COG Considers: The Value of Games With Gold
Every month, Xbox Live Gold subscribers receive at least 4 games to own for as long as they subscribe to the service. This past week, we learned which four games will be included with Games with Gold for March 2021, and for most, the first impression was clearly a big OOF.
The four games included are Warface Breakout: Gold Sun, VALA Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse, Metal Slug 3, and Port Royale 3. If you’re looking at that list of games and asking “what the heck are those games?”, you would be completely forgiven. Aside from Metal Slug 3, I had to Google the rest of those games. These seem like some seriously bottom-of-the-barrel games. Even worse, compare the four games PlayStation Plus subscribers will be receiving in March and it doesn’t even seem fair.
Heck, one of the four PlayStation Plus games is Final Fantasy VII Remake. That’s right, Final Fantasy VII Remake – which was just released last summer. In addition, PlayStation Plus subscribers are receiving a PS5 exclusive game called Maquette, a PSVR game called Farpoint and Remnant: From the Ashes. These are some solid additions to the PlayStation Plus service.
It’s clear which subscription service is providing the most value for gamers in March. So, where is the value in Games with Gold and what can they do to turn it around?
When we consider the value of Games with Gold, we should consider the service as a whole over the past 7 years. We’ve received games that span the various generations of Xbox consoles from the original to Xbox One – and hopefully, eventually, we’ll get Xbox Series X exclusive games added to the service too.
Over the years, we’ve had some absolutely iconic games included with the service, games such as Battlefield 1, Tomb Raider, and Watch Dogs. We’ve also had some amazing indie gems too, such as INSIDE, Superhot, and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. In my opinion, the most valuable part of Games with Gold is that it provides gamers a diverse library of games ranging from AAA titles to cult classics. Many of the games included with the service are ones that I might not have otherwise played. For me, I would never have played Slime Rancher, Oxenfree, or Sleeping Dogs had they not been included with Games with Gold.
So, while March 2021 might look like a bit of a dud, it hasn’t always been that way, and I’m confident we’ll still see some big games in the future. Heck, just last month we received Gears 5, and for Xbox games, Gears of War is as big as they come.
With that said, I believe Games with Gold should do two things to improve the overall service and make it more valuable for gamers. First, I believe that every month we should get at least one AAA game. It doesn’t have to be a new game, but it should be a game that was hugely popular at some point. This could encourage newer gamers to play games that they might have missed out when they were first released.
This leads me to my second suggestion: supporting sequels. This year alone has some pretty stellar sequels releasing. Games like Hitman 3, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and Resident Evil Village are all going to be amazing – but their primary audience will be those gamers that have played previous entries in their respective franchises. So why not bolster the number of potential players by providing previous game entries on Games with Gold? Games like Hitman 2, Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard would be perfect Games with Gold contenders, each providing a gateway to their upcoming sequels.
Who knows, maybe VALA Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse will be a surprisingly enjoyable Games with Gold gem that brings me the same joy I experienced when I first played Oxenfree. I’m trying to stay positive. With that said, I do believe there could be some positive changes to the Games with Gold service. I believe we should see at least one big AAA hit each month – preferably an older hit that might not have been enjoyed by today’s audience. I also believe Games with Gold could be a huge benefit to upcoming sequels by showcasing previous entries in their franchises. Until that happens, I’ll just have to don my best war face and play some Warface Breakout. Whatever the heck that is.
Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.