With all the excitement about new Xbox Game Pass games yesterday, we almost missed the fact that a few more are slinking off the service. We already knew about Aftercharge, The LEGO Movie Videogame and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, but there's a few more...
Which games are leaving Xbox Game Pass in July, and when?At the time of writing there are a total of ten games leaving Xbox Game Pass in July:
Which Xbox Game Pass games are worth playing before they leave in July?Dandara — TA Community Rating: 3.0/5 — 6.3 Metacritic User Score
Dandara is a tricky 2D metroidvania that has a unique traversal mechanic going for it, but has received criticism for becoming frustrating past the middle point due to clunky controls and frustratingly tough platforming. If you're really desperate for another metroidvania in your life, give it a go — but if that's not your go-to genre you should probably give it a miss.
Dead Rising 2 — TA Community Rating: 4.1/5 — 7.2 Metacritic User Score
Dead Rising 2 is my personal favourite in the series, refining the unfiltered and stressful chaos of the first game into well structured systems while retaining the tension. Gone are the punishing time restrictions that basically mean you can't explore, and instead the world is full of interesting characters and weapons to stumble across. It's gory, it's really stupid and the story is bonkers, but it's a wild ride all the same. Best of all, this entry introduced the combo card weapon system and gave us a canoe paddle with chainsaws stuck to the ends. What more can you ask for?
HITMAN — TA Community Rating 4.3/5 — 7.3 Metacritic User Score
There's always a debate about which Hitman game is truly the best, but that's just a testament to how great the series has been. Regardless, the soft rebooted episodic HITMAN is my personal favourite, taking everything great about the series and packaging it in tight, immaculately designed living levels. The opportunities to set up a spectacular string of deadly consequences is wickedly entertaining, and each level is packed with secrets to discover and challenges to take on. This is probably the most essential Game Pass leaver to at least give a try if you haven't already.
Metal Slug XX — TA Community Rating: 3.6/5 — 7.0 Metacritic User Score
Our own Treezy gave this reimagined version of Metal Slug 7 a middling 3/5 in his personal review, praising the game's trademark brutal difficulty but questioning the logic of setting a game on a garbage island, leading to some pretty ugly visuals — and there are some parts of the game which are simply too difficult to feel fair. Ultimately it's worth picking up if you're a Metal Slug fan, but it might not be the best jumping-on point if you've never tried the series before.
Defense Grid: The Awakening — TA Community Rating 3.5/5 — 7.3 Metacritic User Score
Defense Grid was a pleasant surprise for me as someone who isn't typically drawn to tower defense games — though arguably Defense Grid 2 is a significant improvement, and was available in Games With Gold a few years back. Graphically it's not much to write home about, but the tightness of its design more than makes up for it — this is a studio that knows how to gradually introduce concepts and strategies. The towers available are simple, but the various ways they can work in tandem makes every map a truly addictive puzzle. There's also a bevy of modes available with assorted boosts and handicaps to further extend the experience. It's definitely worth ago, though you may already have this one in Games with Gold as well.
Hexic 2 — TA Community Rating 3/5 — 5.2 Metacritic User Score
What is there to say about Hexic 2? It's basically more of the same, and anyone who was Xbox 360 at launch is well aware of the original Hexic. It's a well designed match-3 puzzle game, with the original pre-dating the swarm of such games that would come to invade the world's mobile phones — and it's certainly addictive, but like many such games it feels a little too basic to waste time on using your powerful home console. This is only worth a go if you are really in to your Hexic and haven't picked up the sequel yet.
Iron Brigade — TA Community Rating 3.5/5 — 7.7 Metacritic User Score
Another tower defense game, and another one you might already have on Games with Gold, so this isn't the most urgent one to play before it leaves the Pass. However, it is a good example of the oddball stylings of Double Fine, the studio recently picked up by Xbox Game Studios. It's half a mech game, half a tower game, and includes some exceptionally weird characters and designs. It's a little rough around the edges and lacks the tight design principles of Defense Grid, but it's still definitely worth your time while it's available.
Can we complete these Xbox Game Pass games before they leave in July?You can check out our Aftercharge, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, and The LEGO Movie Videogame summaries for the low-down on those completions, but here's our thoughts on the rest:
Dandara — 20 Achievements, 1000 Gamerscore, 6725 TrueAchievements Score
There's a crazy drop off on site between the first achievement — which only requires you to start the adventure — and every other achievement. Over 6000 of us have unlocked one achievement, and the next most unlocked only has 845. This is definitely not one to start if you are into completions, unless you enjoy a significant challenge. There's also a speed-run achievement that has only been unlocked by a mere 37 gamers, with a TA Ratio of 13.38. It's an estimated 12-15 hours, but that's dependent on your ability.
Dead Rising 2 — 50 Achievements, 1000 Gamerscore, 2616 TrueAchievements Score
Dead Rising 2 will take you a good 40-50 hours to complete, thanks to some significant grinds (literal ones — you need to chop through 72,000 zombies). There's also the matter of Win Big!, TK's Favorite and Better with a Friend, all of which require significant multiplayer investment. Get yourself set up with a gaming session if you're planning to finish this off before the month is done.
HITMAN — 17 Achievements (69 With DLC), 1360 Gamerscore, 3262 TrueAchievements Score
This is an unusual case, as Game Pass games don't normally have DLC bundled into the base game, yet HITMAN has all of it. So if you are only into completing the base game, you can easily finish off the 17 achievements on the vanilla list. Then again, that episode is permanently free anyway so you're in no rush to complete it. If you're exploring the full episode package, you will have a slightly tougher time. HITMAN's achievement list is very doable with moderate patience and skill, but it will take time to learn each map well enough to pull off flawless runs or dig out all of the secrets. We'd estimate 3-6 hours per pack beyond the first episode.
Metal Slug XX — 12 Achievements, 200 Gamerscore, 796 TrueAchievements Score
Look folks, it's probably not happening. Less than 50% of players have even cleared the main game once, and clearing all of the missions without using a continue is reserved for the true Metal Slug masters — less than 150 of the game's 14,000 players have unlocked this final achievement. That's a lot of pain for 200 GS, but then if you are into completing this sort of thing, you're not really there for the gamerscore anyway, right?
Defense Grid Awakening — 12 Achievements (22 with DLC), 300 Gamerscore, 692 TrueAchievements Score
While not quite as straightfoward as Defense Grid 2, Awkaening is still very achieveable if you have 10 hours to spare before the end of the month. Ultimately these are static tower defensive maps with set patterns, so following any of the guides on the achievement list should get you most of the way pretty easily — as long as you're patient and follow along carefully. Even if you don't follow a guide, provided you can get used to the systems quickly enough this shouldn't be a hard completion.
Hexic 2 — 12 Achievements, 200 Gamerscore, 704 TrueAchievements Score
While not quite as tough as the first game, Hexic 2 will still be a significant challenge reserved for puzzle masters. It's all randomised so there's no guide that you can follow to the letter to win through the game's various modes. That said, the community has plenty of tips for you, including some great advice on the 5.65 ratioed Human Superiority achievement
Iron Brigade — 20 Achievements (23 with DLC), 250 Gamerscore, 544 TrueAchievements Score
Iron Brigade won't be too tricky if you follow guides, and it's honestly not too bad even if you don't — again, like Defense Grid, it's all about learning the systems and being patient. MugenKairo has a full Iron Brigade achievement guide that will make things a heck of a lot easier. It'll take you roughly 8-10 hours to get through, according to our community.
Will you be playing any of these games before they disappear from Game Pass this month? Let us know in the comments!
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