It’s the end of an era. After over 20 years, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service is ending, to be replaced with Game Pass Core. That also means the monthly Games with Gold promotion is ending.
The Xbox Live Gold games are now live, with two games available to download on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One for subscribers. One of them is a hidden racing game gem that deserves more recognition.
Inertial Drift free to download on Xbox Games for Gold
From 1-31 August, indie arcade racer Inertial Drift is free to download on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S for Gold subscribers. If you missed it when it was first released in 2020, you missed out on a hidden racing game gem.
Inertial Drift is a vibrant arcade racer by Belfast-based indie studio Level 91 Entertainment. What makes it stand out is its unique dual drifting controls.
Inertial Drift has you steer with the left analogue stick while using the right stick to adjust your drift angle. It feels unnatural at first, but it soon becomes second nature. Each car also has distinct handling, requiring you to master the controls. Learning the intricacies of each car is satisfying.
Once you’ve mastered the controls, timing a drift just right and sliding around twisty mountain roads is thrilling and addictive.
Combined with its stylish cel-shaded graphics and an original, toe-tapping Eurobeat soundtrack, Inertial Drift is one of the most original and underrated arcade racers in ages. It fills the void of a new Ridge Racer.
After the initial 2020 release, Level 91 Entertainment followed it up with an enhanced version in 2022 called Inertial Drift: Twilight Rivals Edition. This new version includes four new cars, a new story campaign, four demanding tracks, and new music tracks.
The original game is included in the Xbox Games with Gold August 2023 lineup, but you can buy the Twilight Rivals Pack DLC separately.
3D platformer Blue Fire joins Inertial Drift in the last-ever Xbox Games With Gold lineup. With no triple-A games in the lineup, Games with Gold is going out with a whimper rather than a bang. But don’t let that put you off - Inertial Drift is well worth taking for a spin.
Xbox Game Pass Core set to replace Xbox Live Gold in September
Going forward, Xbox Game Pass Core will replace Xbox Live Gold from 14 September. Existing Live Gold members will automatically transfer to the new service, which will cost £6.99 / $9.99 a month or £49.99 / $59.99 per year.
At launch, players can access 25 Game Pass games on Xbox Game Pass Core at no extra cost including Forza Horizon 4, Fallout 4, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
Xbox 360 titles claimed on Games with Gold will stay in the console’s library, while any claimed Xbox One games will remain as long as you continue subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft will add more games to Xbox Game Pass Core two-three times a year rather than monthly.
If you're already subscribed, check out our picks for the best racing games on Xbox Game Pass.
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