Once again in December 2019, Xbox Live Games with Gold has returned to give away free games to those who join up with Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Gold of course being the premium paid tier of Xbox Live, which enables all the multiplayer and community features. Included in the admission price are also free games through this offer. Every once in a while, Microsoft will also throw discounts on digital games at Gold members. Gold members are getting four new free games in December. This month also includes hybrid titles that are available both on Xbox One and Xbox 360, if you’re still sitting in that last console generation.
Xbox’s Director of Programming Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb provided an update on what’s next for the free games segment in December 2019. This newest batch of free titles for Xbox Live Gold members is sure to illicit some feelings of nostalgia for gamers, as the Jurassic World, Toy Story, and Castlevania franchises are all represented in the latest bundle.
Dec. 1-31: Insane Robots (Xbox One)
This rather surprisingly intense robot dueling title is an interesting one. As if the premise of two robotic foes blasting each other to bits wasn’t appealing enough, this title also has a rather deep singleplayer story mode that can easily eat up 10 to 20 hours of your life. Insane Robots blends some creative problem-solving mechanics with a basic premise to create quite the compelling game. A fine indie addition to the pile this month.
Dec. 16-Jan. 15- Jurassic World: Evolution (Xbox One)
The continuation of the legendary Jurassic Park franchise, at least in video game form, is a great one worthy of the waning film franchise. Hearkening back to the foundations of wonder and scientific curiosity that made the original film so great, Jurassic World: Evolution managed to recapture that feeling of awe that many gamers wanted out of theme park sim filled with murderous giant aviary. Jurassic World: Evolution blends just enough of the heavily refined theme park sim that Frontier Developments has perfected over the years, with enough bloodshed via dino that fans loved it. And now you get a crack at the console port if you’re in on Xbox Live Gold.
Dec. 1-15: Toy Story 3 (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
If you ever wanted to return to a classic movie franchise that shaped your childhood, games were a great way to do that. For many Millennials, that classic franchise was Pixar’s Toy Story, a series of films all about growing up, but never letting go of that child-like curiosity and wonder. And starting next month, you can return to the best send-off any classic kid’s film series ever got, Toy Story 3. Before there was Disney Infinity, there was Avalanche Software’s Toy Story 3, which features two games in one. Travel with Woody, the singleplayer component which basically retells the story of the film. There was also the Toy Box mode where players could take on challenge maps and build them at the same time, Little Big Planet style.
Dec. 16-31: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
The final hybrid title for the month is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate. This 2012 spin-off from the iconic and genre-defining Castlevania series follows the splinters of the Belmont family as they once again battle a ghoulish legacy. A typical side-scroller, you will take on various enemies in the hunt for powerful new weapons and abilities, while also hunting various extremely difficult bosses. There’s also plenty of puzzle-solving in this game.