If you haven’t already, download The Walking Dead: Season Two, which was made free from April 16th to May 15th, as it’s a very popular story driven game and you’d be mad to miss out on owning it for free. You can read the detailed review here.
The new Games with Gold lineup for May begins with the director’s cut version of the Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, which is a very cute platformer, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, which is an action RPG and is the sequel to one of the biggest selling Star Wars games ever.
Available May 1 - May 31
The Giana Sister: Twisted Dreams is a beautiful looking and cute platformer that incorporates everything you’d normally expect from a 2D platformer but with some new twists of its own.
One of the main mechanics of the game is its “Duality” system – where you switch between 2 different versions of yourself to perform different moves and access some otherwise impossible-to-gain loot.
When you change from the initial Cute version of Giana to her punky self, the world also changes with her, with Punk Giana’s world being a more vibrant one filled with green vegetation and passive looking creatures and Cute Giana’s world being almost the complete opposite, with dead trees replacing the lush forests and evil looking demons replacing their sweeter counterparts.
You can change between the two almost at will, and you’re encouraged to explore all available options to you as you may find hidden rewards that you might otherwise rush past.
It can be a very challenging game as you progress. You’ll need to master switching between the two versions of Giana rapidly, performing each of the characters moves in quick succession, all the while dodging new enemies and hidden traps.
Cute Giana will use her floating ability, which greatly decreases your fall rate and Punk Giana uses her fiery dash skill, which can be used to shoot across gaps or to take out enemies.
For the completionists among you, each level has several hard to reach locations where extra large gems are hidden, which require even more skill on your part to navigate successfully.
Once you’ve completed a level, it becomes playable in other modes too, and it’s also possible to unlock completely new modes as you progress.
The various modes include “Score Attack” where you need to constantly kill enemies and collect gems to be able to keep playing; Time Attack, which has you rushing through each level to try and beat it in the fastest possible times, like speed running; a Hardcore mode where all the checkpoints are now gone; and Uber Hardcore where you only have one life to complete the whole game.
If you enjoy platformers, it’s worth checking this game out as it adds some nifty gameplay that rewards perseverance and skill. If you’re looking for a cakewalk, it’s best to give it a miss though.
Available May 1 - May 15
The Dark Side of the Force has always been a temptation for many, and this game puts you in the shoes of one of Darth Vader’s disciples. You play as Starkiller, who has been slated for execution after failing Darth’s tests.
Breaking out of captivity, you begin your search for your lost love from the previous game, slaughtering legions of the Empire along the way.
The graphics are just as amazing as the first game, with all kinds of enemies trying to kill you, including AT ST’s (the smaller walkers) and Tie Fighters.
You have an immense control of the force, and you can cut through dozens of Stormtroopers in a very short space of time. Incidentally, one of the improvements over the previous game is the possibility for dismemberment as you chop off their body parts at your leisure.
The fact that your character’s name is Starkiller should give you an idea of the level of destruction possible at your fingertips. Able to stop rockets and tie fighters in mid-flight before you crush them like tin cans.
As mentioned before, the graphics are stunning, and the backdrops are a large part of that, adding a lot of interest to the level design.
The levels themselves can become too repetitive, looks wise, and the fact that you need to use certain tactics for different enemies all the time can detract from the experience significantly. It’s this kind of thing that stops The Force Unleashed II from being a great game. As it stands now, it’s just “good.”
All in all, if you like action hack and slash style games or you have a passion for Star Wars, it’s definitely worth adding this game to your hard drive as you’ll get at least a good few hours’ worth of entertainment out of it.