September’s Games with Gold have been announced: Forza 5 GOTY Edition, Oxenfree, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and Battlefield 3. Our own Christine Mitchel had this to say about Oxenfree:
Oxenfree hit the Xbox One store January 15, 2016, and for me is the one game I keep going back to. It’s a point and click style adventure game, about a group of friends who visit a deserted military island for an overnight beach party. Like all good sleepovers, the chat soon turns to the supernatural and the crew go off to explore the nearby caves, where it is rumored certain radio frequencies can cause supernatural events. Whilst there are puzzles to solve, the main draw is the story and conversation choices you can make throughout. I won’t give away any spoilers, but things get genuinely spooky with plenty of mystery and multiple endings for players to explore. The dialogue is smart and snappy and is sure to strike a chord with millennials. Imagine if Donnie Darko and Stranger Things hooked up with Mean Girls. It’s also got one of the best soundtracks on any game. In fact, I’m off to go and listen to it right now.
The GOTY Edition of Forza is a nice touch. However, Forza 7 will be releasing this Fall. And most fans of the franchise likely have already grabbed Forza 6. For those who haven’t given the simulation racer a chance perhaps this is what convinces them to take the plunge with 7. It’s smart marketing on Microsoft’s part.
Hydro Thunder is a decent XBLA racing game on Xbox 360, albeit rather dated at this point. Battlefield 3 is a decent pickup and will likely appeal to fans of that franchise looking to go back and re-enjoy the game on Xbox One.
For me, this is one of the weaker months of Games with Gold in recent memory. But I tend to seek out unique experiences that I wouldn’t buy vs. rehashing old versions of popular franchises. Oxenfree saves this month for me by putting a fascinating game into the hands of many people who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it.