Games with Gold, August 2021: from Darksiders 3 to Yooka-Laylee

Games with Gold, August 2021: from Darksiders 3 to Yooka-Laylee

Games with Gold, August 2021

Entering the heart of the summer, the Games with Gold in August 2021 amaze us with a batch of free games for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimante subscribers that we could define surprisingly valid, also given the standards to which the initiative it has long since accustomed us.

We know well how the priority given by Microsoft to its subscription services has changed, so in the face of an offer on Xbox Game Pass that continues to impress in terms of quantity and quality of games offered in the catalog, Games with Gold titles have increasingly seemed to be a legacy of the past to be filled in some way, sometimes with at least disappointing or directly futile proposals for most of the players. Starting from this state of affairs, being faced with the four games chosen for August 2021 was a sort of pleasant surprise for many, considering the average quality of the proposals.

Let's be clear: these are still very distant titles from the latest news from the market: the launch of first-fruits and large-caliber triple A games remains relevant only to the scope of the Xbox Game Pass at this point, but at least the recovery of older games in this case has given rise to a truly interesting assortment. The big limit remains the age of these games, so many may simply have already bought or played them in the past, but it is still a good mix of experiences ranging from action to 3D platforming, from the most classic shooter to fighting games. historical.

In principle, there are four games that we recommend without reserve to everyone, just to further fill this videogame summer which already looks quite rich, particularly in this phase. So let's see in more detail what the August 2021 offer is about, remembering, however, that the Games with Gold titles of July 2021 are still available until the end of the month and in particular Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break will remain available until 15 August.

Darksiders III - From 1st to 31st August

Darksiders III tells the epic of Fury in an atypical action game The Vigil series has been recovered in an excellent way by Gunfire Games, not for nothing composed of a good part of the previous team, which with Darksiders 3 has managed to give further life to a franchise that is a bit in crisis, above all due to a considerable organizational chaos in terms of publishing. Despite everything, the third chapter is presented in 2018 remarkably full of new ideas.

The story tells the epic of Fury in a sort of prequel of the previous episodes, but what changes in Darksiders 3 is above all the gameplay, while remaining formally within the same vein of the series.

The particular mix of characteristics in this case draws elements from metroidvania and soulslike, thus merging two of the most popular trends of these years and still managing to put together a rather interesting structure able to function properly. Compared to the physical impetuosity of War and Death, Fury is more dynamic and unpredictable, attacking through the Hollows special elemental abilities that recall the traditional role magic rather closely. A good attention to the level design and particularly challenging fights make it an atypical chapter of the series, but which fits perfectly in the style.

In case you want to recover it, this is the review of Darksiders 3.

Yooka-Laylee - From August 16 to September 15

Yooka-Laylee succeeds well in his aim: to retrieve the classic style of 3D platforming Among the various titles that, with the rise of the nostalgic wave, have tried to reproducing the magic of the first 3D platformers of the late 90's, Yooka-Laylee is one of the few to have achieved the ambitious goal. Not for nothing, the Playtonic team was created specifically to develop the game starting from a Kickstarter, founded by old glories of Rare authors of the original Banjo Kazooie, to which the game is not only inspired, but also aims to be a sort of spiritual successor. The mission is not simple: it is a question of transporting the mechanics and spirit of the classic platformers in a three-dimensional context and the titles that succeeded in the enterprise were rare even at the time of their greatest flowering, so even more reason to build a convincing one today is a high profile challenge.

Yooka-Laylee is not a game without flaws but it is one of the most genuine examples of homage to classic 3D platformers, one of the few modern games that have managed to capture and re-propose that particular magic composed of jumps, platforms and collectibles in a three-dimensional world, starting with an excellent level design and a rather charismatic characterization.

Being somewhat derivative (one of the flaws that emerge in Yooka-Laylee's review) is only a consequence of achieving this result, and for nostalgic gamers it is probably a strong point, while for the younger ones could paradoxically be unusual.

Lost Planet 3 - From 1 to 15 August

Lost Planet 3 relies heavily on the single player campaign, which offers a good variety of situations The first Lost Planet has somehow remained among the symbols of that particular union between Xbox and Japan that hasn't managed to evolve into something lasting, but it's an important game despite its flaws. With Lost Planet 3, Capcom was already in a different phase, in the full trend of outsourcing to Western teams for its numerous projects, which nevertheless showed considerable vitality, originality and a desire to open up to new influences.

The third chapter is still a very classic third-person shooter with the sci-fi setting gained from the first two, but with greater attention to the storytelling and the cinematic aspect of the experience.

The single player campaign, which tells the story of Jim Peyton and his adventures on the alien planet EDN III, is the most characterizing element of Lost Planet 3 and is still an enjoyable experience, even taking into account the technological limitations of a game released eight years ago and two generations later. It is obviously not a very original story, but those who appreciate the more classic sci-fi will easily get carried away by Jim's progression in the meanders of the planet, supported by an unoriginal but very solid gameplay, which takes up the classic traditions of Capcom and influences most common of the time with regard to the mechanics of the third-person shooter and also adds something new, such as the presence of the Rig, the huge work robots that help to vary the action. The Lost Planet 3 review explains it all.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves - August 16 to 31

Garou: Mark of the Wolves is one of the latest classic 2D bitmap fighting games From Many considered to be among the best fighting games ever, Garou: Mark of the Wolves "closes" in a spectacular way the legendary saga of Fatal Fury, originally released on Neo Geo and Dreamcast in 1999 and then transported to other platforms including Xbox 360. It is the ninth chapter of the historic SNK series, as well as the last officially regarding Fatal Fury and a sort of technical apotheosis of the classic 2D style of the genre, which from then on will necessarily take different paths. Set 10 years after the death of Geese Howard, the game stages the start of a new tournament between street fighters in Southtown, heralding the start of a new generation of heroes and villains, with inevitable returns and heirs of the characters. classics.

Beyond the differences in fighter roster and technical achievement, Garou: Mark of the Wolves also features some important variations to Fatal Fury's historical gameplay, making it a chapter unto itself standing. In particular, the two-plane parallel system has been removed, bringing everything to the same combat level and introducing some new tactical features such as the Tactical Offense Position that can be activated at certain times and the Just Defend system that favors timing in parades. In general, the technical fighting approach is maintained but with variations that make it unique and interesting even today.

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