The Xbox Games With Gold scheme for March 2016 is nearly in play, bringing four new free games for Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners. But is the program actually worth getting excited about? Are the Games With Gold titles for March 2016 actually any good, or is it just another waste of your precious download limits?
Well, March is most definitely going to be a bit of a slow burner, but it’ll finish on a note that is higher than anything we’ve seen before.
Kicking us off are two games that will only really appeal to fans of the genres, especially when it comes to Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment. Any free game that is only 18 months or so old should be one to check out, but throw in the world’s most famous detective and we get left with an Xbox One title that, on paper, should be a must buy. But obviously any slow-paced investigative video game will struggle to capture the hearts and minds of many gamers, particularly those who usually spend their times racing around street circuits, showing their skills on a football pitch or running, gunning, jumping and wall-running in the latest first person shooters. Even by stripping the title of its price tag, Sherlock Holmes is going to struggle to find to much joy away from those who have previously checked out his games. It’s a bit of a shame, but that’s the way of the world.
Similar troubles could well afflict our other month opener. Of the four games on offer, Supreme Commander 2 will no doubt be the least well known – and quite possibly the one which struggles to gather much attention. But anything that hits a 75 rating on Metacritic should most definitely be checked out, especially if it’s available as a free download. It may be getting on a bit, but that goes for the vast majority of 360 titles that we see in the Games With Gold scheme, and that really shouldn’t be something to put you off. If you fancy some epic battles on a huge scale, then Supreme Commander 2, with its Xbox One Backwards Compatible feature should be something to check out.
If I was to rate March’s Games With Gold program on the back of the first two titles, then I’d be sitting here struggling to even give it an average grade. Thankfully though, it picks up a gear from the 16th March onwards. You see, that is exactly the time when Lords of the Fallen and the stunning Borderlands appear for nothing. If you ever think that purchasing an Xbox Live Gold membership is a waste of your cash, then this is the reason why you are wrong.
Lords of the Fallen has a bit of a reputation in the Xbox world as a game that was briefly given away at a super cheap price, only for the silly low cost to be whipped off again once the big dogs at Xbox HQ noticed their mistake. Now though, it’s free. And it’s staying free – at least for a month anyway. An action role-player that gives the gamer the chance to wander a huge fantasy world full of decisions, action and a deep combat system, Lords of the Fallen quite possibly has enough depth, detail and charisma to tempt in a whole host of gamers to its wonderful lands. Even that though will struggle to gather the attention that its free Xbox 360 brother will grab though.
You see, this is when we get on to the one game that could possibly hold an entire Games With Gold month up by itself. Borderlands. You may have heard of it.
Without hesitation, Borderlands is one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time and a title that I’ve enjoyed many, many, MANY hours on. If you haven’t ever dropped into the world of Pandora, then I urge you to put aside a couple of weeks and go as deep with the first person shooter as is humanly possible. There is enough content in Gearbox’s baby to keep you going for a good couple of weeks (and a whole ton more), seeing out March and getting you ready for even more free titles in April. The fact you can also play it on Xbox One should mean everyone gets it downloaded asap. It’s beautiful to look at, full of craziness and will entertain each and every Xbox gamer for a long old while. If it doesn’t, then well, I’m not sure you know what fun is!
So in summary, the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for March 2016 may start off on a bit of a back foot, but come the hump of the month, things step up a gear and should excite many more gamers. I mean seriously, Borderlands alone is nothing short of awesome and if you aren’t hyped to play that on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One, then I really don’t know what will get you excited.
Download limits? Go and smash em!
Xbox One – 4/5
Xbox 360 – 4/5