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Here's what to expect from October's free video games
War prepares for battle against a troll in "Darksiders Warmastered Edition." - photo by Gunfire Games, THQ Nordic

Each month, Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus and Twitch Prime members receive a selection of free games alongside online multiplayer access. Each platform usually offers its users a completely different crop of games for $59.99 a year, per program.

Xbox owners can expect to receive up to four games for Xbox One and Xbox 360 through the Games With Gold Program, and PlayStation fans are offered up to six titles for PlayStation 3, 4, Vita and VR. Amazon and the popular streaming platform Twitch also offer up to five free PC games for Prime subscribers.

Here’s a quick look at this month's offerings, including the description, critical score, and ESRB rating of each title, as well as important information for parents regarding mature titles.

PlayStation Plus

PS Plus games are made available on the first Tuesday of every month and can be downloaded for free until the first Tuesday of the following month. Anything obtained through PS Plus will become inaccessible if your membership expires, but your free games will be waiting for you if you subscribe again.

Additionally, “Knowledge is Power,” a PlayLink party trivia game controlled through smartphones, will be available for free through Nov. 6. Fans of online survival shooter “H1Z1” can also download the PlayStation Plus Blueshift Pack, which includes an in-game gun schematic, hoodie and vehicle.

Friday the 13th: The Game

Platform: PS4

Metacritic Score: 61

ESRB Rating: M for strong language, blood and gore, intense violence and suggestive themes

What Parents Should Know: “Friday the 13th: The Game” is a four-versus-one multiplayer game based on the “Friday the 13th” film series. Four players, as camp counselors, are challenged with escaping a 1980s-era Camp Crystal Lake while avoiding a player-controlled, ax-wielding Jason Voorhees.

The game includes infrequent cursing, including the f- and s-words, as well as dialogue that can be frightening to some players. Various loading screens also include silhouettes of a female character skinny-dipping.

While in-game violence is infrequent, it can be bloody and brutal. Jason possesses several abilities that can be visually frightening, including a teleport and a violent execution move. Players can also summon a more powerful counselor to defeat Jason with a shotgun.

Laser League

Platform: PS4

Metacritic Score: 82

ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence

“Laser League” is a multiplayer sci-fi sports game featuring simple controls and an emphasis on fast reflexes. Players can use a variety of abilities, powers and laser types as they work together to take control of the arena and defeat opposing teams.

Master Reboot

Platform: PS3

Metacritic Score: 62

ESRB Rating: T for violence

“Master Reboot” is a first-person psychological horror puzzle game. Descend into madness as Madison, an investigator who explores the memories of the dead using the Soul Cloud, a mysterious computer program. Using repetitive iconography within the environments, players will investigate Kali, a subject who died under mysterious circumstances.

The Bridge

Platform: PS3, PS4, PS Vita

Metacritic Score: 74

ESRB Rating: E

“The Bridge” is a 2D sidescrolling puzzle game challenging players to manipulate optical illusions within the environment using physics and gravity. Using tilt controls and in-game interactions, players can navigate M.C. Escher-inspired worlds to find the exit.

Xbox Games With Gold

Microsoft’s free games are usually divided across both Xbox consoles, with two titles featured for Xbox One, and an additional two for Xbox 360. It’s important to note Xbox One owners can also download the Xbox 360 titles, thanks to backward compatibility. Any games downloaded as an Xbox Live Gold subscriber will stay in your digital library, even if your subscription lapses.

Note: “Livelock” for Xbox One will continue to be available for free until Oct. 15.


Platform: Xbox One

Date Available: Oct. 1-30

Metacritic Score: 80

ESRB Rating: E

“Overcooked!” challenges up to four players with completing complicated recipes within a time limit while enduring stressful situations and changing kitchen layouts. The game features up to 28 kitchens — complete with crosswalks, icebergs and runaway trucks — and competitive game modes, all emphasizing efficiency and teamwork.

Victor Vran

Platform: Xbox One

Date Available: Oct. 16-Nov. 15

Metacritic Score: 79

ESRB Rating: M for blood, partial nudity, strong lyrics and violence

What Parents Should Know: “Victor Vran” is a top-down action RPG featuring Victor Vran, a demon hunter. Using a wide variety of arcane skills and weapons, players defeat demons and other supernatural monsters as they explore a cursed Gothic city, Zaragovia.

