After spending a year as a timed Playstation exclusive, while being owned by Microsoft, Deathloop has finally arrived on the Xbox, giving a whole new group of people the chance to discover the genius of Arkane.
Gamepass is already one hell of a value proposition, which is exactly why people continue to debate whether it actually earns Microsoft any profit or if it’s an unsustainable model kept afloat by Microsoft’s vast cash reserves. Either way, for us gamers it is an almost absurd deal. And in that absurdity is even more insane value: The Hitman Trilogy, combining the World of Assassination trilogy from IO Interactive into one massive package boasting 20 levels with some of the best replay value around. Even if you just play around once or twice in a level you could easily spend a few hours in it, but if you’re like me that just isn’t enough and dozens upon dozens of hours later you might finally wrap up your career as Hitman.
Let’s take a meander down the ruined street of memories to a console generation where grey and brown were the predominant colours. The Xbox 360 had been out for a year and was doing well for itself, with several games managing to shift over a million copies. As for me, I was finally looking to move on from my ageing Playstation 2 and join the new generation of consoles with their shiny graphics. As a PS2 owner, the PS3 was naturally tempting – I was familiar with the games already, after all, but the price tag was pretty hefty. The Xbox 360 looked great, but nothing on it stood out to me. And then Epic Games and Microsoft revealed their new game, Gears of War, and suddenly the choice was obvious. It turned out to be a good choice because the Xbox 360 era was glorious.
The Avengers heading to Xbox Game Pass was probably, to steal a phrase from Thanos, inevitable. It sold okay but struggled to make its development budget back, and its reception was rather lukewarm. Hell, my own review was hardly a glowing recommendation. But now that it’s on Game Pass? Well, Marvel’s The Avengers becomes a more enticing prospect. It may have found its true home. Time to suit up.
It’d be easy to recommend jumping into DOOM Eternal, the 2020 sequel to the 2016 reboot that amps up the action to even more insane levels and complicates the gameplay mechanics. Arguably, it’s the better game, and yet I can’t help but think there’s something a little more pure about DOOM 2016. And anyway, they’re both on Game Pass so why not start at the beginning?
It’s time to take a trip into the murky past, into the olden days of gaming when point and click adventure games thrived and everyone was well versed in their frequently baffling leaps of logic. First released back in 1993, Day of the Tentacle is actually a sequel to 1987’s Maniac Mansion, not that you need to know anything about that game to enjoy its sequel.
Over the course of this mildly inconvenient pandemic I have often sat and passed judgment on the decisions made by governments, safe and secure in the very certain knowledge that I’ll never actually have to make choices that can affect hundreds, thousands and millions of people. The pressure that must come from leading people and being put into situations with no truly correct answers must be immense. It begs the question: if I was put in that position, what choices would I make? Well, according to Frostpunk I’m the kind of person who will put kids into the mines and use human corpses as a source of nutrition. Vote for me, my friends, because you can’t have a Necromancer problem if there’s no dead bodies to bring back.
Videogame development is a complex and challenging task that takes years of experience and learning to master. The very best in the industry have spent thousands of hours honing their craft. They’ve burned away countless hours coming up with ideas and concepts for new games or how to take an existing franchise and spin it off into a different genre. But not The Coalition. Nah, they just took Gears of War and, in their own words, “we actually just took existing Gears and just moved the camera up.” Bloody geniuses.
Are you really a lover of games if you don’t have that one title that turns you into a ball of squealing nerdiness? That one game that speaks to you on some sort of spiritual level, the likes of which your own partner can’t even reach? For me, that game is Hades, one of the finest works of art our beloved medium has seen in years, and right up there in my top ten favorite games of all time. A hyperbolic statement for sure, but I’m going to need to you to shut up and just let me have this one, okay? Because now that Hades has hit Game Pass and launched on Playstation, there’s no excuse for failing to experience Supergiant’s masterpiece.
After living through (Well, so far) a pandemic I will never again question why people would insist on trying to re-open Jurassic Park multiple times despite what happened previously. Humans, as it turns out, have amazingly short memories and will insist in repeating mistakes they just made, even if those mistakes happen to weigh several tonnes and have huge teeth. Jurassic World: Evolution lets you take on the role of yet another idiot intent on turning dinosaurs into a tourist attraction, but you’re doing it for the best possible reasons: science money.