Here Are The Free Xbox Games With Gold For June 2015

PlayStation fired first yesterday with its batch of free games for next month, and now Xbox has returned fire. As always, gamers will be getting two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games absolutely free if they are a Gold member of Xbox Live.

As for what the free games are, just scroll down for the complete list along with descriptions straight from the Xbox website.

Massive Chalice ($19.99 ERP): Available from June 1-30 on Xbox One

First up, for Xbox One, we have the all-new Massive Chalice, from fan-favorite developer Double Fine Productions. An early Kickstarter success, Massive Chalice is a tactical strategy game set in an epic fantasy world. You step into the shoes of the Immortal Ruler, and your goal is to defeat a mysterious enemy known as the Cadence, in a war that will apparently last 300 years. Yes, that’s a pretty freakin’ long time, but you’ve got plenty of troops to command, marriages to forge, and bloodlines to uphold. An immortal’s gotta keep their multi-generation war machine fit and fresh, after all!

Pool Nation FX ($13.99 ERP): Available from June 1-30 on Xbox One

** This game has been available for several months now, so no description was provided. It’s a pool game, what more do you need to know!

Just Cause 2 ($14.99 ERP): Available from June 1-15 on Xbox 360

For Xbox 360, June sees the addition of Just Cause 2 to the lineup, which means players should prepare for oodles of acrobatic insanity. Equipped with a grappling hook, a bevy of weapons, as protagonist Rico Rodriguez you’re set loose on the fictional island nation of Panau in Southeast Asia to find and kill your one time friend and mentor. To accomplish that you’ll have to cause chaos and destruction, jump parachute-less from planes, take on entire armies single-handed, and disarm cruise missiles that are in-flight… and that’s if you stick to the story missions. In between you’re free to roam around the huge 400 square miles of rugged terrain with hundreds of weapons and vehicles to wreak havoc or just enjoy the view… right.

Thief ($29.99 ERP): Available from June 16-30 on Xbox 360

Games with Gold also provides a sneakier option in Thief, 2014’s first-person action-stealth caper. Step into the silent shoes of Garrett, a dark and solitary thief with an unrivalled set of skills. The most challenging heists, the most inaccessible loot and the best kept secrets: nothing is out of your reach.  Explore the sick and troubled City, from its shady back alleys to the heights of its rooftops. Sneak through the streets, infiltrate heavily-guarded mansions and lurk in every dark corner… unnoticed and unsanctioned. Use Garrett’s arsenal to take down guards silently with your blackjack, use multiple arrow types to manipulate your environment and the enemies within them or use your newly acquired focus abilities to increase the effectiveness of your thieving skills. What kind of Master Thief will you be?

Alright, so compared to PlayStation’s free games I would say that things are pretty even for the month of June. Just Cause 2 is a fantastic game for the Xbox 360, and even Thief is an underrated game that I feel deserves another look from some people. I don’t know much about Massive Chalice, but from what I hear it’s something worth getting excited about.

Then there’s Pool Nation FX. Yeah… moving on!

PlayStation Plus Free Games February 2015 Revealed

Another awesome lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

PlayStation has just revealed what free games PlayStation Plus subscribers will be getting for the month of February 2015, and the list is very impressive yet again.

Beginning February 3rd, PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download Transistor and Apotheon on PlayStation 4, Yakuza 4 and Thief on PlayStation 3, Kick & Fenneck on PlayStation Vita and Rogue Legacy across all 3 platforms.

PlayStation never disappoints with these free games with PlayStation Plus. Transistor appeared on numerous game of the year lists, while Yakuza 4 and Rogue Legacy both have strong followings in their own right. Heck, even Thief is worth a shot if you’re willing to look past the bugs. That Kick & Fenneck though… I don’t know about that one.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Thief (Xbox 360)

This game could have used more time in development, but it still offers plenty of tense thrills.

When a gamer deals with a first-person view, it is typically in the form of first-person shooters or open-world RPGs like The Elder Scrolls series. That’s what makes the Thief series so interesting, because it’s a stealth game through-and-through, yet it keeps you almost exclusively in the first-person view. This is one of Thief‘s best features, because the sense of immersion you feel while you are tensely picking a lock or nabbing some loot while not knowing for certain if anyone sees you is a huge rush. Unfortunately, the further away you get from the game’s core mechanics the more things start to go wrong.

Thief follows a man named Garrett, who is a Master Thief who comes out at night and steals from the most wealthy people he can find to score some huge payouts. He has been doing this for many years and he almost always works alone, resulting in him being a mystery to pretty much everyone. However, there is a girl named Erin that was an apprentice of his that ends up coming back into his life when they both accept the same job from their contact Basso. Things go very wrong when they notice some kind of ritual going on and Erin falls through the ceiling window and lands right in the middle of it. She is enveloped in the ritual’s energy, she screams and then a huge explosion occurs.

This is where Thief‘s main plot comes in. While the first few missions contain the character sneaking into buildings and finding precious loot for whomever the contact may be, a supernatural element is quickly introduced to the story that drives its middle and final chapters. What first seems like a Gothic world facing a disease known as The Gloom in a Victorian era soon dissolves into something much more sinister and fantastical. The deeper you snoop around, the more things you find that very few normal people know about in Thief‘s world.

