In February's Games with Gold, you can wield a mighty ancient sword against Demon hordes in Shadow Warrior or or see what life might be like if you decide to race in a war-zone with Split/Second.
Shadow Warrior is a first-person action shooter/melee-based game with some RPG elements and is available from Feb 1st to Feb 28th. Split/Second (supposed to be Feb 1 – Feb 15, but the game seems to be MIA for Gold members right now...hmmm...) has you in the role of a contestant on a TV show who tries to survive and win in some very dangerous races.
If you missed January's Games with Gold, you can still grab Zombi (Jan 16th - Feb 15th) and see if you can survive the zombie apocalypse. As with all Games with Gold games, once you download it, you own it, so what are you waiting for? You can find the review here.
Available February 1 - February 28
Shadow Warrior is a remake of an older 90's game that was very similar to the original Doom in many ways. In some ways, this remake isn't as good as the Doom remakes, unfortunately, but it will scratch your action itch for a couple of hours at least.
The basic premise of the game is that Demons have been unleashed into the world and you acquire a special sword called Nobitsura Kage, which is anathema to the demons. Naturally, you then embark on a quest to slay them all and embark on some gore-filled fun.
You'll use the ancient sword to perform various melee moves, and the more demons you kill, the more experience points you'll earn (in the form of Karma).
Karma can be used to unlock new skills and abilities to either make your attacks stronger, buff your character or add special abilities like healing.
You'll also be able to equip all kinds of guns which is almost mandatory when faced with flying enemies. It's worth exploring the maps as much as you can so that you can find hidden stashes of cash with which to buy and upgrade your guns.
There isn't any map to reference though, so you find yourself roaming around getting lost or find yourself in the unenviable position of missing a trigger that unlocks the next map portion.
One big positive that I liked is that you'll definitely enjoy Shadow Warrior's brand of humor. The fortune cookie jokes, in particular, got me laughing and the main character, Wang, grew on me over time too.
There are plenty of enemies to chew through too, and its arcade-like qualities should appeal to most people, but if you enjoyed playing the original game all those years ago, you won't find a nostalgic romp here as there's a lot of artistic license going on.
Available February 1 - February 15
Continuing February's action-orientated theme, Split/Second is a high-octane racer with an explosive underbelly - literally.
A popular TV show sends contestants into dangerous races with repair bills that easily seep into the billions, if not trillions. Your goal is simple - beat the competition by any means necessary. Whether this means beating them square and fair or blowing everything up is entirely up to you.
As you race around the tracks, you'll earn energy points, and once your bar is filled, you'll be able to initiate a "Power Play." This allows you to set off scripted events at specific locations, like making a building fall down onto the track, or targetting a car that's ahead of you with helicopter-borne missiles.
Split/Second is a very fast-paced game, and you'll have more than usual to deal with as your competitors can unleash Power Plays on you just as easily. Learning precisely when to use these plays becomes vital as mistiming it will lead to wiping yourself out.
Once you've played tracks enough times, you'll probably have memorized all the scripted locations, and even airplanes crashing onto the track won't surprise you anymore.
To add to the longevity, there are unlockable cars as well as decals that you'll earn over time, so you always have a sense of progression. Regarding customizability though, that's all that there is.
You can race online in multiplayer mode which usually proves a more significant challenge than racing against the AI, although the modes you can play are limited.
Split/Second is a decent racing game with some fun mechanics that you'll probably really enjoy for at least a couple of hours. Beyond that depends on how much of a racing fan you are.