Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

‘Alan Wake’ And Two More Join Xbox One Backwards Compatibility, ‘Halo Wars’ In The Wings [Update]

The Xbox One backwards compatible list grew by three Thursday following a noticeable lull in new Xbox 360 releases to the program. Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake is now playable on the current-gen console, and is joined by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and PAC-MAN. Meanwhile, Halo Wars might be on the horizon.

Alan Wake has been expected to join the Xbox One backwards compatibility program for a while. The game appeared among the leaked list of games that accidentally appeared in the Xbox Store on the console. After Microsoft cleaned things up so that games in testing wouldn’t appear again, it announced Alan Wake along with its two DLCs will be included for free with Remedy’s Quantum Break. Additionally, those that pre-order Remedy’s upcoming time-bending shooter from the Xbox Store will receive Alan Wake’s American Nightmare for free. This is a similar promotion used in the past for Just Cause 3 and Fallout 4.

The Xbox 360 release of Alan Wake is largely considered to be one of the best games of the generation. It was praised for its storytelling elements and a well-written character placed in an otherwise horrifying situation as dark forces slowly take over a sleepy Northwest town. The Stephen King-like setting was augmented by some of the best graphics on the console when it was released in 2010. These largely hold up on the Xbox One.

The game was knocked, however, for a lack of variety in the latter stages of the single-player campaign along with some technical glitches. It ultimately ended up with an 83 Metacritic score average.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is another Xbox 360 classic, and one that helped promote Xbox LIVE Arcade when it was released in 2007. This was released in the quaint days when 50MB was considered to be too large for the service, and Microsoft had to make an exception. Consider that now that we have game downloads as large as 60GB less than a decade later.

Symphony of the Night is a re-release of the original Castlevania title launched for the PlayStation in 1997. The old school side-scrolling action-adventure title is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time, and the Xbox 360 re-release was exceptional, with one notable drawback. The controller for the console easily had one of the worst D-pads in memory. Fortunately, that issue has been rectified with the Xbox One controller.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Xbox 360)
[Image via Xbox]
The original PAC-Man was launched to Xbox LIVE the year prior to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The even older old school classic was released as a no-frills re-release to Xbox LIVE with the same notable problem — the lack of a good D-pad. At least it comes with Achievements.

For those wondering what may come to the future of Xbox One backwards compatibility, Reddit users are reporting Halo Wars is now showing up as a pre-load. It cannot be played yet, but Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was available to install just yesterday as well.

Update: It’s been confirmed the release of Halo Wars is not far off. Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb just announced via Twitter the title is available to download for Xbox One Preview Program members.

As the Inquisitr previously covered, Xbox One manages backwards compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.

PAC-MAN (Xbox 360)
[Image via Xbox]
Following that, the major hurdle appears testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One. Microsoft is testing the game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the game correctly. This can take hundreds of hours depending on the title.

What do you think of the new Xbox One backwards compatibility releases? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Xbox]