August 2016’s Games with Gold are…

It’s just under a week until a fresh rollout of Games with Gold offerings arrive for Xbox platforms, and Microsoft has now revealed which freebies Xbox Live Gold members can look forward to for August. Xbox One owners will be able to score two robust retail game downloads, between Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate and WWE 2K16, while Xbox 360 owners can enjoy two digital favourites next month, Spelunky and Beyond Good & Evil HD.

W3U - ArtThe new Games with Gold offerings for August will start going live on Monday, August 1st. Thus, if you have yet to redeem The Banner Saga 2 on Xbox One, or Tron: Evolution on Xbox 360, you have until then to do so, before they return to their original paid pricing for Xbox Live Gold members. Tumblestone will remain free on Xbox One until August 15th, and will be replaced by WWE 2K16 afterward, which will be free for Gold members until September 15th. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate will be free on Xbox One throughout the month of August meanwhile, with Spelunky being free on Xbox 360 between August 1st and August 15th, and Beyond Good & Evil HD being free on Xbox 360 between August 16th and August 31st.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is an enhanced current-gen version of Warriors Orochi 3, the latest in Tecmo Koei’s series of hack-and-slash spin-offs to Dynasty Warriors and Samurai WarriorsWarriors Orochi 3 Ultimate allows players to take control of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors characters, along with guest characters from other Tecmo Koei franchises, across a variety of single-player challenges and multiplayer battles, squaring off against huge hordes of foes to conquer an over-the-top, anime-style battlefield. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate was generally received well by critics, where it was praised for its improved presentation in contrast to its last-gen predecessors, as well as a huge degree of lasting value, all-new characters and stories, and the ultimate in refined gameplay for longtime fans of the Warriors games. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is also available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, with the original Warriors Orochi 3 being released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.WWE - Gameplay

WWE 2K16 is the latest wrestling simulation from 2K Sports, adding in various removed play modes from WWE 2K15, and also smoothing out reversals, referee and management A.I., and both pins and breakouts. WWE 2K16 was overall received noticeably better than its predecessor, with reviewers praising its gameplay changes and more extensive roster of wrestlers, though some took issue with the inconsistent presentation. WWE 2K16 is also available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Spelunky is a randomly-generated, masochistic platformer about a plucky explorer that is in way over his head! Exploring the depths of an ancient and treacherous set of ruins and caverns, players have to gather as much treasure as they can, and push as far into the underground network as they possibly can, before meeting an untimely end. The console versions of the game also sport a local multiplayer mode, allowing players to both work together and compete against one another. Spelunky is one of the most widely-praised indie games in the industry, with critics extensively praising the simple, yet addictively challenging design of the game. Spelunky is also available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

Spelunky - GameplayBeyond Good & Evil HD is a high-definition remastering of one of Ubisoft’s most beloved cult classic games. Originally released on GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows 2000 PC’s, Beyond Good & Evil places players in control of Jade, an inteprid reporter living in a futuristic world, who begins to gradually uncover evidence of a growing alien conspiracy. In action-adventure style gameplay, players must both actively fight alien threats, as well as take pictures exposing the truth for the world. Beyond Good & Evil is sometimes criticized for its brevity and unresolved cliffhanger ending, though it’s also extensively praised for its unique concept, lovable cast, well-presented style and gameplay, and engrossing world that is rife with both varied activities and secrets. Beyond Good & Evil HD is also available for PlayStation 3.

As usual, you must have an active Xbox Live Gold membership to redeem any of these free rewards next month, and must maintain said membership to access and play any free game rewards redeemed for Xbox One at any time. Xbox 360 owners can permanently keep any games that they successfully redeem however, even if they subsequently allow their Xbox Live Gold membership to lapse. Bear in mind as well that all Xbox 360 rewards offered through Games with Gold are backwards-compatible and fully playable on Xbox One.BGE - Gameplay

This is another very strong month for Games with Gold offerings, since pretty much every game on offer here is a winner! The weak link is probably WWE 2K16, due to some of its more mixed elements, and the fact that it will be largely obsolete by this time next year, but Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate being offered for free could serve as a superb way to recruit more devout Warriors fans for Tecmo Koei, showcasing a huge chunk of that series all in one tightly-presented, enjoyable game. Needless to say, Spelunky and Beyond Good & Evil HD are also huge treats for Xbox 360 owners and Xbox One owners alike, since more attention to the classic and underrated Beyond Good & Evil is always welcome, just as it was when the game’s PlayStation 3 build was offered as a free PlayStation Plus reward a short while back, and Spelunky is bound to hook any Xbox gamers that aren’t short on patience, and haven’t already experienced the game on another platform.

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