First Free Game for Xbox Gold Announced
The first game for subscribers to Xbox’s Gold has been announced, and it is not what many were expecting. Defense Grid: The Awakening is a tower defense game originally released in 2009 for Xbox Live (after it saw initial release on the PC). At last month’s E3, alongside the unveiling of the newer, slimmer Xbox 360 model, said to be replacing older models of the console (which have been discontinued) Games for Gold is to function very similar to the free games given out to subscribers of PlayStation Plus. In the case of the Xbox, there will be two new free games released each month – one on the 1st, and one on the 16th – and gamers will be able to play and keep the games forever, regardless of whether or they remained subscribed to Xbox Gold. The program is intended to run through the end of the year.
While Defense Grid: The Awakening is a great game in its own right, it probably isn’t the kind fans were hoping to see, especially right off the bat. There has been some confusion (and disappointment) for fans, who were promised titles like Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3 when the service was announced. Based on the twitter account of Microsoft’s Agent Nelson, who clarifies that while both will be a part of the program, a release date has not yet been set for either game, fans are likely expressing their displeasure. And given the promise of triple A titles, to see a smaller game as the first on the roster has been, to say the least, a surprise.
Defense Grid: The Awakening was developed by Hidden Path, released for Windows, XBLA, and eventually the Mac OS X as well. It received solid critical reviews, and an admirable 81% on Metacritic. It will be available for free download to Gold subscribers through July 15.