Microsoft have announced the free Games with Gold for October, with the usual line up of two Xbox One games and a pair of backward compatible titles. Can they throw some more interesting games into the mix this month?
Well, yes and no. I hope you weren’t expecting any big AAA blockbusters, but there’s some good spookiness being thrown into the mix for Halloween.
Here’s the four games:
- Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut – 1st to 31st October
- Maid of Sker – 16th October to 15th November
- Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (Xbox BC) – 1st to 15th October
- Costume Quest (Xbox 360 BC) – 16th to 31st October
Of the lot, Maid of Sker and Costume Quest are the two main highlights.
We awarded Maid of Sker a creditable 7/10 when it launched back in July, with Steve saying:
“Maid of Sker is a great addition to the survival horror genre and offers a wonderfully intimate and local threat that takes its influences from Welsh folktales. Eschewing the combat and weaponry of many entries into the genre, its gameplay loop of sneaking and hiding proves compelling and successfully manages to keep you feeling in danger at all times. When you add in some excellent sound design and atmosphere you have a Victorian horror that deserves a rousing reception. There may not be a welcome in these valleys but this is one vacation that genre fans should have no reservations about taking.”
Meanwhile, Costume Quest is a bit of a cult classic from Double Fine, who are obvious a Microsoft-owned studio these days, and we’ve not got much of a clue about Slayaway or Sphinx from the original Xbox.
Four Halloween-themed games makes sense, but the last 6-12 months of Games with Gold have definitely felt a little lacklustre. It seems pretty clear that Microsoft are focussing much more on Xbox Game Pass and stuffing that subscription service with more free games – though don’t forget you do have Xbox Live Gold bundled into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The recent announcement of the acquisition of Bethesda and all its studios was quickly followed by the reveal that Doom Eternal would be added to the Game Pass library on 1st October, and with the announcement that Brutal Legend and Forza Motorsport 7 will follow on 8th October, it’s a much more attractive proposition.
Don’t forget that you can still pick up some of September’s games, if you’re quick:
- Tom Clancy’s The Division – until 30th September
- The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 – until 15th October
- Armed and Dangerous – until 30th September