With the holiday season here, Microsoft has announced the January Games with Gold free games preview a bit earlier than normal. They have gotten into a bit of a pattern of only having one game on the Xbox One, with two for the Xbox 360, and this month is no different. 2014’s free games continued to show the huge library of excellent games available for the 360, with many quality titles made available for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, but the Xbox One, with its much smaller library as a newer console, did not enjoy the same caliber of games.

2015 looks to be off to a decent start. Personally I’m still hoping to see some of the bigger launch titles made available soon, since they are now being bundled with new systems or offered for steep discounts. Perhaps later in the year. For now, let us take a look at January’s Games with Gold offers.

Xbox One

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is a game I have been eyeing up as something that looks pretty interesting. You play the game as David Young, who is a private investigator, however your wire has been murdered. Access Games is the developer for this episodic detective story, and D4 was originally intended to be used with Kinect, but luckily controller support was added. Reviews have been mixed on D4, with some very high scores and some not so high scores. Metacritic has D4 as a 77 Metascore, and 7.2 User score. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die was released as a Xbox One exclusive in September 2014, and normally retails for $14.99.

“D4 is the brainchild of legendary Japanese designer Swery (real name: Hidetaka Suehiro), the mind behind the fantastic Deadly Premonition. You play David Young, a detective whose wife has been murdered. David suffers from a strange syndrome as a result of the murder: He can’t remember the past, but he can travel through time. He uses this ability to go back and find out the truth behind his wife’s death so he can try to prevent it. But, along the way, his bizarre powers get augmented (and sometimes impeded) by an equally bizarre cast of characters. The puzzles will leave you scratching your head (in a good way) for a while, but the story and unique cel-shaded graphics will keep you glued to the screen.”

Xbox 360

MX vs ATV Alive

The first game for the Xbox 360 is from THQ Digital Phoenix, and was originally launched in May 2011 on both the Xbox 360 and PS3. MX vs ATV Alive is the fourth title in the off-road racing series. Reviews were not overly high, with many citing the obvious promotion of DLC paid content, and only scored a 63 Metascore and 7.5 User Score on metacritic. MX vs ATV Alive will be available January 1st to 15th on the Xbox 360, and normally retails for $19.99.

“Own the competition as you wrestle for position with tightly contested racing in the fifth iteration of the MX vs ATV franchise. Feel the realism of the revolutionary real-world physics engine which has defined the racing genre. Live the sport as Alive captures the spectacle of motocross and the essence of competitive racing while providing the best riders and gear from the latest manufacturers.”

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

The biggest game available for January is the critically acclaimed action RPG The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Players assume the role of Geralt of Rivia, who is a witcher skilled in the destruction of monsters. The game is based on The Witcher fantasty novels, and has a great story and excellent gameplay. The Witcher 2 came in with an 88 Metascore and 8.4 User Score on metacritic, and is a game any RPG fan will want to check out. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be available January 16th to 31st and normally retails for $29.99.

“The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings features a thoroughly engrossing, mature storyline that defines a new standard for realistic,non-linear game narration. In addition to an epic story, the game features a complex combat system that uniquely combines deep tactical elements with dynamic action.”

We are still waiting for the big game to come to the Xbox One Games with Gold program, but D4 is at least a different type of game than we have seen for the last several months. The Xbox 360 has a big name title in the Witcher 2, and right in time to let people get through the second instalment before The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt arrives in May 2015.

Source: Xbox News

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  • just4U - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - link

    Hmm.. some harsh criticism.. anyway, I am a computer enthusiast and long time Anandtech reader and certainly don't mind articles like this popping up from time to time. The writers are active, vocal and receptive to the criticism and praise they receive I think and do their best to present us with a little bit of diversity that's relevant to the anandtech take on things.

    This is one of my stops each day so all I can really say is thanks guys for keeping me interested all these years. Hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.
    Reply
  • editorsorgtfo - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - link

    @Alarcard: I think you have it backwards. In my view it's more likely that they started doing these articles six months ago in order to make themselves a more attractive acquisition target as opposed to these articles draining resources which necessitated the acquisition. There may even have been some negotiations with Purch or other leads along the lines of Purch wanting them to add content like this before they considered a purchase.

    Regardless, i can't say i'm thrilled about these articles but it's not my call. Bottom line: if Anandtech transforms into the likes of THG i'll quit coming around, if not i'll stick around, and i doubt Anandtech really gives a damn either way at this point. They have new masters now.
    Reply
  • alacard - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - link

    That's a very good point. Back during negotiations i'm sure Anandtech was doing whatever it could to improve and expand its SEO rankings in order to improve its attractiveness/bargaining position.

    If you were to ask me what the best way to do that would be the first thing that would pop into my head would probably be 'games'. So here we are with games.

    THG is very highly ranked in SEO, they come up at the top or near the top of most tech searches. Given that, they can survive and thrive regardless of the quality of their content because people tend to click on the first link they see. So given that they can generate ad revenue regardless of quality, their quality has naturally gone to shit. I mean why spend money on creating great content when your SEO ranking ensures you make tons of money no matter what you publish?

    So THG has gone to hell, and Anandtech has just been purchased by the same company that sent them there. Oh, and now Anandtech has games too, because when someone searches google for games Anandtech wants to be in result list too.

    We've seen this movie before, we know how it ends. Best of luck Anandtech, i hope you can prove my cynicism wrong.
    Reply
  • BMNify - Sunday, December 28, 2014 - link

    @Alacard: Your cynicism? since when do we care for a troll's cynicism, GTFO !! Reply
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - link

    While that is a great story I can tell you outright that's not the case at all. I find this interesting, so I post about it. I do a post for both consoles. Feedback has been mixed but more positive than negative so I've kept at it. You'll likely not believe me but that is the case.

    Anyway I'm glad you are reading them and hope you have a great holiday season!
    Reply
  • BMNify - Sunday, December 28, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the article Brett, was looking at D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die but didn't buy it because decent number of games came out for Xbox One recently, so will be nice to finally add a good game to Xbox one games with gold collection. Reply

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