Microsoft revealed the January Games with Gold titles for the Xbox One early thanks to the Christmas and New Year holidays. January kicks off the New Year with a mix of action titles featuring Van Helsing, Lara Croft, zombies, and an Army of Two.
The year 2018 starts with The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III becoming available for free for Xbox One owners on January 1 through the end of the month. It will be joined by the original Lara Croft’s last adventure on the Xbox 360 in Tomb Raider Underworld before her big reboot. The backward compatible title will only be free until January 15.
A pair of new titles will become free on January 16. Ubisoft’s Wii U port, Zombi, will be available to download at no cost through February 15. It will be partnered with the Xbox 360 co-op shooter, Army of Two, which will be available through the end of January.
As a reminder, some of the free Xbox One and Xbox 360 free games from December are still available. Telltale’s Back to the Future: The Game will be available until January 15 while Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death will only be free until December 31.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III
The third and final installment in NeocoreGames’ Van Helsing franchise returns players to Borgovia in the action role-playing game. The franchise has never been of AAA-quality but has plenty to offer those looking for something different. The PC version received a 64 aggregate review score on Metacritic as reviewers found it to be the weakest entry in the trilogy.
Tomb Raider Underworld
Crystal Dynamic attempted to take the Tomb Raider franchise back to its roots with Legends and its follow-up, Tomb Raider Underworld. The follow-up didn’t reach the level of expectations in terms of sales and reception, which led to the 2013 reboot. The 76 Metacritic score showed it wasn’t a terrible entry as much as the franchise had stagnated at the time.
Originally appearing on the Wii U, Ubisoft’s Zombi eventually found its way to the Xbox One. The survival horror title challenged players with only one life to live per character. Oddly, it appeared to be missing something without the Wii U Gamepad, and the dated graphics plus other minor issues resulted in a 72 Metacritic score.
Army of Two
This co-op Xbox 360 shooter had a love/hate relationship with gamers when it was released in 2008. Army of Two provided a solid shooter with some interesting co-op mechanics, but an uneven campaign and some ludicrous characters resulted in a 72 Metacritic score.