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.
For the month of June 2018 there are five titles. One we’ve seen before, one that is technically always free, and there’s part of a Ubisoft trilogy going for the Xbox One as well. The best games for the coming month, weirdly enough, are the Xbox 360 titles which, happily, are also playable on the Xbox One. If you want to get your whip (no, not like that) or your race on, June’s looking very good indeed.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia (1 to 30 June)
Take Assassin’s Creed, convert it into a side-scrolling action title with an unusual art style (for the series), and you’ve got the makings of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles. The mini series is a trilogy, set in China, India and Russia, with the previous two already being free on Xbox One in the past. AC Chronicles: Russia is the last one that needed to be up for grabs for free. This one puts you in the shoes of one Nikolai Orelov during the Russian Revolution.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (15 May to 15 June)
This one is left over from last month. The last real Metal Gear Solid to come from Konami before Hideo Kojima wandered off on his own to make Death Stranding while hanging out with Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen. MGS V: The Phantom Pain is a solid — if typically confusing — entry to the series and it totally should be played. Get ready to Fulton entire checkpoints’ worth of soldiers into the sky while being as sneaky as possible (except while using the rocket punch, of course). Confused? Go play the game, then.
Smite: Gold Bundle (16 June to 15 July)
Smite is technically always free — but you’ll have access to a usually paid-for bundle of in-game kit for free in the latter part of June (through to mid-July). The MOBA sees your deity taking to the field of battle with a third-person over-the-shoulder point of view. The feel reminds us of the now-defunct Demigod, as players will take on teams of five players with their own collection of five diverse characters. Except, you know, people are actually playing it.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (1 to 15 June)
Always been a fan of Mario Kart but haven’t gotten around to buying one of Ninty’s consoles? Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is an awful lot like the Nintendo classic, moving away from its clone status by throwing transforming vehicles into the mix. Whether you are going for speed or carnage, this one delivers in spades whether you’re drifting on the track or in the water or zooming through the air dodging everything those losers in the back are throwing at you.
Lego Indiana Jones 2(16 to 30 June)
You call him Doctor Jones! Lego Indiana Jones 2 uses the familiar Lego games formula by taking existing, well-known stories and making them humorous. This time around there are sections taken from or inspired by the first three movies, as well as a large chunk of The Crystal Skull, which nobody really wants to talk about. Still, putting on the hat and whip and roaming around with a second player (in split-screen) makes this one worth the play.