Microsoft has a proven track record for offering up great games on the Games with Gold program. These games not only highlight the immense breadth of titles available on Xbox, but also show the fantastic variety of experiences available for their platforms. In this tradition, I expect the April releases to showcase the strengths and variety of the Xbox brand and help pave the way for some great sequels slated to release this year.
Prediction: Syberia 1 or 2 (360 Back-Compat)
Reason: Syberia 3 set to release April 21st
The Syberia franchise is an adventure genre fan favorite. The original Syberia won multiple awards and a very favorable score of 82% on Metacritic when it came out in 2002. You play as Kate Walker, an American Lawyer sent to a remote French village to finalize the take over of a toy factory. The previous owner died, and you have to contact her brother in order to finish your mission. This leads young Kate across Central and Eastern Europe, to find the brother since only he can finalize the deal. When she finally finds him, he demands that she retrieve for him two artifacts….well you can imagine the rest. The long awaited 3rd installment is scheduled to be released April 21st, which makes these games good candidates for inclusion here.
Prediction: Prey (360 Back-Compat)
Reason: Prey set to release May 5th
With the impending release of a brand new Prey, perhaps they will finally bring the original Prey to GWG. I’d love to see it. That first game was weird as hell, but also really cool. The new one looks awesome as well, but seems totally different. It is still unclear how or if they are related. This one might not pan out as a GWG if the games are too different and they don’t want to confuse the market because the games have the same name.
Prediction: Shadow Warrior (XBOX One)
Reason: Shadow Warrior 2 set to release Q1 2017
Shadow Warrior is one of those games that serve a particular lizard-brain desire for violence and dirty humor. It is chasing the same crowd the Duke Nukem games appealed to, and as such it earned a fair bit of success. With the next game in the series set to release this year, it wouldn’t be surprising if they decided to have the first one on GWG just to entice those on the fence.
Prediction: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (XBOX One)
Reason: Middle-earth: Shadow of War set to release August 22nd
THIS ONE WOULD BE HUGE! Shadow of Mordor is a fantastic game! The nemesis system was a revolution in gaming, and it is insane that no one has ripped it off in the time between the first and second games! The fluidity of battle, and the level of badass you feel taking down Sauron’s underlings is fantastic, even today the graphics and gameplay hold up extremely well.
Prediction: South Park: The Stick of Truth (360 Back-Compat)
Reason: Middle-earth: South Park: Fractured But Whole set to release TBA 2017
The first South Park game in this series was a pleasant surprise as a fun and compelling RPG hosting all your favorite characters from the popular animated series. With the sequel coming out later this year, it would make sense for them to release the previous game in hopes it will boost sales for the second.