Though the second half of 2013 was a PR nightmare for Microsoft and the Xbox One's original incarnation is still fresh in gamers' minds, Microsoft did manage to bring one very consumer-friendly feature to Xbox Live subscribers this year. The new Xbox "Games With Gold" program brought to Xbox Live users an answer to the free games that Sony has been giving away with PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
Halo 3, Assassin's Creed II, and a few games from earlier in the last console generation have all been given away for Xbox Live users now. Though gamers have complained that the selection of games given away so far hasn't matched the quality of Sony's PlayStation Plus freebies, it now appears that Microsoft is getting serious about adding value to its Xbox Live subscriptions.
Microsoft today announced that both Sleeping Dogs and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for the Xbox 360 will be free for Xbox Live subscribers in January.
Sleeping Dogs was a surprise hit when it was released in 2012. The game features open-world gameplay in the streets of a fictional Hong Kong and a story that fits neatly into the Hong Kong cop movies of old.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a love-it-or-hate-it downloadable title that is a spinoff to the Tomb Raider series. The 2010 title differed significantly from past Tomb Raider titles in both its gameplay and multiplayer co-op emphasis.
Sleeping Dogs will be available for free to Xbox Live users starting January 1 and will stay free to download until January 15. Lara Croft will then become the free title from January 16 until the end of the month.