Games with Gold is back, Microsoft knows everyone loves free games, and the gloves are off for the holiday season. Hot on the heels of the New Xbox One Experience (NXOE) released to the public in November, and the introduction of Backwards Compatibility, was a little snippet of news that went under the radar somewhat, all Xbox Games with Gold released from November onwards would be playable on the Xbox One (including the Xbox 360 versions), this is great news as typically the 360 ends up with some of the AAA titles that were released on that platform, whilst the Xbox One, has largely consisted of indie games (I’ve come across some gems through the giveaways though, has to be mentioned). All trailers for the games are below. Let us know in the comments what you will be playing…….
December on Games with Gold, kicks off with the Xbox One receiving the action-role-playing game from NeoCoreGames, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. A game that many have said can hold its own with the likes of Diablo is not to be sneered at, described as having an engrossing storyline, being beautifully dark with gothic art style and an assortment of extraordinary characters, it promises to be one of the better games to be released on gold, It largely has had positive reviews from the gaming journalists and gamers alike (With a review score 9/10 on Steam!), It was previously on the Xbox 360 through live arcade and PC / Mac through Steam. Scheduled for release on the 1st December. If you have an Xbox Live Gold account it will be free to download until the 31st December.
Update: Link on Xbox.com is now live. Get downloading!
Next up is SquareEnix blockbuster Thief, a reboot of the classic action-stealth franchise; you play as thief extraordinaire Garrett, who lives in a city ruled by a tyrannical Baron and his brutal Watch. When the citizens revolt, Garrett’s thieving skills are all he can trust as he walks a fine line between politics and the people, revealing a darker secret that threatens to tear his world apart. All serious stuff!, the game which originally released in February 2014 has an RRP of £23.99 is free for gold members between the 16th December – 31st December, at 19.25GB though it will take some time to download for those not on Fibre connections – best to leave that one overnight. You can find a link to the game on the Xbox.com website here (You will need to login to see the updated figure after the 16th December).
On the 360 Microsoft are giving away 3 games (A free gift for the holiday). All games are backwards compatible on the Xbox One, however before getting to excited read carefully as one of these has already been released as a ‘Definitive Edition’ on the games with gold programme already – So if you are on a capped broadband plan and you have been religiously downloading games with gold this year, you may want to pass on Castlestorm. For all those that missed out or own a 360 then your luck is in….
Castlestorm follows the recent trend in mobile gaming, of physics based destruction (think Angry Birds); in this game you choose whether to be a Viking or a Knight. You build your own castle, stock it up with defences and repel attackers or if you’re on the attacking team, build a force of fearsome raiders and destroy your enemies. You need to mix and match the right attacking force to counteract any defences you may come up against, it’s a challenging game and requires a bit of lateral thinking to get through the many levels, as mentioned earlier however this was released on Games With Gold in May this year for the Xbox One, so if you have already downloaded this version and do not own a 360 it is probably worth leaving the title. CastleStorm is only available between the 1st December – 15th December for free download, 279.75Mb, RRP of £6.75 (Xbox.com)
Sacred 3, heavily focussed on Co-Operative play (Local and Online – So perfect for housemates on a LAN) the brawler / Strategy game is a great game to give away with Christmas coming up, you all chose characters, which have unique skills and abilities and battle waves of opponents, the team must work together to overcome challenges, this is a really well written game with some comedic twists. If you have not played the game before it’s a must have, especially for those with multiple consoles in the house (It will also keep kids happy!). Available from the 16th December – 31st December for free download, 6.89Gb, RRP – £14.99 (Xbox.com)
And finally as a gift to you all over the holiday period, Microsoft has teamed up with Codemasters to release, Military Simulator, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, billed as a game ‘As Close to war as you will want to get’ The game challenges players to survive the chaos and rapidly evolving situations of modern warfare on an exotic island. Players can experience the intensity, diversity and claustrophobia of a modern conflict from the unique perspectives of an infantry marine, a helicopter pilot, a Special Forces officer or a tank commander, I have a little personal experience with the Operation Flashpoint games, and all I will say is if you are used to playing Call Of Duty, this is a completely different way of experiencing a game from a First Person perspective. I think I rage quit many a game……. that is all I am saying. Available from the 16th – 31st December for free download, 6.28Gb, RRP – £8.99 (Xbox.com)