Surprise! Remastered ‘Phantom Dust’ is free on Xbox One and PC

The Xbox One has been light on exclusives in 2017, but it just added one more to its library — sort of. Card-battling action game Phantom Dust re-releases on Tuesday on both Xbox One and PC, and it’s absolutely free.

Head of Xbox Games marketing Aaron Greenberg made the announcement on his Twitter account, and he subsequently confirmed to a fan that the game will be a part of Xbox Play Anywhere. This will allow you to save your progress on the Xbox One version of the game and then pick up where you left off on PC, and vice versa.

Phantom Dust originally released as an Xbox exclusive back in 2005, and it was praised by critics for its unique combat mechanics, visuals, and soundtrack. The HD remake features a 16:9 display with 1080p resolution on Xbox One and up to 4K on PC. More data for the game’s cards is also stored on Microsoft’s servers to allow for quicker updates, which should help to keep the multiplayer community more active and engaged.

The remastered original game is still a small consolation prize to players hoping for a full-fledged reboot. Microsoft had previously announced an all new Phantom Dust complete with a flashy CG trailer (you can see it above) but this project was eventually shelved and its developer, Darkside Games, was shut down. At the time, an alleged ex-developer sent Kotaku a video that showed off a near-final chunk of the game’s multiplayer mode. The developer added that the game also made heavy use of environmental destruction, though this isn’t featured heavily in the leaked video.

Phantom Dust will be free today on both Xbox One and Windows 10. We’re still hoping Microsoft will deliver the Blinx: The Time Sweeper HD remake that everyone has been asking for, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

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