Xbox Game Pass 2021 Review: So What Is It Exactly
For the uninitiated, Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix-like, all-you-can-eat video game subscription service from Microsoft. The service is available on Xbox One consoles, Xbox Series X and S consoles, PC, and Android devices as of writing, and has since expanded to the web, granting access to iOS devices, Chromebooks, and many more.
Xbox Game Pass comes in three flavors. “Xbox Game Pass” gives you access to a large library of games on your Xbox console. “Xbox Game Pass for PC” gives you access to a large library of games on your Windows 10 PC. And finally, “Xbox Game Pass Ultimate” gives you access to all the games on Xbox consoles, Windows 10 PCs, and a selection of games to stream from the cloud to PC, Android, and modern web-friendly devices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold, which is needed for multiplayer gaming on Xbox consoles.
Game Pass Ultimate is quite obviously the best value if you plan to use every service.
Xbox Game Pass for console and Game Pass for PC are $9.99 respectively, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate being $14.99. Game Pass Ultimate is quite obviously the best value if you plan to use every service across multiple devices, rather than buying up Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass, and Game Pass for PC separately. Microsoft also has an introductory offer to convert Xbox Live Gold long-term subscriptions directly into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for those who haven’t converted yet.
Ori And The Will Of The Wisps
After many delays, Ori and the Will of the Wisps released this year and I can truly say it was well worth the wait. Picking up after the events of the first title, Ori and the Blind Forest, Will of the Wisps follows Ori the Spirit Guardian on its journey to find Ku, the baby owl from the first title. After being blown off course into a new land. Ori must use its powers to restore the light thats been slowly receding into darkness.
Will of the Wisps is one of the best and prettiest Metroidvanias currently available. Developer Moon Studios successfully surpassed the world of the first game, allowing Ori to interact with the denizens of this new land. The backdrops are colorful and diverse and the music ties it all together. I found myself humming some of the tracks for days after I finished the game. The story is bittersweet, but its one that I highly recommend.
Sherri L. Smith
Xbox Game Streaming Now Part Of Game Pass App On Android
From Sept. 15, 2020, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, known as xCloud previously, became part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and is built into the Xbox Game Pass app on Android. Folks on iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux can also take part, with Xbox Game Streaming available through the browser, or on Windows, now through the Xbox app.
It adds another tick in the value box to Game Pass Ultimate over regular Game Pass, too. Games are added to the cloud library on a slightly different schedule to console and PC, but regular additions are coming along.
Additionally, Microsoft has been working on dedicated touch controls for some of these games allowing you to play on your phone or tablet without the need for a controller. Minecraft Dungeons was the first, but the feature has since come to titles such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Dead Cells.
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Xbox Game Pass Features
- Xbox Live Gold included .
- EA Play Membership .
- 200 Xbox Game Pass games with more coming.
- Brand New Microsoft games will be added on Day 1 of their release. .
- Cross-platform play.
- Cloud Gaming with games pass ultimate – play 100s of games on your Android device from the cloud. Project xCloud.
- Member discounts.
- Xbox Games Pass is also available for PC.
Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
Ugh, I love Metroidvanias. I especially love them when theyre themed after Castlevania. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the long-awaited game from Koji Igarashi, former Castlevania series director. Originally started as a Kickstarter project, the game was quickly funded and fans waited in excited anticipation.
And Ive got to say, Bloodstained lived up to all the hype. Although youre not playing as a member of the famed Belmont clan or even Draculas dhampir son, the story is no less compelling. Playing as Miriam, one of the last living Shardbinders, you enter a massive demonic castle to save the world from impending doom. As you traverse the castle, youll fight all manner of abominations, but dont worry, youll get plenty of weapons and supernatural abilities to beat back the denizens of darkness. And similar to other Castlevania games, theres more going on than meets the eye.
If you have one, I highly recommend playing this game on a 4K HDR TV or display. Its just that pretty.
Sherri L. Smith
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Are The Games Even Worth It
Having 200 games for $5 a month doesnt matter if those games are bad, so lets talk a bit about the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
First off, the game list is different between PC and console, with 194 games available on PC and 265 on console. New games are added fairly frequently, and Microsoft keeps a list of the games available for both console and PC that you can look over to see how much of the catalog interests you.
