PS Plus, Games With Gold Freebies For June 2016

PS

With May coming to an end, it is once again time to celebrate free games with the latest batch of PlayStation Plus and Games With Gold picks for the month of June. However, I think the celebration this month might be a bit hampered as the offerings are possibly the least interesting that they’ve been in months.

These are your PlayStation freebies for June – this time without a trailer because reasons.

PSPLUSJUNE

  • NBA 2K16 – PS4
  • Gone Home: Console Edition – PS4
  • Echochrome – PS3
  • Siren: Blood Curse (Episodes 1-12) – PS3
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus – PSP, PS Vita
  • Little Deviants – PS Vita

While I don’t want to come off as overly negative, this month is quite lazy from my perspective. For huge sports fans, most of you will probably already own NBA 2K16, but as it is a very solid game, it’s cool for those who missed it. Gone Home, while entertaining, failed to capture me as it divulged into preachy territory, abandoning what I considered to be the most interesting aspects that it began with.

None of the other titles are bad per se, it’s just that they’re games most of us already have. Little Deviants was one of the only launch titles for Vita, and Echochrome was one of the most interesting PlayStation Network titles when it arrived years ago.

That said, if you missed the boat you should feel entertained with such a diverse offering.

And without further adieu, these are the Games with Gold freebies for June.

    • Goat Simulator  – Xbox One
    • The Crew  – Xbox One
    • Super Meat Boy  – Xbox 360
    • XCOM Enemy Unknown – Xbox 360

For those of you who felt that Grid 2 from last month lacked a huge open world to explore with friends, The Crew should feel right at home if you don’t already own it. I’ve neglected it for far too long, so this is actually my favourite freebie from Microsoft this month.

Ending the list with a game as phenomenal as XCOM or a game as crushingly difficult as Super Meat Boy, you should be in for a treat if you somehow them thus far.

How XCOM 2 Is A Revolution Before Even Existing

XCOM 2

XCOM 2

I must confess that I’m a huge fanboy of games that use permadeath, especially the strategic ones, like XCOM or the Fire Emblem series. I think it is not needed to say that I’m really anxious about their next installments, Fire Emblem: Fates and XCOM 2, respectively.

Although both of them are showing great promise, I believe XCOM 2 was revolutionary right from the start, in the first second of its announcement trailer. Because of that, I chose to tell you why I’m thinking this and why this game may be one of the best examples on how to develop a true sequel.

If you never played XCOM before, a brief resume: Earth is facing an alien threat and XCOM is a secret organization built to be the planet’s first and last line of defense against them. The paramilitary company must succeed in lowering panic in the major countries in order to maintain its funding, research and build new items to face this menace

Revolutionizing before even existing

Most sequels start from the point where the story stopped, usually after the bad guys had already been defeated. There are some rare examples if you think about the first Diablo where you beat him and end up becoming him yourself. This isn’t happening in XCOM 2: humankind was defeated and conquered.

Producers of the game have confirmed that they reached this conclusion by analyzing XCOM: Enemy Unknown players. They noticed that the majority of them lost in their first attempt to beat the game. Also, around 1% of them actually beat the game on Brutal difficulty with Ironman mode active, where you have only one save slot and the game autosaves at every movement. Canonically speaking, Enemy Unknown was played at this difficulty and the humans lost at the early game.

Same organization, different approach

XCOM 2

XCOM 2 takes place 20 years after the alien conquest and are our de-facto rulers. Their propaganda makes humankind believe they are our saviors, but, behind curtains, they are still conducting experiments on us.

During this time, XCOM is recovering itself. However, they are not a defensive organization, but an offensive one, even to the eyes of the general public. Different from the first game, now the rescue and protective missions became sabotage and disruption tasks, adopting a lot of guerrilla tactics on its approach and apparel. Even headquarters left underground and are now mobile.

How do this explain the so-called revolution?

The reason why I think XCOM 2 will be revolutionary resides in the fact of the changes been noticeable since the beginning. Even though the core mechanics are still there and most of its characters, like Vice-commander Bradford, for example, this is enough for us to still recognize its XCOM.

But, in the meantime, everything has changed: narrative, strategical and tactical thinking, how the world perceives you and how the organization behaves at all. XCOM isn’t facing the alien threat anymore, they are facing our conquerors and the negative perception of the general public as well, manipulated by the alien propaganda.

It’s still recognizable as XCOM, but it turns out in a complete different direction sequels normally do. For this, I strongly think that game developers should definitely look at this game and take it as a lesson on how to conduct a revolutionary sequel, instead of using the formula “hero saves the world from a new threat” or “round 2 against the same supervillain…with new powers!”

XCOM 2 will be released on PC in November 2015.