Microsoft’s popular Games with Gold program for the Xbox 360 has been a popular if slightly controversial program. Each month, Xbox Live Gold subscribers receive two free downloadable Xbox 360 games to keep forever. On the other hand, the games have largely been several years old, prompting negative comparisons with Sony’s Playstation Plus program and its much larger and newer assortment of free Playstation 3 games (which players can’t keep if their subscriptions lapse).
This month’s Games with Gold include a new…ish Xbox Live Arcade game and a fairly old retail release that still holds some appeal. First up, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes from Ubisoft is free for the first half of the month, starting today. From October 16-31, Microsoft’s own Halo 3 (one of the first Games with Gold announced back in June) will finally be free.
Details and download links after the break!
Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – Free from October 1-15
Xbox 360 – 1.4 GB – Xbox.com Store Link
Before they made the popular Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP for iOS and PC or the upcoming Below for Xbox One, Capybara Games developed Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes for Xbox 360 (and later iOS). Not to be confused with the popular strategy game Clash of Clans, this one is a puzzle RPG set in the Might and Magic world.
As you move across the map and experience the fantasy story, you’ll encounter enemies and begin fast-paced puzzle battles. Attacking enemies does involve matching three of the same units, but Might and Magic: CoH’s battles are much more strategic than Puzzle Quest’s. Both sides build little armies and construct formations to attack or defend during their turns.
Clash of Heroes also features 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 local and online multiplayer battles. Here’s a guide to the multiplayer Achievements.
Halo 3 – Free from October 16-31
Xbox 360 – 5.7 GB – Xbox.com Store Link
Halo 3 was the first entry in the popular series of science fiction-themed first-person shooters for the Xbox 360, released all the way back in 2007. The game’s plot involves the alien Covenant race’s attack on earth, the end of the Human-Covenant War, and the final confrontation with the vicious Flood parasites. An exciting setup, though the plot itself jumps around too much to tell an effective story.
The third Halo introduced several series mainstays - most notably 4-player online co-op (2-player split-screen is still supported). Cooperative play goes a long way towards alleviating the problems with level design which still persisted at this point in the series. The Forge mode first appeared here as well, allowing players to customize maps and share them online. And of course, the mainstay 16-player online competitive multiplayer is on hand.
Halo 3 has since been superseded by two proper sequels, Halo: Reach and Halo 4. But players who haven’t tried the series yet will finally have the proper excuse thanks to the Games with Gold program. I expect the multiplayer community should be reinvigorated, so make sure you hop online and give it a try!