PlayStation Plus Premium, the most expensive tier of Sony’s online membership, has one perk that sometimes feels glossed over next to things like an extensive game library: game trials. These let you play a chunk of a game before you throw down cash. But not all game trials are made equal. Two new additions to the lineup illustrate a gap in game quality so vast you could map it onto the North and South Poles: Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.
Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian’s Dungeons & Dragons RPG and a frontrunner for 2023’s Game of the Year, is great on PlayStation 5. If you’re a PlayStation Plus Premium subscriber, you can play the game’s first two hours as part of your membership. However, I will warn you now that if you’re a person who can sink a lot of time into a character creator, Baldur’s Gate 3 has enough options and build customization that there’s a non-zero chance you’ll spend those two free hours trying to make your character look good. So if you’re going to go this route, maybe consider running an origin character to get into the game quickly enough to actually get a sense of it. Then, if you’re enjoying it, start the game over after you buy it so you can actually make a character.
Meanwhile, if you find you have too much time on your hands and want to waste some of it, you can check out The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which our reviewer Levi Winslow called “2023’s worst game” in their write-up back in July. Granted, Skull Island: King Kong and The Walking Dead: Destinies are giving it a run for its money, but Gollum was easily one of the biggest flops of the year. I don’t recommend spending your hard-earned money on it, but perhaps a two-hour trial is enough to get it out of your system and give you a low-stakes laugh, at least.
PlayStation Plus Premium launched in 2022 as a Game Pass competitor, giving subscribers an extensive library of old games to stream spanning as far back as the original PlayStation. One distinct difference between both services is that the PS3 games can only be streamed to your console rather than downloaded natively like older Xbox games. Sony upped the annual price for its top-tier subscription from $120 a year to $160 back in September.