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Are the free Xbox Games With Gold titles for August 2017 any good?
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Are the free Xbox Games With Gold titles for August 2017 any good?

by Neil Watton (neil363)July 31, 2017

So here we are with the start of a new month on the horizon and a number of new games being gifted to all Xbox One and Xbox 360 players via the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for August 2017. With the free gifts of recent months having been criticised by many for their lack of quality and excitement, does August manage to build on past offerings?

Well, at least one of the games does stand out from the crowd, but other than that, I’m not sure we’re going to be found heaping too much praise upon the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for another month at least.

From August 1st 2017, Xbox One players will be given the gift of slime, with Slime Rancher breaking out of Xbox Game Preview, stripped of its price tag and thrust into the faces of a huge number of gamers. First hitting Xbox One back in August of 2016 (one year ago in fact), the removal of the Game Preview tag is quite obviously a good one for Slime Rancher, proving to gamers the world over that it is now much more than an early access risk.

But what is Slime Rancher and should you be excited for it? Well, simply put you will find yourself pretty much doing what it says on the tin – rounding up and ranching wriggling, jiggling, and no doubt giggling, slime. To do so, your trusty Vac will need to be at hand and your ranch will be able to double up as a full-on slime filled lab, as you experiment with science and push for creating as much profit as possible.

For those out there who were put off by the unfinished business that the Game Preview version of Slime Rancher brought, you could do a whole load worse than check this out the minute it arrives as a free download.

Chances are Slime Rancher will keep you going until the middle of the month at the very least, which is pretty good timing as it is about then when the awesome Trials Fusion will be dropping in for action.

One of the latest, but not quite the greatest, of Trials titles, Fusion is one of those games that really should be played by everyone. At least once. Especially when it is free. ‘Just one more go’ is the motto of any Trials player, and that is never more prevalent than with Fusion as it delivers more of the unique addictiveness that RedLynx are now well known for. Multiple tracks, tons of difficulty, plenty of challenge objectives and the addition of quad and BMX bikes, will mean that you’ll never be left wanting with Trials Fusion. And even if you do find yourself tiring slightly, the included multiplayer options will push things on to another level.

Free games are great, and when they are of the quality of Trials Fusion, they are even better, but you may wish to prepare yourself for investing in another controller. It’s pad-breakingly hard.

Another hard game will also be making its way to Xbox gamers this month as Bayonetta sees itself delivered to both Xbox One and Xbox 360 players. A true marmite title, you will either absolutely love or completely hate the hack ‘n slashing found within its walls, and at the end of the day, that in itself will determine your thoughts on seeing the native 360 title going free. With the creative minds behind both Resident Evil and Devil May Cry powering Bayonetta along, it can in no way be criticised for the quality of gameplay, but hardcore hacking and slashing is most definitely a bit of a niche genre and I’m struggling to see how even the most beautiful cinematics will appeal to the huge range of gamers which enjoy the free-ness the Games With Gold scheme brings.

But hey, if Bayonetta doesn’t float your boat, then the destruction found in Red Faction: Armageddon certainly will.

A title that went way under the radar upon first release back in 2011, you may well find that it is somewhat dated when compared to more modern titles, but the Red Faction series of games were always a hell of a lot of fun to play through, and the destructive elements included in Armageddon more than warrant a little look. If only so you can mess around with one of the most awesome pieces of equipment seen on an Xbox 360 title – the Magnet Gun.

So, four games that bring a huge amount of variety to the table. Games With Gold for August 2017 is delivering us hacking and slashing, its bringing us tons of destruction, plenty of scientific slime exploring and enough quality and quantity to keep us going forever more with the inclusion of Trials Fusion.

Yeah, so if you’ve played all the games before, then there may not be enough of a temptation to play through them all again, but for any newcomer, each of the four games delivers enough of an experience to warrant a download. It’s not a completely stellar month for the Games With Gold scheme, but the games included should see Microsoft just about get by without too much criticism. Just.

Do you agree with these thoughts? Is Trials Fusion really the standout title over Bayonetta? Will Slime Rancher surprise the masses and is Red Faction: Armageddon more than just destruction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About The Author
Neil Watton (neil363)
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One. A massive racing fan, Forza 4 was the daddy of all Xbox titles but Forza Horizon 3 now trumps that. Online first person shooters are my hell....probably because my reactions are so poor, but give me a little Indie title and I'll be in heaven. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.