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Sleeping Dogs

Before 2016 concludes and 2017 gets underway, Microsoft is offering gamers one last chance to get their hands on several free games as a way to round out the month and the year. Not only that but there are also some sweet deals and discounts available too.

Gamespot posted up a reminder that the Xbox 360 horror game, Outlast, is still available for free as part of Microsoft's Games With Gold for the month of December. They've already outlined the games they have available for January, but you can still get your hands on the games available in December, and Outlast is one of them. The horror title sees players investigating an asylum while trying to avoid certain death and deranged inmates trying to do unspeakable things to you. The game won plenty of awards and helped put Red Barrels on the map as a legitimate developer working on serious games. Due to the fact that the game is backwards compatible with the Xbox One, it means that you can download it to your profile for the Xbox 360 but play it on your Xbox One. The game will be available for free up until January 15th.

But it's not just horror games available to Xbox Live subscribers. The classic racing title Burnout Paradise is also still available for free. The game can be picked up right now up until January 1st, so you'll have to act fast. The game originally launched for the Xbox 360 as an open-world MMO hybrid, combining the awesome shunt-and-bump racing elements from the previous Burnout games with a Need For Speed World-esque open world map featuring various districts, events and opportunities for players to show off their skills. You'll have to work fast because you only have until the end of today to get the game for free.

The last free title on the list is one of my all-time favorite games, the open-world, action-crime thriller Sleeping Dogs from the now defunct United Front Games. The game puts players in the role of undercover cop Wei Shen, as he attempts to take down the Triads from the inside. The game is really, really fun. The driving is a bit arcady, but you can pull off some neat action stunts- such as jumping from one car to the next, using DLC costumes from other Square Enix-published games such as Hitman, Just Cause and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as well as engage in some back-alley brawls, some John Woo-inspired shootouts and some Fast & Furious racing. It's also one of the few games where it's an open-world taking place outside of America.

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United Front Games put a lot of time and effort into bringing Hong Kong to life, as well as the different districts that add flavor and color to the robustly energetic city. It's a real shame that things didn't work out with United Front Games because a right proper Sleeping Dogs sequel would have been absolute fire. It was one of the new IPs that actually came out of the box and practically did everything right the first time around. A bigger city, with more vehicles, more mini-games and more customization and combat mechanics for Wei would have easily made it a good top contender to go head-to-head against Grand Theft Auto.

Anyway, you only have until the end of the day to get Sleeping Dogs for free, so work fast!