There are games with amazing controls. There are games with stunning graphics. There are games with complex tales that ensnare, bewilder and enchant. And then there’s Human: Fall Flat, which is like a cross between a drunk simulator and what it’s like to be a toddler trying to reach the cookie jar. You’re basically a boneless blob of rubber that flops around the place, bounces off the walls, falls over and stumbles up steps.
Ideally, I’d be recommending Skate 2 here, easily the best of the skateboarding trilogy published by EA. But sadly Game Pass only offers up Skate 3, which while still good doesn’t have Skate 2’s excellently designed open world. Don’t let that put you off, though, because Skate 3 is still excellent, regardless of whether you know your kickflips from your heelflips. Let me tell you why.
Charm. It’s a word I perhaps overuse and one that you’ll certainly see again throughout this article. And yet, it’s also the perfect description of this little point and click adventure from Pewter Games. This scrappy, short adventure is sweeter than a sugar-covered strawberry and more charming than a rogue that’s sunk every single experience point into charisma. As the old saying goes, good things come in small packages. At least, that’s what I like to tell m
With Microsoft now owning Zenimax, and therefore Bethesda, it seemed only right to pick out a Bethesda title from Game Pass to highlight this week. The game I chose is a personal favourite and comes from the excellent minds at Arkane whose talent for designing awesome levels has made them a developer I love and adore. Yep, my choice for this week is Dishonored, the first-person stealth ‘n stab adventure where ever playthrough starts with me promising to avoid killing before inevitably turning into the kind of blood bath that would make Sub-Zero go for a bit of a lie-down.
The list of exclusive Xbox One games is not long nor all that impressive, and yet somehow Sunset Overdrive still manages to get overlooked despite it being, in my opinion, one of the best Xbox exclusives ever. Coming from Insomniac Games, the people behind such awesomeness as Ratchet & Clank and the Resistance series, Sunset Overdrive looks, plays and feels like it came from the mind of someone who pounded 20 cans of energy drink and then went into some sort of trance while someone else hastily copied down every single insane word that came out of their mouth.
The venerable Halo franchise holds a hallowed place in the history of gaming as one of the greatest FPS franchises ever, even if the more recent entries from 343 Industries are more… divisive. But in the midst of that all that first-person goodness it’s easy to forget the two Halo spin-offs that took the series in very different directions. The two top-down twin-stick shooters were terrible attempts to capitalise on the Halo name and should never been spoken of in polite conversation. Halo Wars, on the other hand, fared much better when it tried to help bring the RTS genre to the Xbox 360 in 2009 and earned itself a sequel, albeit a sequel that eight years to arrive. While Halo Wars 2 is actually the newest Halo game to have been released, it’s also incredibly easy to overlook. I’m here to tell you that Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy gem that acts as a great jumping off point for bigger, more awesome RTS titles.
On the very first Best of Xbox Game Pass last week I opted to kick things off with something light and airy and cheerful. Peggle 2 is the epitome of a game anyone can pick up and play. This week in the Best of Xbox Game Pass I’m going completely in the opposite direction with a Grand strategy game that is so Grand it needs a capital G. Stellaris: Console Edition is an epic strategy game where you take control of an entire civilization and guide it as it ventures out into the depths of space to colonize new planets, discover incredible secrets, find alien races, engage in wars that span the galaxy, form alliances and hopefully carve out their place in the universe. Stellaris can be dauntingly huge thanks to its focus on menus and numbers, but if you’re willing to sacrifice almost all your free time and possibly your first-born child to it, Stellaris can also be incredibly rewarding.
Peggle 2 made its way onto Game Pass fairly recently thanks to EA Play getting rolled into the already gigantic library of titles. And what a brilliant addition it is, a colourful explosion of goodness that is fine-tuned to make you smile. Over the years since its initial launch in 2013, Peggle 2 has become a game I go back to regularly when I’m looking to just kick back and relax with something simple yet satisfying, easy yet tricky. While people argue over whether Peggle 2 is a good sequel or not, for me it’s easily the best of the available Peggle games.