Xbox’s game subscription service, Game Pass, was merely six months old when it got a huge shot in the arm. It already was a repository of more than 100 games from three console generations, but in January 2018 Xbox decided to take it one step further. Instead of stocking Game Pass with older releases, Microsoft would add new Microsoft Studios releases to the service on the same day they launched. Starting with Sea of Thieves, players could start downloading all-new first-party games on the day they became available in retail outlets.
One would think that Xbox couldn’t improve the service any more, but in true Xbox fashion, the E3 2018 briefing provided even more incentive to subscribe. Along with announcing more AAA-level titles, such as Fallout 4 and Tom Clancy’s The Division, Xbox Game Pass would debut select ID@Xbox titles in much the same manner as their own first-party titles. Where big-studio games are generally an easy sell, indie titles require a bit more of a leap of faith – or at least a review from your friendly neighborhood XBLA Fans website. With the ability to play via Xbox Game Pass day-and-date alongside the retail release, players may be more open to taking the plunge into some amazing games.
The first such title, Robocraft Infinity, was added in April 2018, but even more were revealed during the press briefing. Players who enjoyed December 2017 Games with Gold release Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide will get a second helping when its sequel, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, arrives on Game Pass, complete with 4K visuals on Xbox One X.
Back in E3 2015, Microsoft unveiled the console exclusive Ashen from Aurora44, and thanks to Game Pass, more players will get their chance to explore its stylish and creature-filled world. With an emphasis on co-operative gameplay, Ashen will benefit from lots of additional players at its launch later this year.
Some parties are epic, but once in a while, it’s what goes down after that main event that becomes the stuff of legend. Night School Studio, which turned a night with friends into a supernatural adventure in Oxenfree, does the same with a party to end all parties in the most unlikely place – Hell itself. Game Pass will make it much easier to skip the party and head straight to the Afterparty.
Post-apocalypse seems to be a popular theme of late, and the minds behind X-Com have developed a near-future strategy title in that same vein. In Phoenix Point, you find yourself leading a team of scientists and adventurers attempting to rescue humanity from a discovery that got completely out of hand. Game Pass players won’t share exactly the same experiences with others, as the game’s procedural rendering can develop new creatures on the fly.
If the ever-growing list of titles arriving on Game Pass hasn’t tempted you to sign up, perhaps the special E3 promotional prices will be enough to get you to try out this exceptional Xbox service. New subscribers can get their first month for US$1, while anyone can get six full months via prepaid card for only US$29.99 from Amazon and the Microsoft Store. These prices are good through June 17.