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One of Xbox One’s best exclusives is free to play this weekend

In addition to the stellar Gears 5, F1 2020 is also free for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members this weekend.

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Gears 5 free to play Xbox
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In addition to the stellar Gears 5, F1 2020 is also free for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members this weekend.

This weekend’s Xbox Free Play Days titles features a very good racing game, but also, one of the best exclusives to grace the Xbox One.

You probably think you know what Gears 5 will be, right? It’s the fifth game in the Gears of War series (not including Judgement; nobody includes Judgement) where men hewn from granite and do-rags use impractical chainsaw-bayonetted rifles to kill surprisingly human-like insect men from behind very conveniently placed waist-high walls. When you clear a room, instead of a Zelda xylophone tinkle, a grinding electric guitar plays. One man plays American Football with a nuclear warhead while whooping and hollering. It’s just that macho. (And not in a Sinitta way.)

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But as the series has matured, it’s moved away from its hyper-macho roots into something far more balanced. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still stocked to the rafters with beefmen with chainsawguns! But there is also a beeflady now, and they all very obviously suffer from PTSD and it actually gets addressed, and the game has really great accessibility features now! So while the cover-shooter gameplay still isn’t tremendously sophisticated, it blends the Uncharted 4/The Last of Us Part II/God of War (2018) semi-open world hubs with a surprisingly grown-up story.

Gears 5 is really good, is the key takeaway here. (And it’s also enhanced for Xbox Series X|S and features Smart Delivery, which is just the icing on the cake.)

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What’s also good is F1 2020, the latest in a long line of polished iterations and refinements on one of Codemasters’ flagship racing series. It features all the gameplay you’d expect, tied up with the fun diversion of its story mode, and, of course, that all-important premium license. It’s also the last F1 game Codies made before getting acquired by EA; hopefully, the Southam-based developer won’t be forced to switch from its reliable in-house tech to the Frostbite engine.

Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can play both games for free until midnight on May 23, and can pick them up at a discount during the event. Any achievements and progress will transfer over to purchased retail or digital copies.

Xbox Free Play Days Discounts

Gears 5

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • GOTY Edition – 60% off

F1 2020

  • Standard Edition – 75% off
  • Deluxe Schumacher Edition – 75% off

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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