The game selection is pretty great actually, with most genres being well-represented. There are indie darlings like Undertale and Hollow Knight, Microsofts own triple AAA productions such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Gears 5, and games you can easily sink hundreds of hours into like Farming Simulator 2017 and Ark: Survival Evolved.
There are so many more great games available on the service that I cant mention but I think you get my point. Microsoft didnt take the easy route and pad out of the game selection with shovelware and bad games the library is chock-full of quality and variety.
One of the best parts about Game Pass library is that every new Microsoft published game will be added to Game Pass the same day as release. So when games like Minecraft: Dungeons and even Halo Infinite release later this year, youll be playing them on day one. The Outer Worlds, one of last years most anticipated titles, launched on the Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one.
The Game Pass For You
Xbox Game Pass has multiple tiers, depending on your platform and the features you want. Both Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass for PC cost the same $9.99 per month , and offer access to more than 100 games on either Xbox One or Windows 10. This includes all first-party Xbox Game Studios games on the day of release.
Xbox Game Pass members at this tier receive various discounts to buy games via the Xbox store. The PC pass will also get the added benefit of EAs upcoming EA Play service, which provides even more free games as part of the subscription . The EA Play access will be added near the end of the year.
The highest tier, and the version we tested, is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. For $14.99 per month , it combines both the Console and PC game passes into one service, with additional features. Ultimate adds Xbox Live Gold, a separate subscription service which enables online multiplayer on Xbox consoles and itself costs $9.99 per month without the pass . Xbox Live Gold also adds an additional two to four free games per month, in addition to what you can play on Xbox Game Pass. The same EA Play access as the PC game pass will also be added around the end of the year.
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Xbox Game Pass 2021 Review: What’s Not So Great
Xbox Game Pass has a range of idiosyncrasies that hinder the platform in some ways. They range from mild irritations to bigger problems, but I would preface by saying none of it feels really like a deal-breaker. Moreover, this is just a range of things I think Microsoft could add to improve the platform.
The first pain point I often see across social media from those with kids is the lack of family access. If you’re using a single shared Xbox, every profile on that home Xbox gains access to Xbox Game Pass. However, if you have multiple Xbox consoles and have a bigger family, you’ll need multiple Xbox Game Pass subscriptions to keep everybody online simultaneously. This is a drawback of Xbox Game Pass that seems to have been overlooked at the time of the service’s creation.
Netflix and Disney+ both support multiple logins across multiple devices with simultaneous streams at different price tiers. I think it would be within Microsoft’s interest to at least consider offering a higher-paid tier for multi-user licensing for families.
Another source of irritation for me at least comes from Project xCloud, or Xbox Game Pass for cloud, across Android . Microsoft is among the first and most prolific companies to offer a cloud gaming option in their service at this scale. Sony has PlayStation Now but doesn’t consistently offer its own games into the service. Amazon Luna is just starting up, and Google Stadia is arguably winding down.
Compatibility: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Works For More Systems
Works across both PC and console library.
Also offers Cloud Gaming streaming meaning support for Android.
When it comes to compatibility, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the most varied. It means you can play games on your PC, Xbox One, and your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console. It also means you can stream games to your Android smartphone or tablet.
In contrast, Xbox Game Pass requires you to pick one system and stick with it. That’s fine if you only play PC games or you only play console games, but it can be restrictive if you plan on expanding your horizons. That’s particularly true now that it’s possible to stream games to your phone which could be useful once in a while.
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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Review: The Best Content Deal In Gaming Right Now
Microsoft’s multiplatform game service has evolved to be a formidable rival for your Netflix dollars.
Halo Infinite is one of many big box-office games you get on Game Pass.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is an all-you-can-play video game subscription service with exceptional value. It has evolved far beyond its Xbox-bound origins to become a subscription that delivers something for everyone who plays games, and now encompasses console and PC game downloads, access to online multiplayer services, a deal with gaming giant EA and a cloud-based service that streams games to nearly any device. It also delivers a lot of Day One launch games from Microsoft’s own studios.
Finding the right version of Game Pass can be confusing. Microsoft offers several versions, but because of how the features are sliced up between them, only the $15-per-month Ultimate plan, which we’ll shorten here to XGPU, with all the benefits detailed above, really makes any sense.
It’s that collection of features, for less than the cost of a 4K Netflix subscription, which earns Game Pass Ultimate an Editors’ Choice Award for 2021.
