Microsoft have finally gone and done it. After years of probing the PC market and figuring out exactly what we want, they’ve delivered something that any self-respecting gamer should pin to their taskbar.
That thing is Xbox Game Pass for PC. It’s awesome, it’s here to stay, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for.
For a small monthly fee, this subscription service gives you access to over 100 games (and growing), ranging from indie offerings like Streets of Rage 4, Hollow Knight and Spiritfarer, to Day 1 releases like Crusader Kings 3 and the upcoming Halo Infinite, all the way through to Xbox Game Studios’ flagship titles like Gears of War, Forza Horizon, Age of Empires and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
This isn’t some dustbin of yesteryear’s games, but a carefully curated mix of brand-new titles, all-time classics, and strange things in between that you would have otherwise missed but may end up falling in love with through Game Pass.
If you’re wary of buying a little-known but cool-sounding game, Game Pass swoops in to help you out. Without it, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have played through grimy 2D platformer Carrion, for example, which pits you as a vicious tentacled beast escaping from a science facility. Or how about The Medium - Bloober Team’s glossy new horror game that you can enjoy in its entirety as part of your £7.99 Game Pass subscription (unless you’d rather pay the £40 a new game like this costs).
The library is growing at a scary rate. Just this month, Microsoft added 19 games from the legendary Bethesda. Among the stalwarts in this collection are DOOM Eternal, Fallout 4, Skyrim, Dishonored 2, as well as more vintage games like Fallout: New Vegas and even the original Dooms. EA has also just jumped onboard, with the likes of Battlefield, The Sims and FIFA now on Game Pass. First-party Microsoft games will be available on Game Pass from Day One.
Upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and you also get to enjoy Game Pass on your Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S. While there’s some overlap in the games on offer (such as all first-party Microsoft games), you’ll also get to enjoy games exclusive to the console version of Game Pass, like Outriders, which is coming out on launch day in April.
Another perk of Ultimate is that you get to use the Game Pass Android app, which lets you stream the latest games from Microsoft’s game servers straight to your phone. You’ll need a good internet connection for this, but you’ll be amazed at how well games like Gears Tactics or Wasteland 3 are suited to the small screen.
Game Pass not only treats you to the greatest gaming carousel ever created, it opens up new possibilities for how you play. You can seamlessly chat - and in a lot of cases play - with your friends between console, PC and mobile, and your save games carry over between the platforms too!
Many games on Game Pass are there to stay, but others will come and go. You’ll get plenty of warning should a game be leaving Game Pass, and the opportunity to buy it for keeps at a 20% discount.
An Xbox Game Pass subscription is a perfect complement to any PC gamer’s setup. There’s no commitment - no sneaky smallprint or 24-month contracts - just a low-priced monthly fee. You’ve got nothing to lose in trying it, and a whole lot of gaming to gain.
Keep up with the latest events and upcoming Game Pass games at the official UK Game Pass Twitter page. Even a quick look at the time of writing shows top titles like Nier: Automata, Pillars of Eternity 2, and the all-new Outriders right around the corner. It’s like a non-stop gaming procession that everyone can join!