E3 is finally upon us! Most of the major conferences have happened by now, so a lot of the bombshell announcements have already been dropped. Out of everything discussed so far, however, my favorite new feature comes from Microsoft: The Xbox Game Pass is now on the PC. My favorite gaming subscription service has finally expanded from my Xbox onto my computer and brought a ton of titles with it. While I did have some issues installing the Game Pass application that involved two days of computer crashes and failed updates, I have finally managed to get onto the service and see it for myself, and it is nothing short of marvelous.
Game Pass for PC is still in beta access at the moment, so I expect more titles to be added to the final service that is coming in August. Even still, as a fan of both Microsoft Studio titles and the indie genre, there are plenty of new experiences that have caught my eye. I thought I would list off a few of them, which should give people a small sampling of what the service has to offer. If anyone would like to see the full list, come take a look at the Xbox page. For some highlights, here are ten games that I am particularly excited about playing and have already downloaded to my computer.
1. Opus Magnum
A very specific sub-genre of games that I enjoy are those that make me feel like a coding genius. I love to script out instructions and watch a machine or character execute what I have put together. While I usually hit a wall at some point with these sorts of titles long before I roll credits, that doesn’t stop me from trying them! Opus Magnum is centered around alchemy, or more specifically, coding machines to perform alchemy. There is an interesting looking story and tons of puzzle variety at work here and I can’t wait to dive in and work my brain a little.
2. Bridge Constructor Portal
In a similar vein to Opus Magnum, I love bridge construction games, but I can’t declare that I am particularly great at them. Bridge Constructor Portal makes me want to change that, however, as I love how fresh the title looks just through throwing some portals into the mix. As much as my brain is going to hurt throughout the experience, I am determined to master its mechanics.
3. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
A few years back, I played through the entire Halo series and, while I wouldn’t say they are my favorite games in the world, I had a lot of fun with them. I wish to get into another shooter series in the near future and Gears of War feels like a logical choice, given that the fifth entry is coming out later this year. If I want to play the second and third game, I’ll have to go play them on the Xbox version of Game Pass, but the first one can be played right on my computer. If I am being totally honest, I don’t know the first thing about this franchise. The story, characters, and enemies are a complete and total mystery to me, so I can’t wait to see why people love this series so much!
I love any sort of life simulation title and have been dying to play as a store owner for a while now. Moonlighter is finally in my hands to do just that and I can’t wait to dive into it! I can sell items during the day and delve into dungeons at night. This probably shouldn’t be the first game I try on Game Pass because I may never play anything else once I get into the gameplay loop.
5. The Stillness of the Wind
One of the perks of Game Pass is the ability to find hidden gems that I may not have otherwise even noticed. The Stillness of the Wind follows an old woman about her day on a ranch in the countryside. The second I saw that part of the gameplay would involve tending to my homestead, I was sold. I know nothing about it, but the art style looks lovely and I think I may have stumbled across something really special here. Honestly, I would prefer to just go in blind and see what I find.
Wandersong is published by Humble Bundle, so I can’t help but be a little in love with it for that fact alone. Additionally, A Geek Girl’s Guide recommended it on her blog and she has great taste, so I’m incredibly intrigued. The singing mechanic actually reminds me a little of a game I played a few years ago called Hue, which is one of my favorite indie titles of all time, so that’s also promising. All signs point towards me loving this quirky singing experience, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
7. Full Metal Furies
Rogue Legacy might be my favorite indie of all time, mostly because it introduced me to the genre. I’m not entirely certain why I have yet to give Full Metal Furies a try before now, but I plan to correct this immediately. It looks just as quirky and exciting as its predecessor, and I also love that it has multiplayer, meaning that I could potentially play this with a friend sometime. The gameplay reminds me of Trine with the addition of an RPG battle system of sorts, which sounds fantastic.
8. Surviving Mars
Tropico 5 is a personal favorite of mine, but after thoroughly exhausting the content it has to offer, I have been struggling to find a new management title to play that I love to the same degree. Surviving Mars looks quite promising, however, and I am excited to give it a try. Trying to keep my colonists alive sounds like a challenging task, but one that I hope will be exciting and breathe some new life into the city-building genre.
Recently, I finally got around to playing The Witcher 3, which made me realize that there is truly nothing quite as fun as a good fantasy RPG. Tyranny is developed by Obsidian, which means that I expect some great world-building and moral choices. I need a bit of a break from lengthy titles before I dive in, but this is definitely on my shortlist for the next time I need a good story in my games.
10. Slay the Spire
Finally, after wanting to play it for so long, I will get to experience Slay the Spire. This is a title that I have hesitantly anticipated for a long time, as it looks really interesting and has been well-received, but I have never been a huge fan of either card-based or roguelike titles, which concerns me a little. The advantage of the Game Pass system, however, is that I can try this at no additional cost and if I hate it, there’s no real loss for me apart from wasting a few hours on it.
That was just ten of the many games that I hope to play in the future with my Game Pass subscription. Since I am now paying fifteen dollars a month to have access to both the PC and Xbox libraries, I plan on doing periodic wrap-ups of what I have tried and finished in order to see if I am getting my money’s worth. Once I have played around with the PC interface for a while, I will be giving my more detailed thoughts about how the actual service functions.
Will you be getting the Game Pass PC subscription? Let me know in the comments below!
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