I can’t help but get excited towards the end of the month because we get to find out what free treats both Microsoft and Sony have for subscribers. Next month’s line-up of free software for the Xbox One & Xbox 360 is not only underwhelming but also proves the thousands of players who cry out for “AAA titles” that they should be careful what they wish for. Just because a title is from a AAA developer or costs more than another indie title doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to cater to every Xbox Live subscriber.
Case in point – the inclusion of WWE 2k16 – here we have a game made by a AAA publisher (published by 2K Games and developed by Visual Concepts) that isn’t going to offer much for those of us who don’t follow the beat’em up soap operas of wrestling. I’m sure it can be fun to play casually and maybe try some online matches but the majority of features I’ll probably never touch or truly appreciate.
Here is a summary of WWE 2K16 available from Steam:
“The authority in WWE video games returns with WWE 2K16! The newest addition to the flagship WWE video game franchise will deliver fun, authentic and hard-hitting action, including returning fan-favorite features and game modes, new innovations and more! Play as the greatest WWE Superstars, Divas and Legends of all time. Includes all DLC content!”
Authentic hard hitting action? Okay, yeah. I can get behind that. Returning fan favorite features and game modes? Nope, I’ve never played a WWE 2K title before so I wouldn’t know what was so great about the last entry. Play as the greatest WWE Superstars? I followed wrestling for maybe a few months in my teens 15 years ago, clearly if I downloaded this game next month it’d just waste space on my hard drive.
What’s that I hear you say hypothetical reader? The service offers more games? Of course, the Xbox One will also receive Orochi Warriors 3 from Tecomo Koei. It is an action game where characters from the Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors and guest characters from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive attack hordes of enemies on a variety of battlefields in a similar fashion to the existing Dynasty Warriors games. In fact, Orochi Warriors could almost be considered a “best of” collection considering most of the levels actually come from Dynasty Warriors 7. This one sounds like it might have a little more appeal than WWE 2K16 considering it not only introduces players to the mechanics of the Dynasty Warriors series but is also seems to be a great way to check out characters from other series you might not have played.
With that out of the way this brings me to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 picks for next month which honestly out class the entire Xbox One line-up by a long shot. First up is Spelunky an older indie darling that tasks players with navigating procedural generated caves for loot. If you want an easily approachable title that can provide hours of fun, make sure to add this one to your library. Also included in August’s Games with Gold is Beyond Good and Evil HD, Ubisoft’s update to the 2003 original. Players take the role of Jade, a photojournalist turned heroine who uncovers a deep space conspiracy. It is honestly one of the most enjoyable puzzle platformers from the late 2000s era and shouldn’t be missed.
August’s Games With Gold line-up just goes to show you that just because a title is “AAA” or has a high price-tag it doesn’t mean that it will have the wide appeal outside of niche audiences. In this writer’s humble opinion the Xbox 360’s picks of classic & well received older titles is the way to go for the gratis games.