This time last month I was waxing lyrical about how good it was to see the likes of Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed III, Dragon Age: Origins and a new game, SpeedRunners, be gifted to all Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners as part of the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for June 2017.
Now though we’re on the verge of being treated to even more free titles, but unfortunately the calibre of game given away with July’s Games With Gold scheme doesn’t quite match up to the month before it .
In fact, hell no, who I am kidding… they don’t even come close.
But why not? Well, the games this month will never jump out at you like the big names that came before them, and even though it’s nice to see a new title arrive again, history has proven that it is these ‘debuting games’ that struggle to enthuse too many players.
Grow Up is the first of July’s titles that we’ll get the chance to download for free, but from there on out, it’s all a bit of a downhill struggle. You see, Grow Up is pretty damn good, in fact, it’s near on the perfect sequel to Grow Home, delivering a wonderfully rewarding world that is a joy to explore. The visuals are rather delightful too and considering the game only released on Xbox One this time last year, it’s great to see it already being given away for free. Granted, the boosting mechanic is a slight negative, but on the whole, this is one game that a host of players are going to enjoy.
Going for free alongside Grow Up is Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days on the Xbox 360. A game that never really wowed the crowds when it was released way back in 2010. So what are the chances of the third person shooter appealing to anyone now? Pretty slim I would say, especially when you take into account the advances in the video gaming world over the last seven years. I’ll give the ammo packed duo the opportunity to try and find a place on the Xbox One Backward Compatible market, but should you have played this shooter back in the day on 360, I would think you’ll already realise that it may not even be worth the download time.
The middle of July 2017 sees Kane & Lynch give up the ghost (hopefully for good), with their 360 replacement, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean attempting to fair a little better.
If truth be told, I can’t for one minute slate the LEGO offerings which have come our way via the Xbox Games With Gold scheme, and the chance to jump into Captain Jack Sparrow’s shoes and take in some LEGO humour is not one that should be missed. But again, much like the rest of this month’s free titles, LEGO Pirates isn’t going to be one to wow the crowd. There are better LEGO titles out there and even though this one is not going to cost you a penny, I’d much rather sit down with one of the more recent brick busting affairs.
And so then we must get on to the latest ‘debuting free game’ which is coming through the Games With Gold scheme – Runbow. Much like those games that have come before it, it seems like GWG is the go-to place for all new multiplayer titles to make a mark, and the developers of Runbow are looking to ensure that mark is met. After releasing on PC and Wii U a couple of years back – and 3DS much more recently – to rather decent acclaim, the multiplayer centric platformer will no doubt appeal to many Xbox One owners who fancy getting together with some mates for a session or two. Whether it all translates to the Xbox One scene perfectly, we will only find out come the middle of July, but chances are this latest multiplayer focused title will deliver for a few weeks.
And at the end of the day, I guess that is all we can ask from our Games With Gold titles for July 2017… deliver enough game time to drag us over into the next month in which we can only hope for a better line up of games.
We can’t have it great every month, and on the back of a hot June, it seems that July is going to be a bit of a let down. Oh well, we’ll cope.