Microsoft is coming out of the gates strong for 2019, offering some amazing games for their first Games with Gold promotion of the year. One of 2018’s best games, Celeste, headlines this month’s lineup, and with a total value of more than $104, and 3,200 available Gamerscore, this year is starting off on the right foot for Xbox Live Gold members.
The month starts off with a game that joined the Games with Gold lineup back in December, Never Alone. To read up on Never Alone, checkout our preview from last month. (Link to: https://www.gaminglad.co.uk/december-games-with-gold/)
Leading the way this month is the award-winning indie game, Celeste. Celeste took home the Audience Award in the 2018 Independent Games Festival Awards, as well as the Games for Impact and Best Independent Game at the 2018 Game Awards. The platformer was also nominated for 10 other awards last year.
Celeste is a 2D platformer that follows Madeline and her journey to reach the top of Celeste Mountain. During her journey, Madeline is granted some special abilities. Aside from basic moves like jumping, Madeline learns how to climb up walls and perform a mid-air dash, and she encounters different game mechanics such as springs and spikes to help and injure the player.
What made Celeste one of the best games of 2018 is its enthralling story along with its challenging levels. There are also many optional secrets to uncover that unlock additional levels and game modes that allow players to alter the game mechanics to make the game more difficult or more fun.
Celeste will be available for free download from January 1 through 31 and is originally priced at $19.99 on the Microsoft Store. It has a total of 30 achievements to unlock for 1,000 Gamerscore, which makes it a perfect pick up for all gamers.
Joining Celeste for the last half of January (and the first half of February) is WRC 6, a rally car game that puts players behind the wheel of several different rally cars as they race their way through dirt, mud, rain, snow and more to become a rally car champion.
WRC 6 is based on the 2016 World Rally Championship season and features licensed cars and rallies from the season. Although critics say this game doesn’t quite reach the levels of rally racing game Dirt Rally, WRC 6 is an impressive game serving up 11 Super Special Stages and online play.
For hardcore racing fans, WRC 6 is a no-brainer for a free download. WRC 6 is available as a free download from January 16 through February 15, is priced at $49.99 on the Microsoft store, and has 41 achievements for 1,000 Gamerscore.
Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light
On the Xbox 360 side of things, Microsoft is offering two free games. From January 1-15, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will get to download Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, from the Tomb Raider series.
Guardian of Light greatly differs from the traditional Tomb Raider games and focuses on co-op gameplay, having Croft team up with a 2,000-year-old Mayan warrior named Totec in an adventure-arcade style game where you rack up points for killing enemies and finding treasures. You can see how well you stack up against other tomb raiders on the online leaderboards as well.
Lara and Totec (or just Lara if playing the single-player campaign) traverse caves, scale walls, disarm booby-traps, and much more all in order to stop the spirit Xolotl and get the Mirror of Smoke.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is priced at $14.99 and has 12 achievements for a Gamerscore of 200.
Far Cry 2
Finally, from January 16 through 31, you can download the classic Far Cry 2 for free.
The second installment of the Far Cry series brings players to Africa where they can decide their own future. Far Cry 2 lets players ally with — or make enemies of — several different factions, rush head-on into story mode missions, play things a little slower and use stealth to take down enemies, all in the quest to kill the arms dealer, “The Jackal.”
Now over 10 years old, Far Cry 2 was a visual and gameplay masterpiece when it was released in 2008. The open-ended gameplay, African deserts and jungles, intuitive AI, and so much more made this game an instant hit.
Far Cry 2 is listed at $19.99 and has 48 unlockable achievements, totaling 1,000 Gamerscore.
Don’t forget to come back next month to see what Microsoft has in store for February!
Written by: Anthony Giudice