Two more Games With Gold are now available to you super-smart Gold members.
Trials Fusion is a spectacular biking game which challenges you to complete courses in an apocalyptic world.
Red Faction: Armageddon is also set in an apocalyptic world, but this time you're blowing everything up in as many creative ways as you can.
Slime Rancher is still available to download until August 31st, and you can read the review here.
August 16 – September 15
Trials Fusion is the latest in the successful series of challenging bike tracks and life-threatening spectacles. There are various bikes to use, and they all control differently and mastering them all will take some time, especially if you're new to the series.
There's a strong emphasis on controlling your bike, landing correctly, using acceleration/deceleration as well as tricks like bunny hops to avoid crashing.
Funny commentators help bring the game to life, especially with the varied backdrops to crash through. It's an apocalyptic world where the main sport is watching suicidal riders like you try and get across deadly courses designed to test you and break you.
The tracks are 2D, in that you can't go the “wrong” way, but everything is rendered in 3D, so the visuals look great. They're also full of consistently challenging and engaging obstacles to overcome.
Tracks vary in difficulty, and you'll be introduced to new ways of controlling your bikes as you progress. The most challenging tracks will require all your accumulated skill, and completing any of them is rewarding, even if you've crashed a dozen times.
Speaking of crashing, the instant restarts are a boon. They'll help you progress without enduring loading screens, which becomes necessary on the harder maps. It's a good way to keep you engaged with the game without the action being suspended by everything loading back up.
You can test your skill versus other players with the multiplayer modes, where you'll all be competing on the same map. You can't hinder or help each other, but it's fun to see other people flying helplessly through the air before they splat into a wall/ceiling/airplane propeller.
The leaderboards on Trials Fusion will also stroke your competitive side. It's a good incentive to keep replaying maps to shave precious seconds of your time, and you can play against ghost riders who may have a better score than you to see if you can beat them.
Finally, there's complete track builder so you can challenge yourself, friends, and other gamers on tracks you made or downloaded. There's no tutorial, and it's more tacked-on than anything, but once you've squeezed everything you can out of the existing maps, the track builder offers even more game time.
August 16 – August 31
Red Faction is a series that focuses on 1st/3rd person shooting with its ace in the hole being the destructible scenery everywhere. Armageddon is the latest title, and it continues the trend with almost every building being destroyable.
The way you destroy these structures is a big part of the fun, as much as the ruination of them. You're given several different tools to do the job, and several of them can be used to destroy enemies and structures simultaneously.
In the single player campaign, you unlock weapons as you go. These range from the usual assault weapons and shotguns to awesome weapons like the magnet gun - more on weapons later.
The actual story just serves to give you a little motivation to go and destroy more stuff, so don't be expecting Bioware-grade material.
In Armageddon, the colonists on Mars have been forced to live in underground tunnels, and now there's an alien invasion to contend with. This is the excuse that Red Faction needs to have the vast majority of its levels in said underground tunnels.
Some levels will allow you to pilot powerful machines which are a lot of fun and breathe some life into the game.
Most of the time you'll just be looking to destroy buildings in new and creative ways and seeing what else the magnet gun can do.
The magnet gun deserves a segment of its own due to the high fun value it brings. It works by you firing two shots. The first shot is an “anchor” and the second shot is the “pull.” Whatever you choose to shoot with the second magnet will be violently pulled towards the anchor, causing death and destruction in equal measure.
Unlike previous Red Faction titles, you can also repair structures in Armageddon. This is greatly needed as you can easily destroy the path you need to take with a misfired rocket. Repairing comes quickly and cheaply, so you don't feel like it's a chore.
Of the extra modes available to play it's worth mentioning the 4 player survival mode most of all. Infestation has you and 3 others battling against hordes of enemies while trying to survive as long as you can. This is where the game can focus on its fun elements and leave all pretense of a story behind.
If you've never played a Red Faction game and you wish you could be a bit more creative in how you actually beat the levels, this game is definitely worth trying out, particularly since it's now free for you lucky Gold members!