Posted August 1, 2015 by Peter in Deals

August: Games with Gold

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes logo
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes logo

August rolls in, and if this month’s Games with Gold are anything to go by, we should start preparing ourselves to survive the post-apocalyptic world. And also to relive the Cold War era, the fear of which inspired so much of that dystopian imagery too (and, in fairness, has made some great game settings). And for Xbox Gold members, all of this is free (after paying for Gold itself, of course)…

MGSV Ground Zeroes box artFor Xbox One owners, the second of last month’s titles, So Many Me, is still free until the middle of the month. Additionally, from today Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is free until the end of the month. Yes, everyone’s favourite Kurt Russell lookalike Snake is available in the prequel game to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Focused on Snake performing a rescue from a US prison camp in Cuba – despite being set in 1975 it’s hard not to see this as a political comment – the game sticks to its well established third person stealth gameplay, while introducing new mechanics for the main game that follows.

Ground Zeroes
was a touch controversial on release – while the game itself was well received, its length vs its cost caused some consternation. As a prequel to lead into a full game, this was not a full length title, leading to descriptions of it as akin to a paid demo. This wasn’t universal of course, with some coverage considering it short and sweet, remaining fun and replayable without overstaying its welcome. But as an essentially free download the issue of cost stops being a factor, leaving us to just decide how much we enjoy it without justifying it to our wallets.

How to Survive Storm Warning box artThe second title for the Xbox One is How to Survive: Storm Warning, the updated version of How to Survive released previously on the 360 (and other platforms). Including the original game’s DLC content and numerous challenge modes, How to Survive is an action-RPG with – as the title suggests – various survival elements at the fore. Scavenging junk to create useful items, finding food and water, and a skill tree where the most basic ability to learn is making a fire, the world probably seems like your playground.

That is until the zombies begin attacking. Yes, this isn’t anywhere idyllic, but an environment that is actively trying to catch you and eat you. You aren’t the only survivor however, and the plot has your trying to unite the few others alive to make an escape attempt.

How to Survive: Storm Warning will be available free from August 16th through to September 15th.

Metro 2033 box artOver on the 360, it’s a double dose of survival too. From the beginning of August until the 15th Metro 2033 is available, a first person shooter with a survival horror twist; and from the 16th until the end of the month it is the direct sequel, Metro: Last Light. Based on the book Metro: 2033 and its sequels by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the story is set after a nuclear war devastates Moscow in 2013, with the survivors establishing themselves in an uncomfortable life in the city’s underground system.

Metro Last Light box artOf course, surviving a post-apocalyptic world in a bleak environment is child’s play compared to surviving the disputes between the survivors, with factions ranging from hardline communists to violent fascists, with independent groups often getting swallowed up or destroyed in the fighting. As if that didn’t make matters hard enough, mutated animals hunt where they can, ammunition is scarce enough to have a value as currency as well as a function to kill, the air above ground is lethal without a working gas mask and filters… and the game will measure the good or bad karma of actions you make too.

It’s a little different to catching the Victoria line into London. Well, mostly.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.