The lineup of free games for the Xbox LIVE Games with Gold program is one of the most diverse line-up of games for Xbox One owners yet. Microsoft is featuring an open-world title, a horror title, side-scrolling action game, and one of the more fun racing titles from the Xbox 360 era.
A new collection of will be available to download free for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers starting December 1. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition for the Xbox One and Outland for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will kick things off first at the beginning of the month. The former will be available for free through the end of the month while the latter will only be around until December 15.
December 16 adds another two titles to the list. Outlast will scare up some free downloads on the Xbox One through January 15, while Burnout Paradise will be available until the end of the month.
— ???? Larry Hryb (@majornelson) November 22, 2016
The addition of Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition to the Games with Gold lineup is an interesting move. Developer United Front Games closed its doors in October, as reported by Game Informer. Still, Sleeping Dogs was the studio’s biggest title and follows a Wei Shen as he goes from the San Francisco police force to infiltrating a Triad-gang in Hong Kong. The Definitive Edition is a port of the Xbox 360 and PS3 version to current-gen consoles with all the add-ons. Neither United Front nor publisher Square Enix bothered to fix some of the more notorious bugs though, which earned the game a 75 aggregate review score on Metacritic.
Outland is a side-scrolling 2D platformer with a hook borrowed from Ikaruga. The player switches their character between the blue and red colors to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. The Xbox 360 title published by Ubisoft was received with positive review scores overall. Enough so that it earned an 84 review score on Metacritic.
Outlast is loaded with jump scares as players take the role of an investigative reporter armed only with a camcorder and a notebook. This means a drive to survive by hiding under beds or other out of the way places until the horrifying monsters of the abandoned insane asylum move on. The scares combined with the survival aspect earned Outlast an 80 Metacritic score.
Burnout Paradise‘s addition to the Games with Gold lineup also adds the game to the Xbox One library of backwards compatibility today, per Major Nelson. This is a surprising and welcome move given the number of licensed songs, which likely have held it up from being playable on the Xbox One. Still, this is one of the more explosive arcade racers from last-gen as players race, crash, and explore the open-world racer. The game was well-received with an 88 Metacritic score.
The November Games with Gold titles are still available to download. Murdered: Soul Suspect will linger until December 15. Meanwhile, the backwards compatible Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will shoot up a retro-80s future until November 30.
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.
Following that, testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One appears to be a time-consuming task. Microsoft has to test each game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the title correctly. This can take hundreds of hours depending on the title.
Additionally, Microsoft uses an Xbox Uservoice group to gauge interest in which titles to add to the Xbox One backward compatibility library. Users can suggest and vote up which games they would like to see supported.
[Image by United Front Games/Square Enix]