2022 may not have been the biggest year for Xbox releases, but Game Pass has delivered the goods every month. Here are a few of the highlights from arguably the weakest month, but there's still some great stuff in there...It might not have been a year for the history books in terms of high-profile new Xbox games, but 2022 has been pretty ridiculous for Game Pass subscribers, with the best games on Game Pass seeing monthly competition for their shiny crowns. It speaks volumes that we originally planned to run this as a one-shot recap of the year but upon putting it together, there was just too much to cover — instead, we decided to break it down by month, highlighting just what an incredible year the service has had across a series of shorter articles over the next few weeks. Today, we look back on February's additions, perhaps the 'worst' month for new Game Pass games, but you can't call it bad when you're getting games like these.
InfernaxKicking things off is probably the best Game Pass addition of February, at least if you don't mind games that put up a fight. Infernax is an homage to 8-bit and 16-bit classics like the early Castlevania games — with its open-ended structure calling back to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest more specifically — and while it isn't as downright brutal as some of those classics could be, it still isn't going to give you an easy ride. With an impressive TA user score of 4.08/5, it's not only the hands-down winner for the February Game Pass additions, but also one of the best new Xbox games of the year overall. If you're down with the retro aesthetic and up for a challenge, this should definitely cleave its way into your backlog in case it should happen to leave the service early next year.
Infernax is the adventures of a great knight who returns to his homeland only to find it plagued with unholy magic. Uncover the mysteries of the curse and face the consequences of your actions.
Ark: Ultimate Survivor EditionThe incredibly popular Ark: Survival Evolved was originally added to Game Pass way back in January 2019, and a little over three years later, fans were treated to an upgrade. The Ultimate Survivor edition of the game packs tons of additional content for countless more hours of taming dinosaurs, surviving the wilderness, and somehow avoiding having other players murder you in cold blood for your cool stuff. Combined with the Series X|S upgrade that came early in the new consoles' life, this Game Pass drop is notable in that it gives you the best version of a game that has been wildly popular, with stacks of additional content, and looking better than ever on Xbox Series X. If you enjoy Ark, that's a pretty great get.
ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition
Experience everything that the ARK franchise has to offer in this definitive collection! With thousands of hours of unique content in an eons-spanning saga, you'll tame and ride primeval creatures as you explore savage lands, team up with other players to compete in epic tribal battles, and travel together on the greatest dinosaur-filled adventure of all time!
ContrastWhile Contrast is one from the archives as a year-one Xbox One game, that doesn't make it any less of a fine addition to the Xbox Game Pass library, especially taking into account where we are. You see, puzzle-platformer Contrast is a quick and easy completion that can be rattled through in a couple of hours with a walkthrough, so if you haven't played it yet, there's a simple 1,000G to be had here... as well as a stack, if you grabbed the 360 version before it was delisted, although that does only have 400G as a late Xbox Live Arcade release.
Experience a surreal 1920s themed production filled with danger, deception and drama. A little girl. Her imaginary friend. The power to become your shadow, to shift between a 3D dreamscape and the 2D shadow world.
Cast light on a shadowy story and become enveloped in the seduction of the sultry jazz soundtrack, explored through gameplay in the world of CONTRAST. Lights, camera… magic!
Lawn Mowing Simulator2022 really did turn out to be the Year of the Simulator, with this being just the first of a bunch to join Game Pass in the last 12 months. You can probably tell from the name alone that this is not something that will be to everyone's tastes, but it sure found an audience — the grass-cutting sim has so far racked up almost 50,000 players here on TA, although less than 0.4% of those have risen to the challenge of becoming a master mower by unlocking all of the base game Lawn Mowing Simulator achievements. We imagine part of the game's success may boil down to the idea of adding achievements to everyday chores being something that a lot of folks around here would rather enjoy...
Lawn Mowing Simulator
Experience the beauty and detail of mowing the Great British countryside in Lawn Mowing Simulator, the only simulator that allows you to ride an authentic and expansive roster of real-world licensed lawn mowers from prestigious manufacturers; Toro, SCAG and STIGA as you manage your mowing business.
Edge of EternityJRPGs have until quite recently been a rather under-represented genre in Game Pass... and Edge of Eternity had absolutely no effect on that because despite how it looks and plays, it was actually developed in France. Still, it certainly does want to be a JRPG, and while it's perhaps not the best option of its kind (especially now the likes of Persona and Ni No Kuni have shown up since), plenty of folks seem to love it despite it being a bit rough around the edges. The bad news is that there are two unobtainable Edge of Eternity achievements that still haven't been fixed nearly a year later, but if that's not an issue for you (or you trust that a patch is on the way, as has been claimed), then it's still worth a crack if you're after an RPG fix.
Edge of Eternity
Wage epic turn-based battles as you follow Daryon and Selene on their quest to find a cure to the all-consuming Corrosion in this grand tale of hope and sacrifice, created by a small team of passionate JRPG lovers.
DreamscaperRoguelites aren't exactly uncommon in Game Pass, so any new ones that get added need to be really quite good to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, Dreamscaper falls into that category, and while it had stiff competition when it launched into Game Pass back in February, it's a much easier roguelite recommendation for subscribers now that the sublime Hades is out of the picture. It also scratches the same itch as Supergiant's game with a steady sense of progression, neat art, and that 'one more run' effect that Vampire Survivors this year showcased most excellently. It's perhaps a little too traditional an example of the sub-genre to change your mind about it — a rare power that Hades managed to display for some players — but you should know within a few runs if you can see yourself sticking with it.
By night, delve deep into your subconscious and discover powerful artifacts to conquer your nightmares. By day, explore the city of Redhaven and build relationships to unlock the power of your dreams. DREAM. DIE. WAKE. REPEAT.
We'll be revisiting the best Game Pass drops of each month in 2022 in the coming weeks — which of these was your favourite February 2022 Game Pass addition, or does that honour belong to something we didn't mention here? Let us know below, and we hope to see you next time!