Thursday, September 29, 2022

Xbox Game Pass, or not to pass > NAG

Microsoft Game Pass has certainly come a long way since its inception in 2017. Today we take a journey down the rabbit hole to see where the green brick road takes us. But first, is Game Pass even worthwhile?

In short, yes, especially for anyone like me who doesn’t stay stuck on one game, cough… Fortnite…. Cough…

The offering from Microsoft, is a subscription service that you pay either, monthly, or annually, with the latter option enticing you with special offers from time to time such as an overall discount, or even an additional free month or two, and allows subscribers Access to a library of about 300 games on a rotational bases for free, with “new games added all the time, including day one releases”, according to Microsoft.

There are multiple Xbox subscription options, such as Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Live Gold, Cloud and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for you to pick from. At the moment, only the Ultimate package offers the full bouquet and it even includes an EA Play membership, meaning FIFA 22 will be playable without needing to purchase the game outright.

The Game Pass service provides, not only a free selection of games from various studios, but it also offers discounts on games you may want to own outright, or try before the rest of the n00bs gives it a go. A great example of this is Minecraft Preview, aimed at anyone who already owns Minecraft, you will be able to experience unreleased upcoming Minecraft features, for gratis, nada, niks, unothi.

Bottom line is that it is well worthwhile, and I must confess, it pushed me to purchase Assetto Corsa Competizione and all DLC’s on Xbox Series X, even though I already own the game on PC. Yeah, yeah, calm down, I did not tell my wife, because, well… discount people. Discount.

I love the fact that this service puts a very large spotlight on some amazing content that would otherwise be on a dusty shelf.

This regular segment will focus on Microsoft Game Pass Ultimate and all the free games on offer that pique my interest. I am fortunate enough to own a simulator rig so I perused the racing games on offer and came across DiRT Rally. The game, developed by Codemasters and originally released in 2016, is an authentic rally experience.

DiRT Rally starts off with in-game credit, just enough to purchase one of three cars, a Mini, Lancer or Peugeot and sets your journey off with some practice time and then headlong into a career of dirty DiRT racing and fun times. Naturally, I did what most clever, know-it-all men do… skipped right past the training and tutorial nonsense, because I KNOW DAMN WELL WHERE I AM GOING, OKAY…?

I do not have a shift gear, instead, I use a paddle shift, so a sequential gearbox feel is what I am experiencing, instead of the manual box of the original cars from that era. On top of this, I don’t own a handbrake stick thingy, so I won’t pretend to be Ken Block in my Hooni-pigeon, I just set my clutch as a handbrake, cause duh, who needs a clutch?

It looks stunning and if I was rescued from an island today and told that this game was launched yesterday, I’d totally believe you, it’s so fresh, it doesn’t smell funny at all – drops mic. It was free.

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