Sunset Overdrive is free this Saturday for Xbox Live Gold members

You could potentially beat the game, and meet the coolest characters, if you marathon the game on Saturday.
You could potentially beat the game, and meet the coolest characters, if you marathon the game on Saturday.

One of the Xbox One’s best exclusives is free to play tomorrow.

Microsoft announced this morning that it is letting Xbox Live Gold subscribers download and try Sunset Overdrive without restrictions for a 24-hour period starting on Saturday. This is not a demo. It’s more like the full-game trials that publisher Electronic Arts has rolled out recently as part of its EA Access membership program. Starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern, Gold subscribers can hop on to their Xbox Ones and download the open-world action game (which I loved — read the review).

“This is the full game,” Xbox communication specialist Jeff Rubenstein wrote on the Xbox blog. “Players will earn achievements and be able to save how far they progress during that 24-hour span.”

On Sunday, at midnight, the game will lock up again. This is basically the gamer version of Cinderella. If you decide to purchase the game after the free-trial period, however, you’ll get to pick up right from where you left off.

“Sunset Overdrive’s eight-player cooperative multiplayer experience, Chaos Squad, will also be available for everyone tomorrow,” wrote Rubenstein.

This is the first time Microsoft has tried something like this, but it’s a promotion that is common on publisher Valve’s digital-distribution service Steam for PC games. That platform often hosts “free weekends” for Valve’s and third-party games to give players the chance to get hooked.

Sunset Overdrive did not get off to a great start at retail. It didn’t crack the top-10 best-selling games of October, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s potentially because it only had four days of sales during the month. It was also bundled for free with the new white Xbox One console, and the NPD does not track games included with hardware in its charts.

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