Microsoft announced the free titles coming to Xbox One owners via Games with Gold for September on Wednesday. Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can look forward to backwards-compatible titles Forza Horizon and Mirror’s Edge from the Xbox 360, plus an all-new role-playing title that will be free for console owners when it launches.
September 1 will launch a new slate of free games coming to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers on the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Earthlock: Festival of Magic from Snowcastle Games will be the first on the block and will be free for the entire month. It will be joined by the hit console exclusive Forza Horizon, which will be available as a free download until September 15. Microsoft is clearly greasing the skids to get Xbox One owners ready for the release of Forza Horizon 3 on September 27.
Another pair of games join the action on September 16. The side-scrolling platformer Assassin’s Creed Chronicle: China will be available as a free download through October 15. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 backwards-compatible Mirror’s Edge will parkour in and be available through September.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic will launch on September 1 for the Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Wii U. So far, it is only free for Microsoft’s console at launch. This is a successful Kickstarter-backed title that received $178,000 to help complete. The game is a non-linear role-playing story featuring turn-based combat. It is set on the planet of Umbra, which mysterious stopped spinning and set one side of the world into permanent darkness and turned another side into a scorching desert with only a small habitable region.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China takes place in the 16th century. Shao Jun has returned to her home country to restore the Brotherhood of Assassins in this side-scrolling platformer, and she is armed with rope darts, a shoe blade, and much more. The Metacritic score indicated a mixed reception from reviewers who enjoyed the new setting and characters but described the gameplay as bland.
Forza Horizon is the first spin-off of the Forza Motorsport series that takes the franchise from the hardcore racing simulator to an open-world racing experience. Released on the Xbox 360 in 2012 and co-developed by Playground Games, players will race in events set in the state of Colorado. The game was praised on Metacritic for expanding the Forza series with an accessible open-world arcade racer and earned an 85 aggregate review score.
Finally, Mirror’s Edge quickly turned into a cult hit for Electronic Arts and DICE thanks to its minimalist aesthetic, its hero, Faith, and first-person parkour action. Xbox One owners that missed the original 2008 release will be able to check it out for themselves. The game received a 79 Metacritic review score with plenty of praise for the action but some knocks due to its short length and not so great gun combat.
There are still free Games with Gold titles from the month of August to download if you haven’t already. The Xbox One hack-and-slash Warrior Orochi 3 Ultimate will be available until August 31, while WWE 2K16 will stay a free download until September 15. Finally, Ubisoft’s cult hit Beyond Good & Evil HD is still yours to download free until August 31.
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.
What do you think of September’s lineup of free games for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Xbox]