Games with Gold January 2021, from Little Nightmares to Dead Rising

Games with Gold January 2021, from Little Nightmares to Dead Rising
The new year of Games with Gold begins with a good delivery, which for January 2021 offers a series of titles of considerable interest, especially considering the somewhat mediocre levels to which we had become accustomed, on average, in recent times. If this is a prelude to the rest of 2021, we can hope for more attention from Microsoft regarding free games linked to the company's oldest subscription for Xbox services, even if we are now used to seeing a rather unpredictable trend in the offer in question. Strangely, considering the time of year, there is also a certain trend towards horror as regards the quartet of products made available, with two exponents who could be traced back to the genre in question even if they are still very peculiar interpretations. . Beyond this, there are games of undoubted value in this collection, the limit of which is above all the age of the titles in question, which have all been released for some years and could therefore already be present in many libraries, but beyond this is a good December that is added to the avalanche of titles released in the Game Pass catalog, for those subscribing to the Ultimate service. In short, in a period of parties confined mostly at home by the lockdown, let's say that there are plenty of reasons to play.

Little Nightmares - From 1 to 31 January

The presentation of Little Nightmares attracted everyone's attention and showed how the small Swedish team Tarsier Studios had considerable numbers on their side, so much to push a label like Bandai Namco to sign up for the publishing of a game that seemed very particular. In the indie field we are now used to seeing more or less artistic expressions of a certain level, original interpretations of known genres and atmospheres, but a game supported by an artistic direction of this solidity and with a rather accurate structure is an uncommon event. Little Nightmares plays above all on contrasts: the restlessness and the sense of tension springs from the fragility expressed by the little protagonist Six, from her innocence in the face of the brutality of the environment that surrounds her, the fantastic and terrible world of The Maw, "Le Fauci ". How did it end up in that strange and dangerous underwater resort? What secret hides this surreal place, populated by grotesque inhabitants dedicated to assorted brutality, and how to find a way out? The sense of mystery envelops every moment of Little Nightmares, which constructs itself as a contextual puzzle adventure somewhat similar to PlayDead games, and with the latter with a truly unique atmosphere.

Dead Rising - From January 16 to February 15

The early years of Xbox 360 were an explosion of ideas and game solutions often unheard of, in several cases with a particular synergy between Microsoft and Japanese developers that would not be seen again in the gaming landscape later. An example of these new ideas is Dead Rising, a very special interpretation of survival horror by Capcom, the very company that practically invented the genre. In several respects, it can also be considered a more faithful translation of the classic zombie apocalypse than Resident Evil and the like: in Dead Rising the living dead threaten by their immense amount, it is a crowd of bodies that numerically dominate the survivors, who they must therefore work hard to try to keep the tide of zombies at bay with the few means available. This particular game solution is also supported by an ironic tone that makes it even more characteristic, with a colorful and charismatic cast of characters starting from Frank West, the assault reporter protagonist of the story, who soon finds himself to be a Ash Williams' sort of situation, learning to fight the horde by any means available. A truly unmissable game, even in this form of remaster which makes it technically more digestible for current users.

The King of Fighters XIII - From 1 to 15 January

Classic 2D fighting games are now a very rare commodity these days, an endangered species that deserves to be protected, therefore an offer like The King of Fighters XIII for free on Games with Gold, which historically have always offered very few games of this type, it is to be grasped on the fly. It is perhaps not the best chapter of the long and historic SNK series, but it is still one of the most recent exponents of the franchise still proposed with the classic graphics drawn in bitmap, so even for this alone it is a title to be taken into great consideration. The game on Xbox 360 is an improved version of the namesake released in the arcade some time before, and despite having almost ten years on its back, thanks to its virtually immortal graphic characterization it still remains a spectacle. The King of Fighters XIII represents the conclusion of the so-called "Ash Saga" starring Ash Crimson, who this time is in contrast with the Hero Team, or his old team, in an intricate story that includes twists. and reversals in front. This is not exactly the main element, however: the beauty of the game is its technical combat system, with a particular use of the Hyperdrive Gauge, the amount of characters, the tag team system and the truly impressive animations. It's not really a casual game, but if you give it some time it will give you great satisfaction.

Breakdown - From January 16th to 31st

It couldn't also missing the game taken from the original Xbox catalog this month, which has become a sort of unwritten rule of Games with Gold and therefore we continue the nostalgic journey to discover the old pearls of the past with Breakdown, a title that perhaps not many know. Originally released in 2004, the game is developed by Namco in a strange collaboration with EA for Xbox exclusively, thus revealing itself to be a rather particular product also in terms of design and gestation. Not only that, its peculiarities also extend to the structure and gameplay, considering that it is a sort of action that mixes elements from a first-person shooter with others from scrolling fighting games, bringing everything into a strange story with sci-fi tones. Breakdown is entirely framed in subjective and from this view we witness the unfolding of events in all conditions, even during the cutscenes, creating a remarkable identification with a directorial choice not very common at the time. The story features a bizarre mix of sci-fi and thriller elements, with the protagonist Derrick Cole who is a marine subjected to a scientific experiment in which he lost his memory, but found himself embroiled in the midst of an underground conflict between humans and a mysterious alien race within complex underground structures, all following the discovery of a sort of mysterious base in the depths of Japan.

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