Update (7:30am PT): The PSN is still down, with Ask PlayStation saying, “We are aware that some users are experiencing issues logging into PSN. Thanks for your patience as we investigate.”
Original Story (7:15am PT): The Ask PlayStation, For Honor, and Elder Scrolls Online Twitter accounts have all revealed that the PlayStation Network is experiencing issues right now, with players reporting that maintenance messages are popping up.
According to the PSN Status Page, “some services are experiencing issues,” with every single aspect of the PSN on every PlayStation platform currently affected. Here’s what Sony says about some of the issues:
Account Management (PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Web, Other)
You may have some difficulty signing in or creating an account on PlayStation™Network. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience.
Gaming and Social (PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Web, Other)
You may have some difficulty launching games, applications, or online features. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience.
PlayStation Store (PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Web, Other)
You may have some difficulty accessing features and products on the PlayStation®Store. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience.
According to Sony, issues have been experienced since about 6:30am PT/9:30am ET.
PSN maintenance isn’t scheduled until January 31, so this is an unscheduled downtime. We’ll let you know of any updates to the PSN’s status.
Is the PSN down for you?
Most Emotional PlayStation Games
In no particular order, here we go!
At a time where we almost expect an archetypal war story in most modern-day and historical shooters, Battlefield 1 did something really refreshing in that it refrained from demonizing a particular army or group of people. This, alongside its unique individual war stories, actually turned what could be a mindless shooter into an emotional campaign. Just as you capture a fort as part of your last mission in The Runner and think you’ve won, the screen blanks out and displays a message reminding you that your enemies, too, laid their lives defending their homeland. Those with even the slightest of conscience will find their victorious grins disappearing.
Dead Space 2
The relationship between Isaac and Nicole is an incredibly sad one in Dead Space 2. He is haunted throughout by hallucinations of her, and these hallucinations try to prevent Isaac from completing his goals. It all comes to head at the end, when he is forced to “kill” this hallucination.
Metal Gear Solid 3
It’s hard to not shed one tear when Snake’s final mission is to confront his mentor, The Boss. After he kills her, he learns that she was not the traitor he believed her to be. She was playing a double-agent, and her final mission was to sacrifice herself and be killed by Snake. Since so few people new of The Boss’s plan, she was buried at an unmarked grave in Arlington National Cemetery.
To explain the emotion that ICO exudes, I’ll let our own Heath Hindman explain. He told me this:
“I sent a girl ICO to explain to her how I felt and then like, we’ve been married for almost 10 years?”
I’m not sure I could explain it any better than that.
Papo & Yo
This heartbreaking story is a metaphor for a young boy, Quico, and his abusive alcoholic father. Quico escapes one of his father’s rampages to a fantasy world, where he meets a Monster. He loves the Monster until the Monster becomes angry. As he learns the Monster is his father, he realizes that there is no saving the Monster or his father. His final decision will wreck anyone who does not have a heart of stone.
Life is Strange
Life is Strange frighteningly tells stories way too close to home about trying to fit in, being bullied, keeping friendships, and wanting to succeed. It also drives home the point that we can’t save everyone, no matter how much we want to. Max’s last decision at the end, to either save Chloe or save the town from destruction, is a tearjerker no matter which you choose.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
It’s no secret that the plot line for Kingdom Hearts is an absolute mess at best. This one was odder than most, because it told three separate stories that all intersected at the end. When all the pieces fell into place, and the player learned the true origin behind Ansem, Organization XIII, and Roxas, it was more than an ah-ha! moment. Even if you don’t shed tears, the true story sticks with you.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
This story of two brothers trying to save their dying father is sad from the beginning to the very end. First young Naiee recalls not being able to save his mother, then they can’t save a wounded griffin, and finally his elder brother dies. At least he was able to save his father at the end.
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII
This PSP game was an odd beast, but I cried during the entire ending credits after I finished. Many people like to point out how emotional Halo: Reach’s ending was, but I always say that didn’t get to me, because Crisis Core came first. I knew Zack Fair was going to die saving Cloud. That’s just common FFVII lore knowledge. But I wasn’t prepared for fighting to the very end. I wasn’t prepared to see his last thoughts. And I wasn’t prepared to witness from his eyes, his labored breath and his blurred vision as the Shinra soldiers stood over him to unload their weapons.
The Walking Dead Season 1
From about episode 3 on, this game left me an emotional wreck. First I have to kill a child who has been bitten. Then another child who starved to death in an attic. And then I have to let Clem kill Lee as he succumbs to becoming a zombie. It was so well done, and yet, I cried so much that I never returned for following seasons.
Final Fantasy VII
Aeris’s sudden death at the hands of Sephiroth wrecked many a gamer in the late 90s. I know several who never returned to a Final Fantasy game again over her murder. Aeris was just a good person overall, and she was the last of the line of Ancients who protected the planet. She was a beloved character by many players, and her death was incredibly abrupt.
Here’s another one that left me an emotional wreck after each play session. I cried when Jason (yes, yes, press X to Jason) was hit by a car. I cried at the lengths Ethan was willing to go to save his other son. I cried during the Origami Killer’s flashback, when his older brother died and his drunk of a father refused to help. My eldest son was 2 years old at the time, and there were many nights I wanted to go in his room and hug him while he slept.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us was like the Pixar film Up. It kicked you in the gut in the very beginning, when Joel’s daughter was gunned down. And then it kicks you again when you realize Joel doomed the rest of the surviving society. Instead of letting the Fireflies remove Ellie’s brain to find a cure for the Cordyceps fungus, he kills them and escapes with her. He then learns that Ellie was willing to be sacrificed to save the rest of humanity, leaving Joel with that burden for the rest of his life.
