, we have an enjoyable LittleBigPlanet spinoff that seemed like it flew under the radar more than every other PlayStation 5 launch title.


Gameplay from Matterfall.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Most PlayStation fans probably didn’t hear of Housemarque until Sony acquired it and released Returnal, an excellent third-person shooter roguelike that takes advantage of many PS5 features. Housemarque had a long history of making arcade-game-inspired titles, though. Some of these, like Alienation and Nex Machina, played from a more traditional isometric style. 2017’s Matterfall is different because it’s a level-based 2D platformer where playing well and chasing high scores is the primary gameplay loop. In Matterfall, players rid a world of red “smart matter” that’s taken control of technology and spread across the futuristic city like an infection.

This is countered with Blue Matter weapons and abilities; in practice, that means players are blasting or dashing through almost anything in sight in order to clear red matter and earn points. It plays differently than most platformers as you jump with the right bumper rather than the X button; thankfully, this control scheme does end up making sense because it means players can aim and shoot easily with the right stick at all times. Once I got the hang of that, chasing high scores in Matterfall’s levels is as magically engaging as doing a run in Returnal. If you enjoyed Returnal but never checked out any of Housemarque’s other work, I highly recommend giving a few levels of Matterfall a shot this weekend.

Matterfall is still a PS4 exclusive, and it’s available as part of the PlayStation Plus Extra game catalog.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Marvel's Midnight Suns battlefield featuring Iron Man, Magik, and Captain Marvel.

Even the Creative Director of Marvel’s Midnight Suns admits that this card-based strategy RPG from Firaxis and 2K had perception problems going into launch. Despite that baggage, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is truly a great time for anyone who enjoys a collectible card game, turn-based strategy game, or RPGs in general. Players control a new character called The Hunter in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, who’s on a quest to defeat their mother Lilith after being revived by other heroes. From there, players create parties of up to three Marvel characters — including ones from the universe’s supernatural side like Blade and Ghost Rider — create decks of ability cards for each of them, and face off against Hydra and other supernatural threats in turn-based battles.

Firaxis’ XCOM roots shine there, as there’s still plenty of strategy to be found in how players must position units and use the environment to their advantage during a fight. And while the card system drew a lot of ire prior to launch, it’s fleshed out and offers up a unique playstyle for each playable hero. It’s possible to hang out in The Abbey and speak to other heroes between missions, so there’s a whole Persona or Mass Effect-like RPG element to the game as well. Perception on Marvel’s Midnight Suns has turned around since its release, but if you haven’t tried it, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a shot for the first time soon.

The PS4 and PS5 versions of Marvel’s Midnight Suns are available via PlayStation Plus Extra. It’s also on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, and PS Plus members can get its Season Pass that adds Venom, Deadpool, Morbius, and Storm as playable characters for $16.50.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sackboy facing obstacles in Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PS5 had a fantastic set of launch games, with Demon’s Souls and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales getting a lot of attention, and Astro’s Playroom being an outright impressive pack-in game for the console. That’s why it’s easy to forget that Sumo Digital’s Sackboy: A Big Adventure was also a launch title for the PS5 and is an enjoyable 3D platformer in its own right.

It forgoes the level creation tools at the center of the mainline LittleBigPlanet games, opting for a hand-crafted adventure comparable to something like Super Mario 3D World. It’s an approachable game that you can play with the whole family and is full of creative, and sometimes musically enhanced, ideas for its colorful levels. Other PS5 launch titles might have stolen its thunder, but Sackboy: A Big Adventure is just as fun as its peers.

The PS4 and PS5 versions of Sackboy: A Big Adventure are available as part of the PS Plus Extra game catalog. It’s also available on PC.

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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