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The gameplay of Thief, at its core, is fantastic. Waiting for the opportune moment to walk past an unsuspecting guard or using the environment to navigate unseen is deeply engaging. The first-person mode heightens the tension a lot, as it makes it feel more like you are the person committing the thievery. As you lurk around the shadows you will find loot out in the open, in drawers, in safes and behind hidden passages, and it is up to you to search every nook and cranny in every area. You can make your life easier by using a slew of items to make sneaking around easier, such as water arrows to put out torches, blunt arrows to trigger light switches, and bottles that can be thrown to distract guards away from your area. You have almost complete control of your environment, and that feeling of truly being a Master Thief is where the game shines the most.

If you are seen, however, you have two options: run for your life or stay and take on however many guards know of your whereabouts. If it’s only one or two guards, you can take them out with Garrett’s club and get on with your life, but most of the time you will find several guards on your tail and your best option is to just run as fast as you can. Even though the hand-to-hand combat is not the main focus of the game, it does feel pretty weak. The game gives you the option to go unnoticed or to take out all of your adversaries, but taking on an enemy one-on-one just results in the player mashing the melee button as the guard either swings his weapon or defends. The knock-out animation that happens once you have brought your foe to his knees is also kind of glitchy, and unfortunately takes the game out of the first-person view briefly.

The glitches and other bugs are much more severe in more prominent areas of the game, however, which makes me wonder how much quality control time was spent on this game. As you walk through areas you will hear lines of dialogue that are either too low or too high in relation to your proximity of the characters, and sometimes one character will be speaking more than one line of dialogue at once. Other times you will be hearing conversations going on that sound like they are right next to you, but there is actually no one around you no matter where you look for them.

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The game’s cutscenes also fall victim to glitches often. In many of the scenes there will be some odd visual errors that will appear on the characters’ faces, or their animation might get a little stilted for a second or two. The worst instance, however, came at about the half-way point of the game for me. A cutscene began and subtitles came up on the screen and the characters appeared as if they were talking, but no voices could be heard. It wasn’t until about 10 seconds later that the voices started, from *the beginning of the conversation*, of course, which resulted in the entire scene playing out of sync and becoming confusing as all hell. How does something that bad go unnoticed?

The story is also a bit of a letdown. Even though it has a nice build-up and introduces some creepy supernatural elements, the ending of the game left much to be desired. The game is much more engaging when it just involves you exploring an unknown area and discovering all of its mysteries, as the story is more of a vessel to bring you to these new areas that introduce more tense stealth gameplay. It also doesn’t help that Garrett is the quiet type, resulting in him being a pretty dull and lifeless character that I never really got invested in.

Thief has a free-roam feel, as you have an entire city at your disposal that contains hidden loot not related to the game and a slew of side quests that will net you even more loot. The city is connected by several gateways that result in a loading screen between each small area, and even though that has been a bummer to some I never found the loading times to be too bad. It would have been nice to have the whole city feel like one big level rather then a bunch of smaller and connected levels, but it still functions well as is. There are always things to do that are off the beaten path, which results in the world of Thief feeling truly alive.

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Thief also has a challenge mode, which puts you into some of the game’s levels with specific goals to accomplish. Chain & Gain has you running around a level looking for loot, which adds time to the time counter. The object is to find as much loot as you can as fast as you can to stop the clock from reaching zero. The other original mode (other than a timed Chain & Gain that involves you getting as much loot as you can in a set amount of time) is called Special Loot Hunt. In this gametype you are given a certain item to sniff out in a particular level, and you sniff it out by using your screen marker. In both modes you will have to deal with guards and regular civilians that stand in the way of you and your loot, which is always a lot of fun. I would have liked more depth in the challenge mode, as their are essentially two game types and only a couple of levels to play them on.

In a nutshell, Thief has a solid foundation that is letdown by mid to surface level things. The gameplay is an absolute blast, but it is letdown by audio and visual glitches that sometimes muddle the atmosphere. The main storyline is also brief, running me about 7-8 hours in total. I wish the story wrapped up a little better and was presented in a more comprehensible way, but regardless of its inconsistencies it did keep me interested in the outcome. This is a game that definitely could have used a lot more polish, as the longer I played the game the more I realized that this is a mechanically sound machine that is unfortunately covered in some mud.

Respectable

Thief Now Has A Launch Trailer

This sweet looking game is almost here…

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Next week the world will be unleashed to Thief, a stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It’s a reboot of Thief series of video games, making it the fourth game in the series. Continue reading “Thief Now Has A Launch Trailer”

Thief Resolution / Frame Rates Reveiled

Yup, it’s gonna look better on PlayStation

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Square Enix has confirmed to Eurogamer that their upcoming game Thief will output at 1080p on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One, while also confirming that both versions will run at 30 frames per second. Continue reading “Thief Resolution / Frame Rates Reveiled”

Have you seen the ‘Thief’ 101 Trailer?

Come and see the ins and outs of this 1st-person stealth game!

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At the end of this month, Thief will be hitting both current and next generation consoles, and now there is a 6-minute “101” trailer that gives you the ins and outs of every facet of the game. Needles to say, it all looks rather sweet. Continue reading “Have you seen the ‘Thief’ 101 Trailer?”