If, like me, you’ve been holding off buying games because of the imminent console generation leap but still find yourself perusing the shiny things in the store, September’s Games with Gold are here to rescue your wallet. The lovely folks at Microsoft have 4 games available for download covering current-gen, 360 era and first-gen Xbox over the course of the next four weeks.
Like Playstation Plus, you can add titles to your library to play later but they will only be accessible with an active Gold or Gamepass Ultimate membership. Unlike PS Plus, Gold freebies tend to swap in and out during the course of the month, so be sure to grab them all before they’re gone! (Last month’s Override: Mech City Brawl is still available until September 16.)
Much has been made of Ubisoft’s MMO third-person looter-shooter’s broken launch but for those that stuck with The Division, the game became something of a comeback kid ahead Division 2‘s release, with huge quality-of-life improvements and end game mechanics rounding out the title. After a vicious virus makes New York ground zero for a global pandemic (sound familiar?), you and your fellow Strategic Homeland Division sleeper agents must restore the infrastructure to a snowy, ridiculously detailed recreation of Manhattan, as well as quell gang-faction uprisings and investigate the virus origins. Complete the extensive campaign alone or online with friends, upgrading your weapons, gear and gadgets to create a super agent that can tackle the escalating difficulty of the end game. If you get tired of the smarter-than-usual AI, take to the mean PvP streets of the shadowy Dark Zone, where even fellow agents can’t be trusted to watch your back.
The Division is available from September 1 – 30.
DE BLOB 2
Stepping back a generation to the Xbox 360, the next free game is De Blob 2, a colourful platform puzzler that branched out to other consoles following the successful prequel launching on the Wii. Blob and the Colour Underground must defeat the monochrome forces of the evil Comrade Black and the INKT Corporation, who plan to drain the colour from Prisma City and reduce its cartoon inhabitants to dull drones. Like the previous games players control Blob, splatting themselves on every available to restore the vibrancy of each area, taking on huge bosses and fulfilling challenges set by the Colour Underground. The sequel also features co-op, allowing a second player to control Pinky and help Blob in his quest.
De Blob 2 is available from September 1 – 15.
THE BOOK OF UNWRITTEN TALES 2
Returning to the Xbox One, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is an irreverent fantasy adventure that hearkens back to the point-and-click classics of yesteryear, reuniting the cast of the original game – an egocentric human called Nate, a furry beast known simply as ‘The Critter’, novice gnome mage Wilbur and Ivo, a pregnant elven princess – to solve the mystery of a malevolent force that is transforming beasts into puppies and castles into dollhouses (amongst other cuddly things) in the land of Aventasia. Meticulous in its recreation of games like The Curse of Monkey Island, TBoUT features full voice-acting throughout, a lush orchestral score, beautiful graphics and confirmation that there’s life in the old genre yet.
The Book of Unwritten Tales is available from September 16 – October 15.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS
This month’s classic OG Xbox title to add to your collection is Armed and Dangerous, a third-person action-shooter with a humorous bent that takes time out to parody properties as diverse as Star Wars to Monty Python. While Playstation players have been able to turn to the Ratchet & Clank series for their outrageous arsenal needs, original Xbox devs Planet Moon Studios created their own IP to let players’ violent imaginations run wild. From guns that reverse gravity to gas grenades that turn foes against other to a gun that fires baby sharks that swim through the ground and attack unsuspecting enemies, this game has you covered for humour, excitement and creative murder.
Armed and Dangerous is available from September 16 – 30.
That’s another month’s worth of eclectic gaming to occupy your well-worn mits busy while you wait (the longest wait!) for the monster Series X and S to release. Keep them peeled here for October’s freebies while we inch that much closer to the birth of the ninth console generation.