The Xbox Games With Gold scheme is about to hit new heights.
After rolling along nicely for a couple of years, first bringing free games to all those Xbox 360 gamers who were happy to spend a little cash on an Xbox Live Gold sub, and then more recently, dropping additional titles to each and every Xbox One owners library, the scheme has had its lovers, and its haters, as numerous titles were thrust into our faces – whether we wanted to play them or not!
Now though, April is here and it should be seen as a high point for all Xbox gamers.
Without beating around the bush, the quality of free titles on offer throughout April 2016 is nothing short of awesome. If you thought March, with its gifts of Sherlock Holmes, Borderlands and Lords of the Fallen (you may notice I’ve left Supreme Commander 2 out of that list!), was a good month to be a gamer, then you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Kicking things off from the 1st April are two free titles that are nothing short of stunning. Xbox One owners will be delighted to see Telltale Games’ fantasy storytelling in full flow as the entire tale of The Wolf Among Us arrives for nothing. Initially a five parter that wowed audiences on Xbox 360, it wasn’t long before One owners were treated to the same brilliantly dark, slightly humorous, and completely engulfing story. A couple of supremely high ratings on Metacritic don’t come about from a poor game and besides, Telltale don’t do rubbish, as near on all their recent titles attest. After being able to enjoy their other blockbusting success story with The Walking Dead previously going free, it was only a matter of time before we got to go it alone with Bigby Wolf. It is however a bit of a surprise to see it taking the lead role this month though.
And that’s because if the big dogs at Xbox HQ needed to sell a slightly lackluster Games With Gold month, then throwing A Wolf Among Us in would instantly pick things up. This month is something that needs no boost though.
For running alongside A Wolf on Xbox One from the beginning of the month will be Dead Space. Now, if you’re looking for an over the shoulder, third person shooting thriller, then you aren’t going to find much better – at least not over on the Xbox 360. With Backwards Compatibility holding strong and seeing Xbox One owners also getting in on the act, it’ll be time to grab the pillows, switch off the lights and game from behind your sofa. There is nothing better than a night time session on Dead Space to ensure you don’t sleep for a week.
Which is a bit of bad luck really because once that week or two is out of the way, you still won’t be getting much kip as the hump of the month hits home and brings us two further titles that are brought from the highest quality stables.
Sunset Overdrive hit Xbox One with quite possibly the most annoying ad campaign ever. That damn Fizzy was everywhere, possibly selling the adventure in Sunset City on his own. With gloriously bright visuals, a brilliant open world to be explored and some crazy ass weapons, it was up to Xbox One owners to rid the world of Overcharge fueled drinkers, the OD. An Xbox One exclusive if there ever was one, we sorely hope that come the 16th April, every single Xbox One gamer takes the chance to visit Sunset City, fire off a few high fidelity rounds and pray to the gods that a sequel is in the offing. They just have to announce a sequel this month. Don’t they?
However, if you thought Sunset Overdrive was a bit nuts, accompanying it throughout the latter stages of April is Saints Row IV. The maddest, the baddest and the downright freakiest Saints Row title yet, it’ll come bringing even crazy weapons than those found in Sunset and will force us to embark on missions to match. Many will complain that it’s just too over the top to really be enjoyed and others will no doubt complain that the lower quality visuals are of that which we really aren’t used to, but give it a chance and you’ll find a super solid game that brings many many hours of hugely fun gameplay.
So, to answer the question – is the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for April 2016 any good?
Well, unless May sees Xbox giving away Rocket League, Just Cause 3, Halo 5 and The Division, it’s playing catch up before we even start. This coming month is not just a good time to be an Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamer – it’s quite possibly the best time yet as throughout its years of giving away gifts to Xbox owners, there is not a single month that can even attempt to hold a light to what is about to happen now.
The Xbox Games With Gold scheme HAS hit new heights. Surely it’s all downhill from here though?!
Xbox One 5/5
Xbox 360 5/5