There's only one day left to get hold of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1, and maybe this will sweeten the deal – the Game Pass Twitter account has teased some of the Xbox Game Pass games coming up soon, including some new surprises.
Frank's a little out of season.
Among the tweet's new announcements is the festive themed Dead Rising 4. This cheery zombie-smasher has a version on both Xbox One and Windows 10, both with separate achievement lists — and both coming to the Xbox Game Pass if you subscribe to both the console and PC versions. The other big title apparently coming soon is Middle Earth: Shadow of War, one of the early pariahs in the surge of rage against loot boxes and microtransactions, which apparently has plenty going for it now that the conversation about its currency structure has died down. Although this one can be played on Xbox One and Windows 10, sadly there is only one achievement list.
The only other new addition to the list is LEGO City Undercover, a reasonably well received but ultimately pretty standard entry into the gigantic LEGO gaming franchise. This one is only on console.
Other games mentioned in today's announcement we already knew about from the last ID@Xbox round-up, but their inclusion in the Game Pass tweet suggests they are probably coming pretty soon.
In other news, all Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to the Gears 5 Technical Test without having to pre-order the game, meaning we'll all get a chance to try out Versus mode. More details on that are expected later in the week.
When are July's Xbox Game Pass Games Going to Be Available?July 4th: Middle Earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One and PC, single achievement list), My Time at Portia (Xbox One and PC, single achievement list), Undertale (PC only, currently no achievement list)
July 11th: Blazing Chrome (Xbox One and PC, single achievement list), Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One and PC, two achievement lists), LEGO City Undercover (Xbox One only),
Timespinner (PC only, currently no achievement list), Unavowed (PC only, currently no achievement list).
UPDATE: Confusingly, Timespinner is actually an Xbox Play Anywhere title. It only appears in the Xbox Game Pass for PC list officially, but if you have Game Pass for PC (or Game Pass Ultimate) you will be able to download it onto your Xbox One.
Are July's Game Pass Games Worth Playing?Both Dead Rising 4 and Shadow of War suffered from a fairly disaffected player base, but neither are particularly bad. In the case of the festive zombie-splattering sequel, fans mostly found a game that was just too similar to previous entries. Although the location had been massively expanded, the fact that the fourth entry returned to the original game's character and setting didn't help matters. Still, it's mindless fun, and there's always something addictive about finding new disgustingly funny ways to dispatch the undead. As mentioned earlier, Shadow of War suffered more from microtransaction controversy than any deep issue with the game itself. Now that the in-game shop has closed for good, players still interested in the Middle-Earth saga will find a pretty deep and interesting saga, at least on par with the first game. LEGO City Undercover only feels formulaic because it lacks the brand power of other LEGO entries — in reality, it's very much the same sort of game, and if you and your young ones enjoy the familiarity it's definitely worth a play.
My Time at Portia has been very well received, a three-dimensional alternative to Stardew Valley. It's got a strange and quirky sci-fi story, but really it's all about giving the player the freedom to focus on what they want to do with their little slice of farmland.
We can't speak for Blazing Chrome, as that's not out until July 11th, but what about the other smaller games? Undertale might not have achievements, but this strange RPG famous for allowing you to avoid violence is considered one of the games of the generation, and so it seems worthwhile to try it out for free if you have Game Pass for PC. Timespinner sadly doesn't have achievements on PC, so you might prefer to pick up the Xbox One version. Still, you could always give it a go on PC without the worry of putting another game on your card. It's another retro love letter, this time to action-platformers of the SNES and Genesis era, that's sitting at a comfortable 82% on Metacritic. That's worth taking with a pinch of salt though — Metacritic users have only given it a 6.
Unavowed isn't currently on an achievements-enabled platform, which is a shame because it has been called one of the greatest adventure games ever made, despite releasing a good 20 years after that genre's heyday. We're hopeful that it will get achievement support or even an Xbox One port, but in the meantime we will certainly give it a go for no additional cost on Game Pass. You can check it out on Steam if you want to know more.
Are July's Game Pass Games Easy to Complete?Of the games that actually have achievement lists, none are going to be particularly quick to complete. Dead Rising 4 not only goes back to its roots in terms of location, it also gets nostalgic with its achievement difficulty; it's currently sitting at an impressive 8300 TrueAchievement score from the base game's 1000 Gamerscore. It doesn't help that the game is full of multiplayer-related achievements and a bunch of trials that can only be completed during certain times. It's estimated to take between 60 and 80 hours.
Shadow of War is a little less tough with a 2,700 TrueAchievement score, but it'll still take 60-80 hours. Its Ubisoft-style open world means there's quite a grind for various feats of exploration and collecting, but you will also have to reach the rank of Captain in the game's online Conquest mode. Even LEGO City Undercover is going to take a while — estimated at 40-50 hours — but at least there's no online or multiplayer stuff to contend with, just the usual brick-hoovering. My Time At Portia is either so varied in terms of completion time that no one can agree on it, or everyone's having so much fun that no one remembered to plug in their hours played. Regardless, it looks like there's a reasonably high ratio on the toughest achievements, though this seems to have more to do with taking the time to find all of the game's secrets and quests rather than anything particularly tough in terms of gameplay.
Of course, we won't know exactly how tough Blazing Chrome is until it releases — but you can at least take a sneak peek at the achievement list that dropped this morning, and make some guesses.
What do you think about July's line-up? Let us know which games you will be trying out in the comments.
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