Every month Microsoft gives the hordes of people who pay money for Xbox Live Gold access to a bunch of games, ‘free of charge’. Except for that little subscription fee (R160 a month, R400 a quarter or R980 a year), that is. And every month there are at least one or two gems to be found in the four (at least) titles up for grabs.
The forthcoming selection for May is full of gems… with one unknown quantity. So, whether you’re into being sneaky, being overtly explosive, you like punching people in the face, or you prefer delivering a knife to the kidneys or a sword through the gut, Xbox has you covered. Alternatively, you can be a little less violent and just play some baseball. Your call. Without further ado, here are Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold offerings for May 2018.
Super Mega Baseball 2 (1 May to 31 May)
There’s no link for this one as the game isn’t out yet but it’s baseball, duh. Named by an eight-year-old boy, sure, but it looks the part. There’s no player realism to be found, just fastballs, the crack of wood on a pathetic attempt at a curveball and the prospect of dominating your friends in online and local versus play. It’s not just available for half the month, either, you’ve got all of May to get around to downloading it.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (15 April to 15 May)
If you’ve been slack this April, there’s still time to get your thievin’ mitts on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the Industrial Revolution-era London-set game starring brother and sister Assassin team Jacob and Evie Frye. Sneak through the up-and-coming world power’s back alleyways and over opulent palaces, executing missions — and occasionally people — in your quest to return the balance to the world before those pesky Pieces of Eden (and the Templar buggers holding) them brainwash everyone into mindless obedience. And you don’t go alone, either. You can field and upgrade your very own gang of hooligans or scallywags.
Metal Gear Solid V (15 May to 15 June)
The last Metal Gear game with the master, Hideo Kojima, at the helm, MGS V is one of the stranger (but not strangest) games in the series. There are some memorable villains, a whole mess of weird missions, and more stealth checkpoint-clearing than you can shake a well-toned set of buttocks at. Seriously, what is up with those camera angles? There’s no rush on this one, it’ll be available until mid-June, but you’d better pick it up. There’s nothing quite like clearing a mission without a single alert and with D-Dog by your side. Smells like… victory.
Xbox 360 (backwards compatible on XBO)
Streets of Rage (1 May to 15 May)
A vintage SEGA title, Streets of Rage is one of the games folks think of when they think of a side-scrolling beat-em-up. Microsoft’s giving Xbox 360 gamers some history homework this month and it sends then on a trip to… actually, it doesn’t matter. Just get to the end of the level and beat the snot out the end boss without dying, before repeating until you hit the credits. Do it on a sticky floor with some junk food on hand and a pocket full of silver 20c pieces for that authentic arcade feel. Yes, we know that this one was release on SEGA’s long-dead (but not forgotten) console originally. That’s not the point.
Vanquish (15 May to 31 May)
If you haven’t played Vanquish, the frenetic third-person shooter from action game specialists Platinum Games and directed by gaming’s Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, God Hand), then you’ve done yourself a massive disservice. Never mind, Microsoft wants you to correct that by offering the game free to its subscribers at the end of May. Perform mad cover-based acrobatics while occasionally slowing time and managing your heat levels while pumping everything in sight full of various shapes of lead. You play as hero Sam Gideon taking on, who else?, the Russians of course. This one’s highly recommended.