Microsoft says it’ll let each and every Xbox One owner download and play Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive absolutely free for one day only.
Microsoft announced free downloads of Sunset Overdrive on its MajorNelson blog today. From midnight Saturday, November 22nd until Midnight Sunday, November 23rd, all Xbox one owners will be able to play the single player and online co-operative multiplayer.
Microsoft isn’t completely giving the game away for free, on Sunday the game will stop working unless users choose to purchase it. Luckily, if they do decide to pick up Sunset Overdrive, their game saves will still work on the full copy they purchase – whether it’s digital or on a disc. Microsoft says during the free Sunset Overdrive promotion users will earn achievements just as if they’d purchased the game fully. Of course, those will also carry over to the final version of the game if they decide to purchase it.
Sunset Overdrive costs $60 in the Xbox Store. That’s the same price that it cost when it debuted on the Xbox One earlier this year. The game is completely exclusive to Microsoft’s current console. Not even the Xbox 360 has a version of Sunset Overdrive. Microsoft bundled the game with a bright white special edition console and controller initially, but those have now sold out, according to Microsoft.
If Sunset Overdrive had a list of core features on its cover they’d consist of an amazingly funny story, whacky sense of humor, lots of character customization, fun weapons and sandbox combat. Players in the game build their own character and then take on the zombies of Sunset City. The game hints at all of the zombies in Sunset City being the result of a single brand of soft drinks. The entire game features a sort of Sonic-like quick movement mechanic. Beyond the story, there’s a ton of co-operative multiplayer missions in the game’s Chaos Squad mode. Unfortunately, users will need to play through some of the story to unlock that mode and 24 hours isn’t a lot of time to do that in.
Microsoft says Insomniac games will follow up the free temporary game download with new weapons in a video stream on their Twitch channel on Monday. That’s not why it’s letting users play the game for free this weekend though.
Sunset Overdrive is free to play this Saturday because November 22nd, marks a year since Microsoft launched the Xbox One console. Back in September Microsoft held one of its first Xbox Live Gold Free Weekends for Xbox One and unlocked Forza Motorsport 5 for everyone.
In addition to letting users play Sunset Overdrive free for one day only, Microsoft has other things planned too. The Atari documentary that its Xbox Entertainment Studios produced before being shut down earlier this year is available for everyone to stream free of charge as well. Microsoft is also marking the occasion by sending out prizes to fans who have enabled marketing emails on their Xbox Live accounts. Prizes include in-game cash for Grand Theft Auto V, and free Xbox One Sunset Overdrive and Xbox One Call of Duty bundles. Microsoft says who gets what is completely random. On the other hand, everyone is getting a free profile picture, background and achievement depending on when they purchased their console, according to another post at MajorNelson.
It started out as a very tough year for the Xbox One. Originally, the console came with a Kinect 2 sensor and cost $499. Users who wanted to use its entertainment features and play games online had to purchase an Xbox Live subscription. Sales were modest and so Microsoft moved quickly to shake things up. The Kinect 2 sensor isn’t included in the new $399 version of the Xbox One, though users can purchase the $499 bundle with it or buy it separately for $199. Most Xbox One consoles now come with a free game of some kind. Xbox Live isn’t required for the console’s entertainment apps and features anymore either.