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With the beginning of April comes a new lineup of free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. As usual, two Xbox One games and two backwards compatible titles will be made available to download over the course of the month, and this month has a fairly strong selection to choose from.

Available for the whole month is “The Technomancer,” a sci-fi action-roleplaying game from the French studio Spiders. Taking place in a deteriorating Mars colony, players assume the role of the eponymous technomancer Zachariah on a journey that will decide the fate of the war-torn world. While “The Technomancer” garnered a mixed-reception upon its launch, it features a dynamic combat system, deep character customization, and a world that is built to accommodate multiple styles of play, making it an interesting title to check out for fans of the genre.

From April 16 up until May 15, “Outcast - Second Contact” will be made available to download. A ground-up remake of the 1999 cult-classic “Outcast,” this is a grand open-world adventure that grants players complete freedom in how they approach exploring and interacting with the alien world of Adelpha. With six different continents to explore, hundreds of questlines to complete and a vast arsenal of high-tech weapons to master, this is surely a title that will leave adventure fans satisfied for dozens of hours.

In terms of backwards compatible titles, this month has some serious heavy-hitters. From April 1 to 15, the original “Star Wars Battlefront II” will be free. Initially released in 2005, “Battlefront II” is a third-person shooter that allows players to take control of iconic soldiers, vehicles, and heroes from the first six “Star Wars” films across multiple gameplay modes. Whether you want to recreate the Battle of Hoth in Instant Action, take over the galaxy as your favorite faction in Galactic Conquest, or just duke it out with some of your friends in the absolute mayhem that is Hero Assault, this game offers a great variety of ways for “Star Wars” fans to experience the franchise however they want.

Finally, from April 16 to the end of the month, “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2” will be available to download. A part of Ubisoft’s “Tom Clancy’s” series of games, this is a tactical shooter that puts players in the boots of Captain Mitchell as he and his unit battle their way through a fictional civil war in modern Mexico. This game places a very strong emphasis on strategy, encouraging a slower and more thoughtful approach to combat as opposed to going in guns blazing. By using the innovative Crosscom 2.0 command interface, players are given an unprecedented amount of control over their squad, providing a level of strategic depth that is seldom seen in console third-person shooters.

April’s Games with Gold lineup is a strong one that’s sure to leave subscribers pleased. Microsoft is continuing to knock it out of the park with the quality and variety of their backwards compatible choices, and I think it is only a matter of time until classics like “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge” and “Jade Empire” make their way to the service.


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