Xbox Game Pass Alternatives
Xbox Game Pass is an incredible value, but its far from the only Netflix for games contender. There are several similar subscription services from other respected publishers. In some cases, these offer an even larger catalog than Game Pass.
Heres a quick breakdown of the best Game Pass alternatives:
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How Much Does Xbox Game Pass Cost
Xbox Game Pass costs $9.99 a month, and Game Pass for PC also costs $9.99 a month. The Ultimate version of the service costs $14.99 a month. In that respect, the Ultimate tier is by far the better value, since it combines Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, plus Xbox Live Gold , EA Play, and the beta cloud gaming service.
Its easy to sign up directly through Microsoft or your Xbox console. You can also purchase 1, 3, 6, or 12-month digital codes for the service at online retailers, including Amazon.com.
The Cheapest Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Deals
If you’re just looking to top up your existing membership, you’ll find the latest Xbox Game Pass Ultimate prices just below.
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So What Is The Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription available to Xbox and PC gamers, with separate rewards to Xbox Live Gold. Its available in three options, Xbox Game Pass PC, Xbox Game Pass console, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Quite obviously, the PC version gets you access to most of the Game Pass rewards, but only for PC. Similarly, the same can be said about the console version, which is only available on Xbox consoles. They are both lower in price than the Ultimate subscription, though, and dont have all the same benefits, making it a little confusing. Were here to help, taking a look at all the differences.
What About Game Pass Ultimate
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a more expensive subscription plan that launched in 2019. It includes all of the perks of Xbox Game Pass for console and PC Game Pass for Windows, plus a few extras. One of the biggest additions is Xbox Cloud Gaming , which is a cloud gaming platform lets you stream games directly to your phone.
Another benefit is EA Play, which is EAs standalone subscription service that normally costs $4.99 a month. You also get Xbox Live Gold, which costs $9.99 a month on its own.
Considering Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is just $14.99 a month, its an even better value than the cheaper Game Pass. Learn more about it in our Xbox Game Pass Ultimate guide, or check out subscription plans at the link below.
Xbox Game Pass: Price Features And Everything You Need To Know
Microsoft’s Game Pass is a subscription-based service that opens up a whole library of games. It launched in mid-2017 and is available to anyone, regardless of whether they’re a Gold subscriber or not.
Microsoft is pushing Game Pass hard, and it’s going to be a very important service for Xbox going forward, both on console and on PC. Here’s everything you need to know.
How Do I Get Xbox Game Pass
You can sign up on the console or on the Microsoft website.
Once you’re subscribed, you can manage your subscription from your console, too. On the latest versions of the OS, Game Pass has its own tab inside “My games and apps” and games can be installed directly from here without needing to go to the store.
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Stalker : Heart Of Chernobyl
CONSOLE · PC
Discover the vast Chernobyl Exclusion Zone full of dangerous enemies, deadly anomalies and powerful artifacts. Unveil your own epic story as you make your way to the Heart of Chernobyl. Choose your paths wisely, as they will determine your fate and shape the future of the humankind in the end.
What Is Game Pass And How Does It Work
There are actually two different versions of Game Pass: the console pass covers all Xbox One systems and the PC pass works on any Windows 10 computer. There are a few differences between the two when it comes to software, game library, and price, but well talk about all of that in more detail later.
Besides that, Game Pass system is pretty simple: you pay the monthly subscription fee and get to download games included on the pass without any additional charges. One thing we want to make very clear right away is that this is not a streaming service. These games will be installed on and run off of your PC or console, meaning for PC gamers, your hardware will need to be up to the task.
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Xbox Live Gold Perks And Benefits
With the same Xbox Game Pass Ultimate code, youre also bound to receive one of the most popular Xbox subscriptions Xbox Live Gold! The service enables multiplayer and online co-op modes for all of your Xbox games and brings additional benefits. Gold subscribers get a chance to receive anywhere from 2 to 4 free games each month and enjoy even more exclusive discounts that go up to 50% or 75%! In conjunction with the Xbox Game Pass deals, the Microsoft Ultimate 3 m. code remains one of the best options for those who seek to save while shopping on Xbox Live!
Where Can I Get Xbox Game Pass
The full list of countries currently reads as such:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
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Where Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Available
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available in all current Xbox Game Pass markets:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.