August 2015’s Games with Gold are…

With July almost wrapped up, Microsoft has revealed the quartet of free games that will be offered to Xbox Live Gold subscribers on Xbox One and Xbox 360 this August.

With Microsoft’s reviMGSV - Gameplaysed Games with Gold schedule now fully underway, half of the freebies will go live this coming Saturday, August 1st, with the other half coming midway through the month, on Sunday, August 16th. The initial batch of free rewards at the very start of August will replace Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on Xbox One, and Gears of War 3 on Xbox 360, so if you haven’t redeemed those games yet, you have until this Saturday to do so. The other free Xbox One reward, So Many Me remains free until August 16th, where it will be replaced by the second free Xbox One game reward until midway through September.

As usual, you must have and maintain an active Xbox Live Gold membership to redeem and play your free Games with Gold rewards at any time on Xbox One. On Xbox 360 however, you need only have an Xbox Live Gold membership to initially redeem the free rewards, which you can then permanently keep and play at your leisure afterward, even if you subsequently allow your Xbox Live Gold subscription to lapse.

Without further ado then, let’s see what Xbox Live Gold members can redeem free of charge in August:

The first Xbox One reward, going live on August 1st, is Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which will be free for Xbox Live Gold members throughout the month. Taking place in 1975, this stealth-action game is a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is meant to serve as a prologue to this September’s upcoming game release, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainThe game places players in control of legendary soldier, Snake, a.k.a. Big Boss, as he infiltrates an enemy base to try and rescue his captive allies from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The game also offers bonus challenges outside of its main mission. While praised at length for its high production values and tight, stealth-heavy gameplay, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was also extensively criticized for its extreme brevity, being accused of essentially being a demo that publisher, Konami forces you to pay for, a concern that should be somewhat alleviated when the game is a free reward for Xbox Live Gold members. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is also available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.HTS - Gameplay

The second free Xbox One reward for August is How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition, which replaces So Many Me as the free offering for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One on August 16th, lasting until midway through September. This special edition of the top-down survival-horror-style action-RPG that has been available since 2013, follows your character, as they must make their way across a deadly island of obstacles. Players are tasked with crafting their own means of survival, including weapons, though they can bring a friend along with them to try and even the odds. Initially released for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2013, then expanding to Wii U in 2014, How to Survive received lukewarm reviews, which remained the case when the special How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition came to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later in 2014.

Next, on Xbox 360, the first free reward for August will be Metro 2033, which will be offered between August 1st and August 15th. A chilling survival-themed first-person shooter inspired by the Dmitry Glukhovsky novel of the same name, Metro 2033 has players navigating a nuclear-irradiated Russia, after it has been overrun by vicious mutants and deranged survivors. Metro 2033 received largely positive reviews, though its shaky stealth mechanics and poor A.I. were points of contention. Aside from Xbox 360, Metro 2033 is available in its base form for PC, Mac and Linux, and is also offered in the improved Metro 2033 Redux edition for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

M2033 - GameplayThe second free Xbox 360 reward for August is the sequel to Metro 2033, that being Metro: Last Light. Unlike Metro 2033Metro: Last Light doesn’t directly adapt any of Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels, though it does still inhabit the same universe. Metro: Last Light is a similar survival-themed first-person shooter as its predecessor, and follows the original protagonist of Metro 2033, as he endures the fallout of his controversial actions at the end of the first game. Metro: Last Light received even better reviews than its predecessor, praising its atmosphere, story and gameplay, even if the faulty A.I. was still criticized. Aside from Xbox 360, Metro: Last Light is available in its base form for PC, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 3, with an improved Metro: Last Light Redux edition being released later for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

You’d better have a taste for guns and ammo, because that’s all that’s on the menu for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this August! Fortunately, this isn’t a bad selection, even if How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition feels like a bit of a weak reward. Still, it’s nice that Xbox gamers are now getting the chance to get Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for free if they haven’t already bought it, after it was offered as a free PlayStation Plus reward on PlayStation 4 just recently, allowing them to also get an easy means to gear up for the blockbuster release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in September. The double bill of Metro games on Xbox 360, while a tad lazy on Microsoft’s part, and no doubt also eliciting moans that they aren’t the superior ‘Redux’ editions for Xbox One, are also great picks for those who haven’t already experienced them. You do need a taste for both survival-horror and first-person shooters to get much out of them though.

Keep revisiting Eggplante for all news and updates on Games with Gold, and other Xbox incentives.