Christmas may have come and gone in the blink of an eye, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t still got plenty to look forward to, and as 2019 creeps up on us, the reality of countless exciting new games is just around the corner. Before we start splashing the cash too early however, let’s first take a look at the Xbox One and Xbox 360 freebies on offer with the Xbox Live Games With Gold of January 2019. As we kick off the new year, just how good or bad are the titles nestled within our monthly subscription?
Celeste – Instant Download – 1st-31st January
2018 saw the arrival of some fantastic new games on Xbox One, but few were met with the same level of critical appraise as Celeste, a platformer that quickly rose to fame at the beginning of the year, thanks to some hardcore platforming and touching story.
The story sees players take on the role of a young woman named Madeline who begins the climb on Celeste Mountain after ignoring the warning from an old lady who lives there – Granny. With dangerous hazards persistently getting in the way of progress and a part of Madelin’s dream now holding her back, will she ever make it reach the mountain summit?
Celeste may be tailored more towards those that like hardcore adventures, but if you’re looking for another quality adventure to add to your collection, there is no reason you wouldn’t want this one amongst your library. In fact, it’s so good you’d be crazy to miss it.
WRC 6 – Instant Download – 16th January – 15th February
The WRC series has been steadily improving in recent years and if you’re a fan of rally and want to put some of the finest off-road machines to the test around some of the most iconic rallies from the official World Rally Championship, then a free download of WRC 6 is a bit of a no-brainer.
It may not be the perfect game, what with its strained game engine proving the biggest flaw, and it may not offer quite the same simulation experience that is on offer in DiRT Rally, but for those wanting something a little more accessible, then WRC 6 has what you need to engage in an enjoyable rallying experience. And that’s without mentioning you can go for gold in the ultimate competition of them all… the WRC Championship.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that the next in the WRC line is also available – WRC 7 – with it offering an equally brilliant experience. However if you’re after that latest edition then you’ll have to expect to part with some cash, and as we all know, cash at this time of year is hard to come by.
As far as freebies go, WRC 6 is a brilliant monthly offering.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – To be considered – 1st-15th January
Whilst Lara’s recent adventures would certainly have been a welcome addition to the Games With Gold scheme, there’s still plenty to shout about with this spin-off top down co-op adventure too.
In this tomb raiding adventure players take control of Lara and her new partner, Mayan tribesman Totec, as they head off to uncover the ancient artifact known as the Mirror of Smoke. On their path to finding the mirror, players will have to fight off against the evil spirit Xolotl in a battle that is by far one of the most difficult Lara has ever faced.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will see players play with a fixed camera angle, whilst gameplay itself is presented in a non-linear fashion allowing players to tackle each part of the game how they wish. Each of the characters bring their own unique weapons and skills to the game, but most importantly the entire thing can be played in across both single player or co-op in either an online or offline fashion.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light may have previously been available via Games With Gold, but it was a huge hit when it first arrived on Xbox 360 and if you’re after a classic top-down near platforming adventure experience, then there is no reason not to jump into one of Lara’s best titles from recent years. This time you can play it on Xbox One too.
Far Cry 2 – Instant Download – 16th-31st January
With Far Cry 5 still fresh in the mind and Far Cry: New Dawn set to arrive in just a few short months, it may be hard to contemplate fitting in another Far Cry adventure just yet, but for those who have yet to experience the delights of Far Cry 2, this month’s freebie represents a fantastic addition to the Xbox Live Games With Gold. With some of the most impressive fire seen in gaming, a fantastic story, brilliantly satisfying gunplay and a large open map, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be adding Far Cry 2 to your collection.
Although this may be only the second entry to the Far Cry series, it was the first true step towards making the series the powerhouse it is today. Throughout the game players are tasked with tracking down and putting a stop to The Jackal, a notorious arms dealer fuelling both sides of the national civil war in Central Africa, all whilst battling the recently inflicted Malaria.
With stealth just as much of an option as full on gung-ho guns blazing at the start of each and every mission, Far Cry 2 is a game that can be played however your style suits. Whilst this early series entry may not bring quite the visual masterclass seen by the most recent in the series, there is no reason to avoid adding this one to your library now, especially with Far Cry: New Dawn still a few months away yet.
So, there we have it, the first group of freebies to welcome in 2019 and it is without doubt a cracking selection of titles. Do you agree with our thoughts though? Will you be getting stuck in to the Xbox One and Xbox 360 freebies that come with the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for January 2019? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.
Happy New Year!