December’s Xbox Live Games With Gold includes Dragon Age II and the excellent Q.U.B.E. 2. The latest Game Pass additions include Outlast, Thief of Thieves: Season One, GRIP, SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption, Agents of Mayhem, MXGP3, and Thomas Was Alone.
Q.U.B.E. 2 for Xbox One | 01 December – 31 December
If you enjoy puzzle games then Q.U.B.E. 2 by Toxic Games is a must. You play it from the first-person view as Amelia Cross, a British archaeologist stranded on an island. With the help of a fellow survivor, you need to overcome the island’s challenges and find a way back home. Q.U.B.E. 2 has the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessor Q.U.B.E. – shifting environmental puzzles, but a much deeper story. “With Q.U.B.E. 2, we have pushed the boundaries of what a small independent team can create in a first-person puzzle game,” said Dan Da Rocha, Managing Director at Toxic Games. Players use a pair of special gloves that allow them to manipulate the environment, somewhat like the Portal Gun. Q.U.B.E. 2 includes eleven chapters and over 80 puzzles.
Never Alone for Xbox One | 16 December – 15 January
Never Alone is another puzzle game and includes both single-player and a two-player cooperative mode. It also includes strong adventure game elements like a rich story, and a deeper focus on the two playable characters, Nuna and her Arctic fox. Never Alone tells the story of the Iñupiaq people (native Alaskan people) who live in Northern Alaska. The story is told in the form of an oral tale, and as Nuna players have to uncover the source of a blizzard that has been causing havoc in her small village.
Dragon Age II for Xbox 360 & Xbox One | 01 December – 15 December
In Dragon II you play as Hawke, a refugee turned champion. Many key characters from previous Dragon Age games return in Dragon Age II, some of these are Varric, Cassandra, and Flemeth. The plot revolves around the conflict between the Seekers (an offshoot of the Templars) and Mages. Players can recruit up to eight companions, each with their unique abilities and all can be player controlled during combat. Dragon Age II received generally positive feedback from fans and critics. For me, it wasn’t as epic an adventure as Origins, but it is still a fantastic role-playing game.
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction for Xbox 360 & Xbox One | 16 December – 31 December
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is a single-player, action-adventure game. It features three playable characters; Christopher Jacobs, Jennifer Mui, and Mattias Nilsson. As a mercenary and previous “Executive Operations agent, you take control of one of the three characters and you have to complete contracts. The setting is North Korea and, of course, the danger of nuclear war. There are four factions in the game and you can take or deny contracts from each; the Chinese, South Korean, Russian Mafia, and Allied Nations. By gathering intel and completing missions you unlock a new region.