‘Deus Ex’ And ‘Killer Instinct’ Lead Free Xbox One Games For January, 2016

With Christmas and New Year’s fast approaching, Microsoft went ahead and revealed the free Xbox One and Xbox 360 games that are coming in January via Xbox LIVE’s Games with Gold promotion. The benefits of Xbox One backwards compatibility rears its head once again, as Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dirt: Showdown join Killer Instinct and Zheroes to bump up the number of free titles for Xbox One owners to four next month.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be free via Games with Gold from January 16 through the end of the month. The action role-playing game from Eidos Montreal and Square Enix was one of the best releases for the previous console generation, and received near universal acclaim. The game has an overall Metacritic score of 89, who praised the game for its cyberpunk fictional setting that manages to weave in ethical questions while also providing flexibility in combat and a non-linear storyline. The main criticisms involved the boss fights that were both difficult and did not fit in with the non-violent options that were available in the rest of the game.

The timing of bringing Deus Ex: Human Revolution to Games with Gold and making it free to both Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners is actually well-done. Its sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, was originally scheduled to be released on February 23, but was delayed to an August 23, 2016, launch date. That’s plenty of time for those that didn’t get a chance to play Human Revolution to dive in and those that have played to revisit or finally finish the game.

Xbox LIVE Games with Gold January 2016 [Image via Xbox Wire]Dirt Showdown joins Deus Ex as the free Xbox 360 title January that is backwards compatible on the Xbox One until it rotates out on January 15. The over-the-top arcade spinoff of the venerable off-road simulation series was originally released in 2012 to a mixed 75 review score on Metacritic.

The game is a mix of racing, demolition derby, and stunt events spread across four different categories with three to four game modes each. This ranges from standard racing modes such as “Elimination,” to party modes like “Transporter,” that is essentially capture the flag in a demolition derby setting.

The Xbox One side of the free games ledger sees the free-to-play fighter Killer Instinct giving away all of its first season content during the month of January. The Killer Instinct: Season 1 Ultra Edition gives players access to eight Season One characters, 16 additional character accessory packs, eight additional costumes, and a playable version of the original Killer Instinct. The Ultra Edition currently costs $40 on the Xbox Store, for those wondering about its value.

Again, this is another title that benefits from exceptional timing for Games with Gold. Killer Instinct: Season Three is currently targeting a March, 2016, release date for both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. It will support cross-play between the two platforms, so getting the game into as many hands as possible is an excellent start.

Finally, Zheroes will be a free download for Xbox One owners from January 16 through February 15. The game is a riff on classic sidescrolling titles, according to the Xbox announcement.

“Beating folks up with a bunch of clever combos, tracking down secret areas, and some light platforming are at the core of Zheros,” the announcement reads. “Set in a beautiful and futuristic universe with brightly colored graphics, a humorous cast of playable characters, and local co-op, Zheros is a must-play game to test out with your friends.”

An Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is required to get free games from the Games with Gold program. The subscription is typically $60 a year, or $25 for three months, but can be found at a discounted price of $30 to $40 for deal hunters.

What do you think of the Xbox LIVE free Games with Gold titles for January, 2016? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Deus Ex Universe]