Sunday, July 30, 2023

Amazon's August Foretold

It's nearly the end of the month and that means... well, mostly disappointment these days, if it's Amazon Prime Gaming giveaways we're talking about. The glory days of anticipating a chunky package of exciting new, free games I might actually play are long in the past.

The sad caravan limps onward all the same. It's possible, although exceedingly unlikely, you may have spotted the post from the official Prime Gaming Blog when it popped up on the blog roll to your right, telling us all about the joys we can expect throughout August.

In case you didn't and to save you scrolling down to find it now it's slunk off into the dark depths of the link forest, let me summarise: 

  • bunch of games you've either already played or never heard of... blah blah blah...
  • bunch of crap you don't want for games you no longer play or never played to begin with... blah blah blah...
  • bunch of games you won't be interested in, that you can play for a month in the cloud, if you live in the right part of the world...blah blah blah...
  • and something really weird for Call of Duty... at least that's new, I guess.

Hmm. Maybe I should elaborate. Just a little.

There are nine free games for August which is quite a haul, at least quantitively. Qualitatively, it's not so impressive. The tentpoles are probably PayDay 2 (plus DLC) on 3 August and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 on the 17th.  

We had SWTFU in July (So close with that acronym, LucasArts!) so I guess we could have seen it coming. It looks like Prime subscribers are going to get the entire LucasArts back catalog in the end. I didn't claim the first one so I'm hardly likely to bother with the sequel.

I don't actually remember PayDay coming up before, though. That might be new to Prime, which makes it seem strange they're starting with the second one. Then again I know absolutely nothing about the franchise so maybe there are reasons. Or maybe we did get the first one and I was so uninterested it didn't register.

If you want to talk late to the franchise, though, let's just think about the game that's coming on 10 August: Farming Simulator 19. Nineteen? Nineteen!? Are you seriously telling me there have been eighteen Farming Simulators before this one and it wasn't enough

Nope. It sure wasn't. We're up to #22 now.

Before we go any further, here's something odd. Amazon has started to flag up the delivery method for free games to make it clear whether you need to jump through any additional hoops to get them. Both PayDay2 and Farming Simulator 19 are flagged as coming via the Epic Games store. 

I'm wondering now if these games are free on Epic anyway and Prime is just telling us about it or whether only Prime subscribers can get them for nothing by way of linking their accounts with Epic. 

If I wanted either of the games I guess I'd find out in a few days but I don't and I also don't care enough to try claiming one just for science, so I guess we'll never know. Well, not until they do it again with something that interests me, anyway.

The rest of the games are a right old mix. Blade Assault arrives also on the 10th, followed by Foretales and Driftlands on the 17th and In Sound Mind and Summertime Madness on the 31st.

Foretales looks mildly intriguing. It has animal characters, at least. I'll probably claim that one. The rest I'll pass, thanks, although I'll note that In Sound Mind does have and "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating on Steam, so it might be worth grabbing if you're into that sort of thing.

The canny counters among you may have noticed that only comes to eight free games and Amazon said there were nine. That's because they're counting the PayDay 2 DLC The Gage Mod Courieras a separate game. Cheeky!

The four titles coming free to Prime members via Amazon's cloud gaming platform Luna in August, provided they live in the USA, Canada, Germany or here in the UK, are Batora: Lost Haven, SteamWorld Quest,(Which I've played and finished!) Smurfs: Mission Vileaf and Ys VIII: Lacrimose of Dana, although the press release does make reference to a "slate" of games coming on 1 August. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the others are, if any.

Finally, there's that Call of Duty offer I mentioned at the top. I don't play CoD. I've never watched anyone play it so for all I know, stuff like this happens all the time. It certainly does in Fortnite.

For August, Prime is giving away a Warzone Rat Pack bundle that lets you... cosplay as a rat. Seriously, it's a super-creepy, badly-stitched, whole-head mask in the shape of a cartoon rat. It's not unique to the offer - it was already in game - so I'm guessing Call of Duty isn't exactly the dour, militarist sim I've always assumed.

Still not gonna play it so I don't need the head or any of the rat-related decals that come with it. It was interesting to learn they exist, though. 

If there's anything of interest buried in the rest of the in-game giveaways, I'm sorry but you'll have to check for yourselves. I can only do so much and for this month this is it.

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