2016 is here and with it comes a whole ton of new games. But it’s quite possibly the older stuff that will get Xbox owners salivating the most with those being given away for free with the Xbox Games With Gold scheme amongst the most mouth drooling.
After a bit of a poor end to 2015, the Games With Gold scheme needs to make up for things with the 2016 offerings. Whilst we still aren’t seeing the likes of Ryse and Dead Rising 3 drop for free (will these ever be gifted to Gold members?), the four free titles this time round are, on paper at least, real tempters.
With the Xbox 360 offerings also now available to Xbox One owners thanks to the Backwards Compatible scheme, it’s the owners of the latest machine which really get treated this month. Killer Instinct Ultra Edition will be free throughout January 2016, and whilst this may seem like a bit of a poor offering, it’s just a bit of a taster for what is to come. We can’t ever complain about a game going free, but KI has been around since the Xbox One’s inception as a free-to-play title. What is different now? Well, I guess we get to finally experience the whole damn thing, with all the characters from the first season included for nothing. Seeing there is a bit of a drought in decent fighting titles on Xbox One, at least it’ll scratch an itch for those who need to kick and punch their way to glory. For others though? I’m not too sure.
Zheros is this months’ ‘new’ title and the one that will be a bit of a mystery to most gamers. A side scroller, it’s all about racking up the combos, discovering secret areas and hopping and jumping from platform to platform. It should be a decent solo title, but we’re desperately disappointed that the local co-op feature that has been included doesn’t appear to stretch out to the online world. If one thing the Games With Gold scheme has proven, it’s that a decent, free, online multiplayer title will always go down well…Knight Squad anyone?
Over on the 360, it’s quite possibly the strongest month yet. Hot on the heels of Dirt 3, Dirt Showdown comes along to prove that the series was by no means a one hit wonder. Admittedly, it isn’t of the quality that 3 ever was, but Showdown is a good way to hit the track with a few friends and go all out throughout some classy destruction derbies. If you’re in need of a racer, then for free, this could well be it.
Deus Ex Human Revolution meanwhile ensures that the month ends with an absolute bang, bringing one of the 360’s best ever titles to the masses for free. Whether you’ve played it previously or not, you’ll no doubt be clamouring for the chance to get in touch with your inner Jensen once more, especially with the next Deus Ex title following up later on in the year.
With both of these titles available as BC games, what may be lacking slightly for Xbox One owners with their original Games With Gold choices, certainly gets picked up a fair bit with the inclusion of these two titles.
January is a great month for the Games With Gold scheme, with the 360 games amongst the best yet…let’s just hope that the rest of 2016 keeps the bar as high.
Games With Gold for January ratings:
Xbox One – 3/5 (4/5 with the BC titles)
Xbox 360 – 4.5/5