Microsoft announced its free Games with Gold October lineup for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers Wednesday. It’s a quieter month with no big AAA releases for the Xbox One or Xbox 360, but there are some quality indie titles for the current-generation console and mild last-gen offerings.
The next collection of free Games with Gold titles will kick off on Saturday, October 1 with the Xbox One indie title, Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings, which is available through the end of the month, and backward compatible MX vs ATV Reflex available until October 15. More games arrive on October 16 as Team 17’s The Escapists breaks free until November 15 while Ubisoft’s I Am Alive survives until the end of October.
Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings is a throwback to the old NES-style of light-hearted baseball games. It supports up to four players locally and includes season gameplay. The only thing it truly lacks is the MLB licenses for the teams and players. Still, it received mostly favorable review scores at review aggregator Metacritic, earning an 80 overall. The biggest knocks against it are a lack of content with only six stadiums and no online multiplayer play.
The Escapists got its start on the PC before jumping to consoles as a strategy role-playing game with the goal of escaping from prison. It’s a more challenging title with a retro-style graphics and a top-down perspective. Don’t let the look fool you as it is surprisingly deep sandbox title that will require patience to successfully navigate through trial and error. The difficult nature of the game contributed greatly to it earning a 74 score on Metacritic.
MX vs. ATV Revlex serves as a fairly straight-forward off-road racing title featuring motocross bikes and ATVs. It is the second to last game in the franchise, and the first to utilize both analog sticks to control the bike and the rider. The new control and physics system doesn’t always come together, however, and the graphics were not the sharpest at the time on the Xbox 360. This resulted in an average 75 Metacritic score.
Finally, I Am Alive is Ubisoft’s take on a survival game. This is a third-person game where players must survive in the fictional city of Haventon following a disaster known as “The Event,” which destroyed most cities. Players will guide the hero as he helps friendly survivors while on a search for his family. Adding to the danger, he must also try to survive the not-so-friendly survivors as well. The game suffered heavy delays and a change in developers. Originally, the result was a mishmash of new survival ideas with hints of the developer’s ambition to do more. Unfortunately, its short length and lack of focus knocked it down to a 69 overall review score on Metacritic.
Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers still have several days left to nab September’s free Games with Gold titles. The turn-based Xbox One RPG, Earthlock, will be available as a free download through September 30 while Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China will hang around until October 15. As for the Xbox 360 offerings, the original Mirror’s Edge will be free to pick up until the end of September.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, 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.
What do you think of September’s lineup of free games for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Team 17]