FirstPlay Episode 9

27 6

Hey all,


Everyone enjoy the bank holiday weekend? Our thoughts were split between “Yay time off!” and “Boo making an entire episode of FirstPlay in four body-breaking days!”


Talking of which – FirstPlay episode 9 will be on the Store from Wednesday. We’re continuing our minis giveaway with the properly awesome Age Of Zombies (worth £3.99), and we’ve also got an exclusive Ghost Recon theme. That’s all for 99p, although with another free minis game next week and demos and avatars to come, it’s seriously worth your while to nab a money saving 90-day subscription for just £8.99.

1_reddead 2_modnation

As for the videos, this week we have a huge, in-depth HD review of Rockstar’s monster Western Red Dead Redemption (the wildlife corpse count is still rising), as well as a verdict on customisable karter ModNation Racers and a preview of tough-but-totally-worth-it RPG-er Demon’s Souls.

Then we’ve got our regular round-up of Network Highlights, this week featuring a playtest of the best PSN puzzlers, GTA IV’s awesome DLC episodes The Lost & The Damned and The Ballad Of Gay Tony, and a guide to doing the best (and most annoying) goal celebrations in 2010 FIFA World Cup. And also our screenshot galleries, this week featuring The Sims 3, new Lara Croft adventure The Guardian Of Light and crunching new American football bruiser, Backbreaker.

Please do find us on Twitter at @firstplay_uk, where we run regular giveaways and competitions, and email any suggestions, feedback or marriage proposals to We’re also on the official EU forums here.

See the Future of PS3. First.

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6 Author Replies

  • Sounds good, glad i subscribed from day 1 :) Looking forward to this weeks free minis too, looks good.
    Will there be E3 coverage in firstplay? Im on holiday from the first day of E3 for 2 weeks, so ill need a good source to catch up on everything i will have missed.

  • Any news on getting FirstPlay for Scandinavian countries? No need to translate anything! :D

  • sounds like the best episode so far !!

  • Looking good!

    A word on how you name your themes though, why do they need to have an _ instead of a space? It is very inconsistent with other theme names and you know, this isn’t the days of MS DOS anymore :P

  • Sounds great, just got Red Dead this morning so it’ll be nice to see a review from you guys.

    Constructive criticism: Red Dead’s been out a bit now so in future could you try to get reviews out before the game is out? It doesn’t really bother me since I’m not really a Day-One-Buy kind of person but I think it would make the service seem more professional and relevant. Thanks guys! ;)

  • I agree that it looks like best one yet.

  • I wanna get this one. Demon Souls has lured me in.

  • This is easily the best episode yet. Some great reviews and screenshot galleries, along with an awesome free mini. Looks ace. Roll on store update time. :)

  • Sweet. I’ve finished RDR and already got MNR for the PSP/PS3 though :p Not that it’s your fault I’m sure, long gone are the days devs allowed their games to be reviewed before release.

    In your Demon’s Souls preview make sure you tell everyone, if you don’t have it, buy it. One of the best games this gen.

  • Really looking forward to this one, my Red Dead Redemption is travelling across the country to me as I type this and it’ll be nice to see what your reviewer makes of it before I get to play it (hopefully it’ll have arrived by Friday when I’ll actually have time off work to play it).

  • Nice edition, although I have been playing Red Dead Redemption myself for the last two weeks and so no longer need an in-depth review to tell me how good it is! Bit ironic that your tagline is “See the Future of PS3. First.” really!

    I know you need to strike a balance with your monthly print magazine, but seriously if you insist on being a weekly service you really need to be up to the minute with your content – your review of RDR comes when there are already 51 reviews (inc video reviews) posted on Metacritic!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I use internet gaming sites too much to justify buying FirstPlay, even for 99p. Unless you start securing some genuine exclusives – be it interviews/tours or previews or news/announcements (there’s something you could add – a weekly summary of news/announcements that have happened in the previous week) – then I just can’t see any reason to pay out for it :(

  • Don’t you think the reviews need to be out before the games?

    • Yes – and wherever humanly possible we are getting our reviews out either before or in the same week. When we’re not, or when we’re behind OPM, it’s not because we’re protecting the print edition – we work hard to make the content different to the mag, so the two complement each other. It’s just because of the technical challenges of FP – getting the game, the capture time, and getting on the Store.

      It’s less of a problem during the stacked months of winter and spring, but during the summer patch it’s been more of a problem. It’s absolutely our number one priority to fix this issue.

  • This really does sound like a good episode. Free mini and a theme! Plus I’m interested about many of the games listed.

    I would subscribe, but I need a question answered before I do. I noticed on PSN it says the 90 days subscription automatically renews itself once it runs out. Does this mean that I
    will have to make sure that I have £8.99 in my PSN wallet at the end of the 90
    days, or will the money be taken directly from my bank account that my PSN is linked with?

