It was just about 13 years ago that Phantom Dust made its debut in Japan, with a North American release following a year  later in 2005. The game combined elements of both third person shooter and card-based gameplay, allowing players to enter the arena via story mode or against three friends in multiplayer action. While the game never proved to be a smash hit, Xbox head Phil Spencer was always a fan of the “ahead of its time” title – which may explain why Phantom Dust is now being re-released today with its original assets for both Xbox One and PC, at absolutely no cost to gamers.

While the re-release of Phantom Dust was announced at E3 2016, its sudden Beyoncé Lemonade-esque release comes as quite a shock in an industry where trailers are often released months ahead of launch day. The news came courtesy of Microsoft’s General Manager of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, who stated that he was pleased to announce that the self-proclaimed fan favorite title would be returning. The game is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, with the re-release featuring support for both 1080P and 4K resolutions, and the now-common 16:9 display ratio.

Interested gamers can take a look at Phantom Dust via the trailer below:

The re-release comes almost three years after Microsoft had announced a complete remake of the original title in conjunction with Darkside Game Studios, a company that had recently helped produce Sunset Overdrive. While initial feedback about the game’s development was good, the studio quickly consumed its 5 million dollar budget before the title was ready. This resulted in the remake being formally canceled by Microsoft, an act that led to the complete closure and shuttering of Darkside. The series then laid dormant until a re-release was confirmed in 2016, with a vague promise of a release before E3 2017.

The complimentary price point isn’t a temporary thing, either: the re-released edition of Phantom Dust will be a permanently free title, though microtransactions in the form of multiplayer cards will be up for grabs within the game itself. For those worried about an injection of ‘pay to win’ mechanics in the 2004-based title, Microsoft says players who don’t purchase these cards won’t be penalized for not splashing the cash.

What do you think about Phantom Dust, Ranters? Was this title a good choice to bring back?

Phantom Dust originally launched on the original Xbox in 2004, and is now being re-released for both Xbox One and PC today.

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