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Roses are Red, Gamers are Gold: February’s Games with Gold are Here

One of the nice things about Games with Gold is that it gives Xbox gamers a chance to play – totally for free – not only the biggest titles, but also the awesome indie stuff that they might have missed. In February, Xbox Live Gold members get a mix of both. On Xbox One gamers will be able to play the excellent action-RPG/deck builder Hand of Fate and the slick, stealth-action title Styx: Master of Shadows. On Xbox 360, gamers get the brawling action of Sacred Citadel, and the classic third-person shooter Gears of War 2. All four titles are playable on Xbox One thanks to backward compatibility.

As usual, all games are only available for a limited time, as part of the ongoing Games with Gold program, so don’t let the post-holiday malaise slow you down. Get downloading!

* Hand of Fate ($19.99 ERP): Available from February 1-29 on Xbox One

* Styx: Master of Shadows ($29.99 ERP): Available from February 16-March 15 on Xbox One

* Sacred Citadel ($9.99 ERP): Available from February 1-15 on Xbox 360

* Gears of War 2 ($19.99 ERP): Available from February 16-29 on Xbox 360

Hand of Fate is, without a doubt, one of the most unique game designs you’ll ever come across. Combining deck-building, tarot cards, choose-your-own-adventure, brawling, and role-playing elements – along with a bizarre and memorable narrator/villain – the game manages to get just about every single one of its elements totally right, and it delivers an absolutely amazing experience. The sense of “just one more card…” permeates every gameplay session, and when you’re in the middle of a Hand of Fate game, you’ll find the hours just slipping away as you improve your character, and go again and again against the dealer.

For a more traditional gameplay experience, you’ve got Styx: Master of Shadows, in which you take on the role of the titular goblin Styx as he attempts to infiltrate the heavily fortified Tower of Akenash and steal the Heart of the World. In so doing, he discovers not only the hidden secrets of magic and the world he’s in, but also his own origins. Styx’s story compelling, and the gameplay keeps you engaged because of the hero’s varied abilities – including traditional stealth, invisibility, and an interesting cloning power that he can use to create a diversion or infiltrate an area with no risk to his own life. Puzzles are emergent in Styx, so no two games will be quite the same. Definitely a challenging and interesting experience for the cerebrally inclined.

For those who are more interested in just busting heads, however, the Xbox 360 offers two awesome Games with Gold titles in February. First off is Sacred Citadel, a brawler set in the medieval world of Sacred, in which swords and sorcery coexist in an ever-shifting landscape. With three-player cooperative combat, plenty of loot to collect, tons of enemies to take down, and four different characters to master, you get plenty of content to keep you hammering away with your friends for hours on end.

Or, if you’re looking for blockbuster action, Games with Gold is also giving you Gears of War 2. Heralded by as “…arguably the greatest action game ever created” when it was released, the second installment in the landmark third-person shooter series, Gears of War 2 puts you back in the heavily armored shoes of Marcus Fenix as he, Dom Santiago, and the other members of Delta Squad take the fight to the Locust army, battling their way into the depths of Sera to strike at the heart of the enemy. It’s just a few good soldiers against enormous odds – but if you feel like taking a break, you can always go online with Gears of War’s acclaimed cooperative multiplayer mode, Horde, or play a range of intense competitive multiplayer modes against players around the globe.

So, there you have it: February is the perfect time to check out all kinds of good games, completely free thanks to Games with Gold. Check out the full details on our Games with Gold program, and make sure you get in on the action while you can!

* Titles are available as free downloads for a limited time, for qualifying paid Xbox Live Gold members in all markets where Xbox Live is available. Some regions may offer different titles depending on market availability. See Major Nelson’s blog for additional details.