Microsoft is using September’s Games with Gold to help build into the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox One. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will be free to download next month along with an indie title for the current-gen console plus Crysis 3 and Battlestations: Pacific for the Xbox 360. Overall, it’s not a bad follow-up to August’s Games with Gold that’s still in effect.
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) August 25, 2015
The month of free games for the Xbox One actually kicks off with the indie title, The Deer God, on September 1. This is a pixel art-based platformer that puts a hunter into the hooves of a deer. Players must learn to survive as a woodland creature and eventually escape back into the body of a human. The game features a procedurally generated world so that each play-through is different. However, Crescent Moon Games is attempting to challenge players with philosophical questions about reincarnation and karma.
The Deer God has already been released on Steam, and this represents the game’s debut on the Xbox One. The Metacritic scores for this have not been favorable, but the only thing you’ll lose is time if you download it before September 30.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition goes free on September 16 for the Xbox One and will stay that way through October 15. This is the 1080p remaster of the Xbox 360 reboot that comes with 1080p graphics plus all the downloadable content and updates released for the third-person action-adventure title.
Review scores for Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition were solid with an 86 Metacritic average. It was mostly criticized at the time for its high cost and relative lack of bonuses. It’s strictly a cosmetic upgrade to the Xbox 360 release, but definitely worth the free price.
On the Xbox 360 side of the ledger, Games with Gold is offering Battlestations: Pacific and Crysis 3. The former will be available first from September 1 through September 15. The latter will pick things up on September 16 through the end of the month.
Battlestations: Pacific attempts to mix it up in the Pacific theater of World War II by allowing players to control massive ships from the U.S. and Japanese Navies along with fighter planes. There’s a campaign for both sides of the conflict to bring the total to 28 missions while an online mode is also featured.
The Metacritic score for Battlestations: Pacific received an average of 76. It was praised for its unique gameplay and premise but knocked for unwieldy controls and relatively slow action.
Finally, Crysis 3 rounded out the Crytek’s Crysis trilogy by bringing Prophet to the urban rainforest of New York. The same mix of high-tech nano-suit action and alien technology in a first-person view is present.
Crysis 3 received average reviews of around 76 per Metacritic. The game received high marks for its visuals and gameplay, but scored low due to repetitive missions and lackluster plot.