With October almost done, it's time to gaze yonder into November, where another batch of PlayStation Plus games await eager subscribers, this time in the form of Team Ninja's acclaimed action game Nioh and Red Barrels' gruesome first-person horror sequel Outlast 2.
Nioh initially launched on PS4 in 2017, and its melding of light RPG elements and extravagant hack-and-slash action - which saw players donning the mantle of real-life western samurai William Adams - managed to draw comparisons with From Software's celebrated Dark Souls series, as well as Team Ninja's own Ninja Gaiden games.
"While the combat system and bosses offer a worthy successor to Souls and Gaiden fans," wrote Jeffrey Matulef in his Eurogamer Recommended review, "there are a few ways that Nioh falls short of the modern masterpiece it strives to be. The most troublesome problem with Nioh is its repetition. For all it does right, its padding is obvious and often obnoxious."
Even so, reckoned Jeffrey, it marked "a return to form for Team Ninja, a studio many feel had lost its way after the departure of its founder Tomonobu Itagaki in 2008. Nioh's loot-heavy hack and slash doesn't fire on all cylinders...but it's a refreshing reminder of just how thrilling a solid Team Ninja combat encounter can be."
As for Outlast 2, Eurogamer wasn't quite so impressed at launch. According to contributor Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, its gruellingly savage moonlit jaunt through yokel-infested forests - most of which is once again viewed through the innately spooky lens of a handy night-vision camcorder - "has its moments as a horror game, thanks to some neat perception dynamics, but it's exceptionally short on subtlety or charm."
Any dark wonder brought to the game through its clever flashback moments, reckoned Edwin, was undermined by its sometime problematic tone and its relentless use of confusing and clumsily handled chase sequence, making for a "moderately unnerving stealth experience that plunges a fistful of good ideas into a bucket of gore."
Post-launch patches from developer Red Barrels attempted to ease the pain of Outlast 2's more egregious pursuit moments, however, so newcomers might well enjoy the experience more.
Nioh and Outlast 2 will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers from 5th November until 3rd December. That means there's still a little time to claim Sony's current offerings, MLB: The Show 19 and The Last of Us Remastered.