Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can look forward to April being the best Games with Gold month yet for 2017. Microsoft announced some heavy hitting free titles for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 Thursday, headlined by Ryse: Son of Rome and the original Darksiders.
Ryse: Son of Rome has long been rumored to be on the docket for Games with Gold but has never made it to the program until now. The Xbox One launch title kicks off the month of April as the first free download and will be available through the end of the month. It will be joined by the backward compatible action role-playing title Darksiders, which will be available for free through April 15.
The middle of April adds another pair of solid titles as free downloads. The Xbox One version of The Walk Dead: Season Two will run through May 15 and is joined by Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which will be available until the end of April.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome is a straight-forward hack-and-slash title from Crytech. The graphics hold up well for an Xbox One launch title, but the game suffered due to a somewhat repetitive combat system and a campaign that fell on the short side. This resulted in a 60 aggregate review score on Metacritic.
The Walking Dead: Season Two
Clementine’s adventures in The Walking Dead universe continues with this choice-and-consequence sequel from Telltale Games. However, players aren’t guarding and protecting the young girl this time. They control her actions and decisions instead. It doesn’t have quite the same impact the first season did, but it provides a different experience while still maintaining some of the great story elements and twists. Bugs and some familiarity drag the second season down somewhat, though.
The action role-playing title Darksiders drew elements from many other games and created something new in the tale of one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse fighting to clear his name of starting the apocalypse too early. The game was a surprise hit on last-gen platforms and earned an 83 on Metacritic.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Revelations provides the conclusion to the Ezio trilogy in the Assassin’s Creed series. All the familiar gameplay elements that evolved from Assassin’s Creed II are present as the now master assassin journeys to Constantinople. The hook is the opportunity to find out more about his predecessor, Altair. The lack of innovation and a smaller amount of content were the negative marks in its 80 Metacritic score.
As a reminder, some March Games with Gold titles are still available to download for free. Evolve: Ultimate Edition will be available until April 15. Meanwhile, the backward compatible Heavy Weapon will only be around until the end of March.
As the Inquisitr previously covered, Xbox One manages backward-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.
[Featured Image by Xbox]