Xbox Game Pass may be one of the best deals in gaming right now, particularly as you get a huge variety of games for a pretty reasonable price each month. In the couple of months that I have owned Game Pass, I have played many games I probably would not have bothered taking in without it – and that is quite possibly the best thing about it; the opportunity for millions to get easy access to new experiences. So with that in mind, what are the hidden gems available on Xbox Game Pass?
Bomber Crew is an awesome airplane bombing simulator where you control the crew of a bomber plane. The player is given a set of missions involving bombing different targets and taking pictures of ground enemies. You have to take care of everything in the plane from the moment you take off to the moment you land. By controlling each individual person you will find yourself flying, marking out the map, handling the guns, repairing the plane, and of course dropping the all-important bombs.
The missions are really involving and get much more difficult as the campaign progresses, ensuring the main gameplay is always engaging the whole way through. It has a really charming and cute art style that adds some much needed levity and is really unique to this kind of genre.
If you want a tough strategy game that will test your wits then Bomber Crew is for you.
Sea of Thieves
When Rare’s Sea of Thieves originally came out it was not received with the warmest reception; and for good reason. It lacked some serious amount of content and felt empty.
However, after a year of being out on the open seas, the “Sea of Thieves” experience we now have is definitely worth exploring. Several updates have added new features that have majorly fleshed out the game, and with a new story mode and PvP options, it has become a much better experience.
I have spent hours searching for treasure and raiding other ships, and there’s more than enough content here to last you for days, weeks and months, with what is easily the best sailing mechanics in gaming drawing you in.
If you have a group of mates to play with, Sea of Thieves is a rollicking good time.
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut is an isometric CRPG that is the successor to the classic original Wasteland; succeeding as a sequel in almost every way.
You lead a group of four player created soldiers who are a squad for the legendary Rangers – the police of post apocalyptic America. The gameplay is standard for the genre; you level up your characters with a multitude of stats that help them fight in turn based battles, action tasks like unlocking doors, or spend time to convince/intimidate people in dialogue options.
The main plot is a weird sci-fi tale that’s really cool and all the places that you get to take in are incredibly imaginative. The excellent combat encounters and clever dialogue have kept me hooked for the 30 or more hours it takes to reach the conclusion. Oh, and the ending is freaking great.
Westerado: Double Barreled
Westerado: Double Barreled is like if someone said “lets make Red Dead Redemption 2 and fit it all on one gigabyte”. But I mean that in the absolute best way possible. See, this is a pixelated open world western adventure that is so much more than meets the eye.
The main gameplay has you exploring the world, talking to different wacky characters, and fighting bandits. However there is a real freedom of choice in Westerado and you can talk to and shoot virtually everyone; this has a major impact on what options will open to you. For example the town rancher may help you find someone if you protect his buffalo from the Indians – you could do that or you could shoot him in the face and free his buffalo, leaving the Indians appreciating the help and giving the information you need instead.
These kind of dilemmas are everywhere and player has the freedom to make these decisions as they explore the west. It makes for an experience that I could not put down.
Vampyr is an action RPG from Dontnod – and it’s an entirely engrossing experience.
It follows Dr. Reid who gets turned into a vampire in London after returning from WW1. It’s a unique setting and concept that’s utilized very well.
The game’s main focus point is set firmly on choices that the player makes with the citizens of London. The main way to gain experience to level up abilities is by feeding on people, and the more you get to know a person and complete their sidequests, the more experience that person will have. The trouble is that feeding on someone kills them.
This means that the player has to choose between taking experience or the life of many characters that they have grown to care for. It’s a creative mechanic that causes lots of tough decisions.
It must be said that Vampyr has some loading and technical issues and also the combat is very stiff and generic. However the writing, voice acting, music, setting, sound design, and pretty much everything else, is top notch. It’s a gothic narrative-driven journey that I could not stop thinking about.
So there we have it – the hidden gems from the Xbox Game Pass scheme. Yes, they show just a fraction of the excellent library that is on offer, but all of these are well worth playing in their own right so if you find yourself with a spare 5 minutes and want to take something new in, make sure you check them out.
But what other Xbox Game Pass titles stand out to you? What would you have not enjoyed without the brilliance of Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below.