Xbox Live’s Games With Gold is a great service, offering players with Gold memberships two full games for download each month – absolutely free. Once these titles are stored onto the member’s console, it’s theirs to keep – whether they retain their Gold account in the future or not.
June’s line-up of free titles follows May’s strong selection (Mafia II and F1 2013) with two fantastic games for Xbox 360 (Just Cause 2 and Thief) as well as two for the Xbox One (Massive Chalice and Pool Nation FX).
Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360)
Released way back in 2010, Just Cause 2 became a big hit, selling more than 6 million copies within its first three years of sale. The game remains a strong title today, and, with Just Cause 3 set for release sometime within the next six months, players’ appetites will be freshly whetted after a few hours of this.
Playing as covert agent Rico Rodriguez, players can explore Panau (an island nation in Southeast Asia) in your quest to liberate it from a harsh dictatorship. While there’s a gripping storyline to follow, players can just dive in and play around in the open world, making the most of the amazing physics and freedom: as you take down the bad guy’s armies, you can use a grappling hook to tether enemy vehicles to the ground (causing them to flip in grand Hollywood style), latch onto walls and helicopters, and connect objects to each other with explosive results.
Rico also has a parachute (available for use at any time), to base-jump from high points; combined with the grappling hook, you can get around areas in no time. Vehicles can also be used – you can even hijack aircrafts in the air.
Thief (Xbox 360)
Set to be available in the second half of June, this is a classic adventure game based in a dark world, filled intrigue and tactical missions. Playing as Garrett, a thief returning to his hometown to find it ruled by a tyrant, players must use stealth and cunning to restore balance – perfect for fans of games asking them to think rather than simply shoot. Thief is a reboot of the popular series, offering plenty of ways to outsmart enemies by hiding in shadows, picking pockets, and causing distractions.
The game focuses on stealing and using your wits, with violence a last resort when Garrett has no other means of escape. This was released in 2014, and was met with positive reviews.
Pool Nation FX (Xbox One)
For lovers of pool simulators, Pool Nation FX is a must. Featuring pixel-perfect physics, impressive details, and photo-realistic graphics, this brings all the fun and excitement of pool right into your home.
Players can compete online, challenging their friends, as well as creating their own trickshots with the Trickshot Editor. Players can also personalize the game’s rules to enjoy pool the way they want to, with no free ball, two shots on a foul, and more. The Pool Nation Cup provides players with a wide range of stages to take part in, competing against others from around the world.
Massive Chalice (Xbox One)
Created by Double Fine Productions – the team behind such titles as Brutal Legend and Broken Age – Massive Chalice puts the player in control of an immortal ruler, tasked with waging a 300-year war. Fighting an enemy named only the Cadence, players control teams of courageous heroes, battling the demonic armies of the Cadence.
With the player’s soldiers able to die of old age over time, marriages must be arranged so their offspring can take up their role in the war. Research and crafting is essential to unlock gear and abilities to even the odds against the Cadence’s legions.
This is turn-based strategy chronicling centuries of battle, offering players plenty of depth and replay value.