March 2015’s PlayStation Plus games are…

Despite the strange snag that Sony ran into with deciding the free lineup of PlayStation Plus games for this March, we now finally have the lineup of the free games that will be awarded to PlayStation Plus members for the month, right on the day that they’re supposed to go live. Better late than never, as they say.

OddWorld - GameplayNaturally, this means that last month’s selections have already gone back to their original prices, so hopefully you redeemed the ones you were interested in already. As usual, you must maintain an active PlayStation Plus membership to redeem and access your free game rewards at any time, and you’ll need to renew it to play any free downloads on any current PlayStation platform, should it have lapsed.

In any case, Sony claims that they had difficulty deciding the free game lineup for March, though they didn’t specify why. It’s unconfirmed, but the launch of Sony’s Spring Fever indie initiative that starts today may have been a factor, as it was rumoured that the first spotlighted Spring Fever game, Helldivers was supposed to be a free reward for PlayStation Plus this month, prompting a shuffle of the lineup.

In any case, here’s what PlayStation Plus members can now redeem for free on Sony’s current gaming platforms:

The first free offering for PlayStation 4 is OddWorld: New ‘n’ Tasty!. This remake of cult classic puzzle-platformer, OddWorld: Abe’s Oddysee, which launched on the original PlayStation and PC in 1997, is considered one of the best digital game offerings of 2014 Valiant Hearts - Gameplayby numerous critics and PlayStation gamers, and revamps the entirety of OddWorld: Abe’s Oddysee from the ground up. Players take control of Abe, who must escape a meat processing plant when he discovers that the local denizens are being processed for food, and he’s next on the menu. Despite originally launching exclusively on PlayStation 4 last July, OddWorld: New ‘n’ Tasty!’s long-delayed alternate ports are only now seeing release. The game just recently hit Steam for PC, Mac and Linux, and will come to PlayStation 3 and Xbox One later this month. It is also in development for PlayStation Vita and Wii U, though these ports have no release date yet. Be advised that redeeming this reward on PlayStation 4 will net you the PlayStation 3 version for free as well, and will entitle you to a free download of the PlayStation Vita version, when it finally sees release.

The second free PlayStatiPapo & Yo - Gameplayon 4 offering is Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Unfolding in a cartoon-style take of WWI, inspired by actual letters retrieved from the historical event, Valiant Hearts: The Great War unfolds as a puzzle-adventure game, tasking players with navigating the horrors of the war to both survive, and reunite their protagonists’ families. We gave the game a solid 78% score when we reviewed it last year, praising its heartfelt story direction and art style, though criticizing its lack of challenge and occasional wonky design. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is also available for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, iOS, and Android.

As for PlayStation 3, the first free reward for the mSherlock Holmes - Gameplayonth is Papo & Yo. Loosely inspired by the tragic tale of an alcoholic father, the game is another puzzle-adventure game, where you take control of a young boy, having to traverse a mysterious alternate reality with a large beast, who seems initially kind, but becomes enraged and dangerous when it consumes a frog. The game received lukewarm reception for its gameplay, though its bold themes were praised by most players. Papo & Yo is also available for PC, Mac and Linux.

The second PlayStation 3 reward for March is Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. The latest in the Sherlock Holmes mystery-adventure game series by Frogwares, players must once again take up the mantle of the legendary super sleuth, to solve an array of vexing cases. The game received reasonable praise upon its release late last year. It is also available for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

OlliOlli 2 - GameplayLastly, the first free PlayStation Plus reward for PlayStation Vita, and the lone all-new freebie, is OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood. This sequel to hit skateboarding indie game, OlliOlli has players performing tricks and rising through the ranks of stardom. The game has already received huge praise from critics and early players. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood is also cross-buy between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, which it’s currently exclusive to. Redeeming this free reward on PlayStation Vita will score you the PlayStation 4 version for free, and vice-versa!

The second free reward for PlayStation Vita is CounterSpy. This stealth-action shooter was developed by DynaMighty, an outfit comprised of former LucasArts and Pixar veterans, and has players taking control of a spy working for C.O.U.N.T.E.R., who must infiltrate two Cold War-esque superpowers to prevent nuclear destruction. We reviewed CounterSpy for PLAY 2014 last year, scoring it a solid 75%. We praised its visuals, soundtrack and sense of humour, though lamented the very short campaign and frequent A.I. issues. CounterSpy is cross-buy between PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, so redeeming this free reward on any platform will net you all three versions simultaneously! Aside from PlayStation platforms, CounterSpy is also available for iOS and Android.CounterSpy - Gameplay

This is a bit of a patchy month for PlayStation Plus, and there’s clear evidence that Sony appeared to struggle with this month’s lineup. It’s not so bad if you like adventure games and puzzle games, and have yet to experience these offerings, but last month’s selection was definitely better, and more varied. Still, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood is a generous all-new freebie, and should help get PlayStation gamers with a love of indie games in the mood for Spring Fever!

Keep revisiting Eggplante for all news and updates on PlayStation Plus, and other PlayStation-specific incentives.