The game features light blood whenever enemies are defeated, and some monsters appear to be nude with no identifying details. The game also includes an expansion featuring heavy metal music from Motörhead, which includes some swearing.

Stuntman: Ignition

Platform: Xbox 360

Date Available: Oct. 1-15

Metacritic Score: 75

ESRB Rating: T for violence

As a Hollywood stuntman, players can create movie magic and increase their reputation by completing death-defying stunts.”Stuntman: Ignition” features over 30 levels, 25 cars and online leaderboards and competitions.

Hitman: Blood Money

Platform: Xbox 360

Date Available: Oct. 16-30

Metacritic Score: 82

ESRB Rating: M for violence

What Parents Should Know: “Hitman: Blood Money” is an action-adventure game featuring Agent 47, a skilled assassin and master of disguise. Players can explore each open level to uncover a variety of assassination methods and secrets to attain high scores.

Graphic violence is present in the game, but its prominence is usually up to the player. Players can use a variety of weapons to attack innocent people and enemy guards, but the game encourages stealth and eliminating only the target.

“Hitman” also features infrequent uses of the f-word and some drug use as well as some themes that could be frightening to younger players.

After Agent 47’s contract agency is disassembled by a rival organization, the experienced assassin goes freelance, taking money to carry out a variety of hits as he uncovers his enemies’ secret plans. Each level can be approached from any angle, resulting in a highly replayable action-stealth experience.

Twitch Prime

Twitch usually offers five free PC games on the first of the month for Amazon/Twitch Prime subscribers. While the free games aren’t available on Mac, Windows users can access their games through the free Twitch Desktop App. To redeem the free games, log into Twitch, click on the crown in the top right corner, and claim the free game offer.

Amazon Prime subscribers should also note several changes to the service. Instead of a 20 percent preorder discount on video game preorders, Amazon is now offering a $10 credit for select preorders. Twitch Prime will also no longer offer ad-free viewing — a service now locked behind Twitch Turbo, which costs $8.99 a month. No changes have been announced for Twitch’s free games initiative.

‘Darksiders: Warmastered Edition’

Metacritic Score: 81

ESRB Rating: M for blood and gore, intense violence and suggestive themes

What Parents Should Know: “Darksiders” is an action-adventure game featuring an apocalyptic Earth in a cartoonish style. Players take control of a horseman of the apocalypse as he fights demons, monsters and angels. The game features light blood and swordplay as well as a few monsters that may frighten younger children.

“Darksiders: Warmastered Edition” stars War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. After accidentally triggering the end of the world and a war between heaven and hell, War is challenged with exploring a post-apocalyptic Earth to clear his name.


Metacritic Score: 84

ESRB Rating: M for violence, blood, nudity and strong language

What Parents Should Know: “SOMA” is a science fiction horror game featuring a disturbing atmosphere and some frightening monsters. The game features some brutal, violent scenes with lots of blood, and naked corpses and monsters can be found connected to complicated machinery throughout the game. Some swearing is also present throughout the game, including the f-word.

Additionally, many of the game’s monster encounters and frightening moments can be disabled, allowing players to experience the game’s story without combat encounters.

Following a devastating car accident, Simon Jarrett finds himself in a dilapidated underwater medical facility. As Jarrett, players must explore the dark, dangerous facility while avoiding hostile scientists.


Metacritic Score: 83

ESRB Rating: N/A

“Sanitarium” is a top-down point-and-click adventure game featuring psychological horror elements. After waking from a coma, players will find themselves trapped within an abandoned sanitarium. As players explore the environment, they’ll be teleported to various locations like a town dominated by aliens and an Aztec village.

‘System Shock’

Metacritic Score: 85

ESRB Rating: N/A

“System Shock” is a classic sci-fi horror game set on a dilapidated space station. After waking from cryogenic sleep, players must avoid mutants, robots and cyborgs as they attempt to shut down the station’s rogue AI, SHODAN. According to Common Sense Media, the game, which features some unrealistic violence, is appropriate for gamers 13 and up.

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