For the most part, it’s hard to call inFamous 2 an emotional game, especially if you play the Evil plot line. However, the good ending was extremely sad. Cole agreed to sacrifice himself and the others who could be Conduits in order to save the world from the plague rampaging across the globe. I was more than a little heartbroken when Zeke carried Cole’s limp body to a burial at sea.
Mass Effect 3
The endings of this game aside, Mass Effect 3 gripped players with emotion from the very beginning. When the Reapers attacked Earth and Shepard witnesses them killing a child, that only begins the devastation that follows. Shepard has to make so many hard choices throughout, and there’s often not a way to save all of her friends. I bawled when Mordin sacrificed himself to save the krogan. I cried again when the geth and quarians put aside their differences. And yes, I was sad when Captain Anderson was killed. Shepard’s final story was always going to be a sad one, but I wasn’t prepared for how sad it would be.
While most of NIER poked fun at various genres of games, including itself, it had a dark side to it that players only saw if they played the additional endings. After completing the game once, you have the option to replay starting from about the halfway mark. With that replay, you learn the other side of the story, such as why these monsters were attacking the way they were. Or you see concluding stories for characters that never returned in the first playthrough. Spoiler alert: none of them are happy and you feel like a monster for killing these bosses.
After playing as Hale through two rather large FPS titles, the game ends with Hale finally succumbing to the Chimera virus. What happened next haunted me for days and I still get chills when I think of Corporal Capelli’s last words to Hale as he shoots him in the head:
“It’s been an honor serving with you, sir.”
Shadow of the Colossus
Team ICO is good at tugging at emotions, and they lay it on rather thick in Shadow of the Colossus. Wander’s horse dies saving him, which turned me into a 9-year-old, watching Atreyu’s horse die in the Swamp of Sadness for the first time. Wander later learns that Dormin was only using him to kill the ancient Colossi that sealed him at the shrine. With all the Colossi dead, Dormin can inhabit Wander’s body. Lord Emon is forced to kill Wander as a result, and then the girl Wander was trying to save, Mono, wakes up without knowing who saved her or why she’s in the Forbidden Lands. Like Spec Ops: The Line, it’s hard to come away from this title without feeling bad about yourself.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Space Marine was a fast-paced, third-person shooter (with some hack-n-slash) that let players kill a whole lot of orks and Chaos Marines. For those who aren’t familiar with the Ultramarines chapter of the Space Marines in WH40K, it’s also a taste of how strict the order is. It doesn’t matter that Titus saved the planet and destroyed a dangerous Chaos infection. There’s no parade for him, only an arrest because he didn’t follow the Codex to a T. There’s also suspicion he has been tainted with Chaos after coming in such close contact with the warp. The people Titus saved beg for understanding and mercy, but these do not exist for the Ultramarines. There is only the Codex and War.
Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line may be one of the most underrated shooters from the last generation. It messed with your mind as a player like no other game had before. First, there is the horrific realization that you dropped white phosporus on innocent civilians. Next comes Walker’s slow decent into madness that the player won’t understand until the game ends. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the sad truth of the heinous acts of the CIA who had no interest in helping anyone in Dubai but themselves. Each loading screen from the CIA reveal on told the player uplifting things like, “Remember, this is all your fault.” and “How many Americans have you killed today?” This is another one where all four endings need to be played to see just how horrific Captain Walker’s mind plummeted.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Before you yell, “What story?” give me a minute, here. All of the emotion, and really a lot of the game’s plot, was found in the collectibles. The Echoes in particular gleamed just how bad things were. People killing on another out of fear. Cleaners burning a man alive because he had asthma. Government cover-ups of a murder staged as an accident. The cell phone messages were just as bad with people telling others good-bye, a girl finally coming out to her mother and her mother begging her to be safe, a woman finding a dollar bill taped to her refrigerator, and a father pleading with his son to not join the rioters, just to name a few.
Final Fantasy X
Players always knew that Tidus wouldn’t stay with Yuna in this 1000 years future, but it was still heartbreaking when he did return to his own time. That only compounded the sadness felt when Auron finally went to the Farplane and Jecht was released as Sin. The game has several other emotional moments as well, such as Yuna’s sending, Tidus and Yuna swimming together, and Tidus’s realization that Sin is his father.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness
The world of Psycho-Pass is disheartening to begin with. A world where people can’t experience too many ranges of emotion without punishment? You’re definitely going to find some emotional problems in this visual novel from the setting alone. The real heartstring tugger comes from learning about Nadeshiko’s past, where Alpha came from, and where Takuma’s missing wife is. It doesn’t matter which path you take; it’s all rather sad in the end.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones
I played This War of Mine briefly at a PAX South, and after five minutes, I was rather depressed. Trying to keep your settlement alive in a time of war isn’t the most uplifting story in the world, but it is one that will make you think. When the game moved to console, 11 bit studios thought of yet another way to make the game even sadder: throw in children! Now you have to think of the well-being and psyche of the children growing up in this war-torn land. Should you feed the children first or the men and women who will be able to work? Who receives the medicine? Who gets the nicer beds? If you always choose the children, then the adults will become sick and can’t find food or defend the shelter from raiders. If you always choose the adults, then the children will starve to death very quickly. Don’t play this game when you’re feeling down.
Dragon Age: Origins
Depending upon the choices the player makes, Dragon Age: Origins can be very emotional at the end. If you romance Alistair and then don’t force him to sleep with Morrigan, he will sacrifice himself to the archdemon to save you. If you don’t force either Alistair or Logain to sleep with Morrigan, then you can sacrifice yourself. The party’s reactions to whatever your decision is at the end can be just as sad to read.
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