Posted August 29, 2015 by Peter in Deals

September: Games with Gold

Tomb Raider header logo
Tomb Raider header logo

A new month is coming, with summer coming to a close and new years of school and university opening up. And a new selection of games being available for free on the Xboxes (for those already paying for Gold membership, of course). And there is quite a variety in the selection this month…

The Deer God boxOn the Xbox One, last month’s How to Survive: Storm Warning will continue to be free until the middle of the month. From September 1st, The Deer God will also be available, a pixel art platformer-cum-puzzle exploration game. Placing you firmly in the hooves of a deer hunter reincarnated as his prey, your goal is to restore enough good karma for the Deer God to revive you in your human form. This is done as you run through the levels, avoiding harming innocent creatures, doing quests and solving simple puzzles… or perhaps you just want to run around the sublimely portrayed environments. While the game’s PC release got middling reviews, there is no escaping the quality of the visuals, which manage to straddle an old and new vibe with pixel art in 3D blocks, with a parallax scrolling background giving everything depth.

Tomb Raider Definitive boxFrom September 16th, Lara is back – the Xbox One edition of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot (which you may also have on the 360 from a couple of months ago). So it’s still the same story – an archaeological expedition running awry of bad guys, and graduate team member Lara Croft having to rebuild herself as a survivor and a killer. As the Definitive Edition, the game does have a few little perks over the initial release, mainly in improved graphics and included DLC. So while it may not be an unmissable step up from the 360 version, it is definitely the better version, and for the price – namely, nothing – there’s nothing to complain about for such a well received title.

Battlestations Pacific boxOver on the 360, from the beginning of September we’re turning the clock back – way, way back to 2009. Or 1942, depending on how you look at it. The month’s first free title is Battlestations: Pacific, a title pretty unambiguous about its setting of the World War 2 Pacific campaign. An action game with a layer of real-time strategy, you will find yourself flying against Japanese air and naval groups in the battles following Midway [which isn’t in this game; Battlestations: Pacific is a sequel to Battlestations: Midway, and… well, I think the name there might give you some clues]. However, if you want to take a different look at things, there is also a “What if..?” campaign, letting you fly for the Japanese after a hypothetical win for them at Midway instead.

Crysis 3 boxOn September 16th, this is then replaced as a freebie with Crysis 3, as you again take on the first person shooter role of Prophet in trying to fight… well, it seems like pretty much everybody. With New York, 2047, as your playground, you get to sneak or shoot through numerous situations, taking advantage of the more open environments over Crysis 2 to find your own approach. Going in guns blazing is always an option – naturally – and so is taking advantage of your nanosuit’s stealth functions; but the box art also drops some heavy hints of another approach, with the addition of a bow giving you a silent hunter option as well.

As a side note, take a look at the Crysis 3 box art there; now scroll back up and take a look at the Tomb Raider box art. Yeah, that’s pretty similar. I can only hope they’re both in training for the next Olympics, because that’s an archery contest I’d stay up to watch. My money’s on Lara, though.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.