Games Inbox: Is Xbox Game Pass still worth paying for?

Is this good or bad news for Xbox Games Pass? (Microsoft)

The Thursday letters page recommends The Finals and other free-to-play titles, as one reader suggests a new retro style God Of War game.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Changing tiers
Correct me if I’m wrong but did Microsoft not insist, only a couple of months ago, that there wouldn’t be a new, more expensive tier for Game Pass? I looked it up and this is what they said exactly, in response to the rumours: ‘Upon launch, Call Of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be playable on Xbox and PC for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for console members.’

That’s just not true. Xbox Game Pass for console won’t even exist by the time Black Ops 6 comes out and what they’re replacing it with will not include Black Ops 6. Either they knowingly lied or they’re changing plans so quickly they did a complete U-turn in just two months.

I sorely regret getting an Xbox Series X/S instead of a PlayStation 5 and will not be making that mistake again, especially as I expect most games to be multiformat within a year or two anyway. Game Pass has clearly not worked and it’s only getting more expensive and more restrictive. Microsoft say most people have Ultimate but why should I trust them on that, given their track record?

I didn’t have it and I’m certainly not paying for it now that the cheaper tier is so watered down. As far as I’m concerned Game Pass just isn’t worth the money and I’ve had enough of it.

Place your bets
I don’t think my memory is playing tricks on me, but did Microsoft not say they weren’t going to change the Game Pass tiers because of Call Of Duty? I guess someone did the maths and realised that wasn’t a good idea. For a company that can waste $72 billion like it was pocket change they really don’t seem to have much of a plan.

How many billions of business execs could they have hired for that amount of money, that would’ve offered some better advice than Phil Spencer and his cronies? Or just ask ChatGPT. It really is about time we started replacing our execs with AI, rather than the creative people that actually contribute something worthwhile to gaming.

I couldn’t care less about Call Of Duty, so this doesn’t really affect me, but it just seems to continue the slow downward spiral for Microsoft, as they first deny something is going to happen then in the next breath announce it. How long is anyone going to bet it’ll be before they announce more multiformat games? One month or two?

The dead zone
We’re in kind of the dead part of the year at the moment, for new games, just like usual in the summer, but I do find myself looking forward to Star Wars Outlaws. I know I shouldn’t and it’ll probably just be shallow and unoriginal but I love the universe and if nothing else the graphics look really good.

I do think games have got to such a level now, in terms of the graphics and the sort of baseline quality of gameplay – which is generally never going to be that bad anymore – that you can have plenty of fun even with an unoriginal or repetitive game. There’s j a pleasure now in experiencing the world itself and not even necessarily what you do in it.

For me, that’s definitely the appeal of something like Assassin’s Creed, where not even the story is that important, it’s just the comfort of knowing you can do anything and go anywhere, enjoying the sights. I think that’s why Elden Ring did so well, because it’s similar except it’s super hard. So it’s kind of the flipside of the same thing.

I wouldn’t want it like that all the time, but I can enjoy both approaches: the super challenging hardcore game and the super unchallenging casual ones.

Router advisor
I have Elden Ring installed on my PC, yet it constantly kicks me out of the game due to frequent loss of connection. How can an online-only streaming device work as intended? It might be the router Plusnet provide but I couldn’t dream of streaming any games.

Half the time my Xbox Series X can’t even connect to the network. My PS Vita/Wii U had to be brought downstairs to get the slightest connection.

Can any reader recommend a better third party router, for hopefully under £100?
Currently punching beds due to Mesmer the Impaler.

Character action
I know there’s a lot of talk about there being a God Of War half-sequel coming soon, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but wouldn’t it have been cool to make it a throwback to the old style of games? I miss those and while I do like the new games they’re so different it basically means we’ll never see them again.

I think it’d be cool to link the last two games to whatever the new setting is with an old school adventure, it doesn’t even necessarily have to star Kratos. The old God Of War games were basically the only Western style game in the style of Devil May Cry and I think it’s a shame it’s gone away.

Free advice
For the reader asking about free games, I’d recommend The Finals. Fantastic game, me and the kids have poured hours into it and not spent a dime. Or even a penny.

Great, tight matches, brilliant destruction physics, and just outright fun. Highly recommend.

GCs review of Squad Busters recently had me download for a quick whirl and… I can’t stop playing. Great gameplay loop and very fun mechanics. Not for everyone perhaps, but I appreciate it for what it is. And polished to high heaven. Whatever that means.

Lastly, my fave game at the moment is Population One on the Meta Quest. Just fantastic atmosphere. Again, me and the kids have poured hours in and not spent anything, just match after match of us laughing our heads off and working as a team. Doesn’t get enough recognition, I think it’s superb.

Did you guys look at it, GC? It used to be a paid product, but they moved it over to free a good while ago. Great community, map making if that’s your bag, and just constant fun.

GC: We didn’t realise it was free now, we’ve only ever played it briefly at launch.

Football pass
So Microsoft has seen fit to increase the Game Pass. Personally, I have no objections to it. I’d quite happily pay a bit extra to keep receiving day one releases. But from what I have seen and read I can’t figure out if I get the Ultimate will I still be able to have access the PC library? Or will I have to play for that too?

I’m an avid Football Manager player and will have withdrawal from not being able to play.

GC: Ultimate still includes console and PC, as far as we understand.

Horrifying reveal
Well, that Nintendo horror game reveal was certainly unexpected! What is it? Who’s making it? Why are we only hearing about it now? I’ve no idea, obviously, but this is such a welcome surprise. As GC points out, Nintendo aren’t as adverse to horror games as you might think. Geist was also kind of spooky and they were very keen on Resident Evil during the GameCube era. So while this has come out of nowhere it’s not unprecedented.

I just hope it’s nothing to do with Bloober Team. I’ve no idea why they’ve become the go-to developer for horror but I’ve never liked any of their stuff, it’s just silly jump scares and bad storytelling. The tease for Eimo is just vague enough that it’s not clear whether it’s Japanese made or not, but I think the fact that its original name seems to be Japanese suggests it probably is.

Will it be out this year? Who knows, but I’d love if it came out around Halloween and was another surprise hit to make the Switch’s last year even better.

Inbox also-rans
I don’t even play Apex Legends and I’m outraged at what EA has done. It almost seems like a tax write off or something, where they’re trying to tank it as quickly as possible on purpose. If that’s the goal then they seem to doing well.

Is it Sony or Edge that are trolling the Bloodborne faithful?

At least someone remembers Bloodborne (Future Publishing)

Email your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Games Inbox: The best free video game, Apex Legends crisis, and BioShock 4 worries

MORE : Games Inbox: PS5 Pro release date prediction, Shadow Of The Erdtree love, Bioshock 1 remake

MORE : Games Inbox: Worrying the PS6 will be a flop, Nintendo games on PC, and GTA 6 vs. Call Of Duty

Source link