This is an excellent game, and it’s on Game Pass day one. Engaging combat is matched with stellar writing, great music, and most importantly it’s just damned fun. Weird West is one hell of a debut from the team at WolfEye Studios, and it is well worth your time.
Crusader Kings III is a phenomenal game that is not for most. If you have the patience, reading ability, and time this is one of the best, funniest, and most varied sim games on the market. Being a part of Game Pass makes it easy to recommend and if you always wanted to marry your cousin, stab your uncle king in the back, or tax the people into open revolt then this is the game for you.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands does not try to reinvent the Borderlands wheel. Instead, it molds it into something fresh enough to satisfy fans of the series that are looking for more. Just know that if you do not like the titular character then this is not the game for you, as there is a whole bonkload of Tina. If the $70 price tag on Series consoles doesn’t scare you off, and you have a few friends to play with then you will enjoy this expertly crafted schlooter.
TUNIC is both an incredible and incredibly frustrating title. The combat lets down what otherwise is a masterpiece. If you can look past it or feel fine using the accessibility options it is worth checking out. Gorgeous graphics, incredible music, and intriguing lore just may be enough to carry you through, and being available day one on Game Pass on PC and console certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Young Souls is an easy recommendation on Game Pass. For a purchase I’d make sure to watch some gameplay footage to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting here. It’s a comprehensive and entertaining package. The story is a bit basic overall but features well-written, snappy dialogue. Combat is solid and making your ultimate gear setup never got old, and the graphics are gorgeous. Despite their flaming red hair, these twins are full of (Young) Soul(s).
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is a unique game. You need to see it in motion to truly appreciate it. Both graphically and setup-wise I’m not sure I’ve played something like it before on an Xbox system. It is definitely aimed at kids, but even as a grumpy old man who is turning 40 this year I loved my time playing through the campaign. Few games have this incredible of an imagination behind them, and I cannot wait to see what developer Deskworks comes out with next.
Elden Ring is a masterpiece of a title, with only a few minor issues. The co-op summon system is a pain, and mounted combat doesn’t always feel the best. Other than that this game is staggeringly good in every single area. It does for open-world games what people claimed Breath of the Wild did. Every part of the experience is elevated by an insane attention to detail. Few games have ever left me feeling so enthralled for the entirety of my playtime. Whether you’re going it solo or with a friend Elden Ring is one guaranteed to be one hell of a time.
KOF XV is an excellent iterative sequel. It doesn’t rewrite or vastly change what came before it, but it refines it into a far prettier and more complete package. You’ll want to check in with coverage post-launch to see how the online servers hold up, but if it’s anything like the open beta if you can get a 4 or 5 star rated connection it feels fantastic. This game is deep, pretty, horny, and a must-play for the casual and hardcore among the fighting game community alike.
Skul: The Hero Slayer has been a pleasant surprise for me. It’s charming, plays great, and has real legs. The devs understand what makes roguelites so popular. That “one more run” mentality where those runs aren’t too long, feature a lot of variety that you can control, and they feel good to play. As this is finally on Game Pass it’s an easy recommendation no matter where you can play.
Dreamscaper is an excellent game. It goes up just under Hades for me as one of the best examples of the genre. Having it release day one into Game Pass this is a game you should give a try if it appeals at all to you. Solid gameplay, excellent build diversity, charming graphics, and a heartfelt story combine to make something wonderful that should be experienced by as many people as possible.
Dying Light 2 is a messy, brilliant game. For all my issues with it, there is no denying just how fun it is to play. Some of the best movement in a first-person title is matched by solid combat and choices that helped me shape the narrative how I wanted. It doesn’t always hit, but boy, when it does it hits hard.
As this game is available on Game Pass if you’re into 2D action platformers then I highly recommend it. It’s a solid 4 to 5 hours of engaging combat in a genre that rarely feels this heavy. That goes for the story as well which uses a minimalist style to tell a tale of lonely sadness. Olija doesn’t give the best first impression, but if you stick with it I think you’ll end up having one hell of a good time.
It’s an interesting take on what is normally a very surface-level genre. Instead of focusing on giant set pieces and massive enemy counts TC’s Rainbow Six: Extraction asks you to take your time, watch your corners, and leave no one behind.
I have loved Drinkbox’s previous titles, and I had high hopes for this one. Seeing it release day one on Game Pass gave me the hope that Xbox had seen something special. After the first hour, I knew they must have as this game is tremendous. Using a mix of great art, excellent music, and a complex but easy-to-understand gameplay loop it hooked its fangs into me immediately. The titular star of this game may be a Nobody but after this release, Drinkbox Studios are certainly not.
As this is on Game Pass it’s an easy recommendation to anyone interested in the genre. It is $25 US at the time of this review if you prefer to "own" your games. If you aren’t big on a SotN clone then stay away, but if you are then this is a solid 6 or so hour experience that is well worth your time. I still may have little to no clue what Record of Lodoss War is, but I’m excited to see what developer Team Ladybug might do with the series next.
This DLC is 100% worth it for anyone who has played the first two, and if you haven’t played any of them (or the main game for that matter) give Dead Cells a go on Game Pass. If it hooks you as it did me then this trilogy of DLC is a no-brainer. It adds further excellence to what was already an incredible foundation with some of the best DLC content I have played in a very long time.
The platforming is mediocre, the performance is terrible, but there is heart here. I look forward to what Monokel has in store for us with their next title as there is clear talent on this team, and they are not afraid to tackle some very delicate topics.