    An answer would be appreciated, as when I sent the First Play team a PSN message they didn’t know themselves, and told me to get in touch with Playstation Customer Services.

    Thanks again :D

    • As I answered below, the answer we have from Sony on this is that the money needs to be in the account already.

      Apologies if any of this seems sketchy – the way that FP operates on the Store really is completely new, so we’re working out tech solutions etc for the first time.

  • “long gone are the days devs allowed their games to be reviewed before release.”

    Not read OPSMUK recently then? They’ve had pretty much every review in print before the release of the game, which (as a subscriber of the magazine) makes FarcePlay not only useless, but outdated by the publishers own rag.

  • Reviews/previews of “old” games is so “paper magazin” and SO NOT DIGITAL!
    It seems you only can justify your existance with giveways…

  • Can I just say I love everthing first play offers from the free minis to the reviews and previews section to the Hd
    HD screenshots that can be used for xmb wallpapers and I think first play, for the price of 99p (or 75p if your subscribed) offers a high quality service.

    That been said can the people who write the above blogs stop saying we are giving you an “exclusive
    theme” as I don’t think the people who buy first play every week
    are stupid enough to not realise that the theme is the same
    EVERY WEEK just replaced with a different wallpaper.

    Also to the people bashing first play for late reviews, please stop as first play offer constructive criticism on all their reviews (and this includes ps3 exclusives which I thought would get extremely biased reviews but so far I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality, depth and professionalism of the reviews first play offer.

    So to end this post I would like to say good job to the first play creators and to keep it up, don’t treat the customers like idiots and to get cracking on those avatars.

    • I hear ya – use of the term ‘exclusive’ shall be rationed as of this week :)

      I guess what I’m trying to get across is that the art we use *is* exclusive, at least in HD form and available on PS3 in this way (we’ve hounded development teams for it, got permissions etc), and in a non-rubbish-marketing-speak way, it really isn’t available anywhere else.

  • hay that first pic is sims 3 and could be a pic from the ps3 game :o

  • I don’t think the PSN store explains very clearly how the subscription works, i.e. when you subscribe, do you get to download all the ones released after that date? Do you get the option to subscribe from episode 1? I would like to get them all but I was skint when number one came out, and I don’t fancy paying 99p each.

    Any explanation? I am hoping that a subscription gives you a choice of what issue to start from, so I can go back and get all from number one.

  • @ bumblebee u can subscribe and u can downlode all of them up to now

  • Hey Nathan and Team!!

    Still giant kutos on First Play so far! Continueing to grow in size and popularity :-)
    quick question though… Same as above really, I’m a subscriber since Ep 1 and will 100% be renewing but how do I go about it? Do I have to work out the date myself, does it do it automatically (if so do I need money in my account or just in my card)

    Keep up the good work and any news on my FirstPlay Modnation plush toy ;-)

    Much love

    • Subscriber issues – the way the subscriptions work, they activate access to FirstPlay for 90 days from day of purchase, and will automatically renew if there’s sufficient funds in your PSN account. So, yes – make sure the money’s there, and it’ll just happen :)

  • There appears to be a problem with this weeks episode. When trying to download the free mini I get a message saying that it’s not available .. can you look into it please?

  • I cannot download Age of Zombies with this weeks issue. It says currently unavailable and has done since about 5pm today??? Whats happening??

  • I cant download Age Of Zombies either.

  • I’ve been having the same problem with downloading Age of Zombies since about 9pm – get the same unavailable – try again later error message. Thought it might be down to too many people trying to download it at once – but don’t think this is the case after 3 hours.

    Hopefully will be sorted out tomorrow. Is a good episode though (might just have convinced me to get RDR)

  • i am having the same problem, i can’t download it.

  • I suspect everyone is in the same situation. There are a number of possible reasons why but we’re just speculating as to which it might be. The sad thing is there’s been no communication as to the reason for this and when the download will be made available. Even a post on here as Mike does on the Store update posts, or a message on their twitter feed would be better than silence.

  • Hi guys,

    Huge apologies for the minis issue – we only became aware of it last night, and we immediately put out a message on twitter (@firstplay_uk), though we’ve had to wait until this morning to investigate.

    The problem is at the Store end, and we’re talking to Sony about it right now. As soon as the issue is resolved, you’ll be able to download the minis game as usual, with no re-download of FirstPlay or anything like that. The timing of when this happens is out of our hands, but I’ll be back on to let everyone know as soon it does.

    Again – huge apologies, and we’ll get this sorted asap.

  • And the game is now live, and should be downloadable for everyone. Thanks all for being patient.

  • thank you for fixing the mini download issue nathan
    gonna load up first play now and get it!

    first play gets better every week you guys are doing a brilliant job
    keep up the good work!

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