Xbox Game Pass keeps delivering on great games, big news and incredible value month-after-month. April 2021 hasn’t been any different for the service. Several games debuted onto the service the day of their launch, some joined the service after a long wait and one re-joined the service after a long hiatus. But with so many games cycling in and out of Xbox Game Pass, it can be almost too much content to keep up with. That’s why we’ve compiled the service’s biggest highlights into one place. Here are the Xbox Game Pass’ April 2021 highlights:
Outriders made headlines as the first ever AAA game to launch onto Game Pass from a third party (and it wasn’t the last). Square Enix’s new IP positioned itself as the anti-looter shooter, a response to the poor to mixed reception of games such as Anthem, Avengers, Destiny and The Division.
And to their credit, the developers at People Can Fly delivered.
Outriders was the rare looter shooter to have no microtransactions, relying solely on its satisfying and varied loot progression to do the heavy lifting. Outriders doesn’t pull any punches, it allows you to have fun with the most over-the-top abilities and powerful weapons early on, without having to grind. It also included a meaty endgame experience from the start as well as a surprisingly interesting, confident world to explore.
The game has been riddled with inconsistent servers since launch, but once fixed, Outriders will be arguably the most accomplished looter-shooter on Xbox Game Pass.
Rain on Your Parade
Rain on Your Parade relishes the mayhem that comes with being a public nuisance. In the same way Untitled Goose Game and Goat Simulator are all about annoying innocent people, Rain on your Parade literally has you controlling a cloud, raining on people.
But of course, it’s not that simple.
Just like Goose Game, Rain on Your Parade has you fill out a series of checklist tasks that will either complicate your goal of raining on people, or will have you engage with the game world in entirely new ways.
The game’s variety is its biggest asset with levels switching between pure anarchy, puzzle-solving, stealth and more. Full of good humour and a ton of video game references, Rain on your Parade shouldn’t be missed my mischief lovers and indie fans.
MLB The Show 21
As a Brit, I knew nothing about MLB. As the least sporty person you will ever meet, I didn’t want to. But that’s where the power of Game Pass comes in as MLB The Show 21, a once inaccessible series to Xbox players, has become readily playable for millions of people for the very first time on Xbox.
MLB The Show 21 has long been the reigning king of baseball video games with layered gameplay, deep team-building and high production values. However, it has traditionally dodged a release on Xbox as a PlayStation-developed franchise. Thankfully, because of contract re-negotiations The Show 21 brings the storied series to Xbox players. And in a brutal, Game of Thrones-esque move, Microsoft and MLB scored a home-run by bringing the game to Xbox Game Pass, seemingly without Sony’s knowledge, while the game sells at full price on PlayStation.
If you’re into your baseball, this is a home-run hit.
Rockstar’s Xbox 360 masterpiece is still as relevant today as it was in 2013, so it’s no wonder it’s been added to the service. Twice.
GTA V’s campaign first enamoured gamers with its scorching satire and non-stop-action campaign, but its GTA Online that has catapulted GTA V to become a historic success. If you’ve never played GTA V’s campaign, you’re in for a hilarious treat. Rockstar continually escalates the stakes and introduces new ways for players to shoot, steal and stealth their way through their crime world.
While GTA Online is definitely overwhelming to newcomers, co-op heists are an incredible challenge of cooperation and make great use of space that the campaign doesn’t tread through.
Avalanche’s new early-access title is a refreshing blend of many multiplayer games. Elements from hero-shooters, looter-shooters, battle-royale titles and Left 4 Dead all collide in Second Extinction. Throw in hordes of mutated dinosaurs and the product is a relentless, brutal survival shooter.
Second Extinction isn’t without its faults; right now the experience is overrun with some server issues, bugs and wonky balancing, but we have to consider this is also a Game Preview title; one that is constantly being worked on. I was kicked out of matches twice in one hour and the game is practically impossible to play without a full squad.
Avalanche have however already detailed a roadmap for future updates on their website, so most of these issues will, almost definitely, be ironed out as the title nears a full release.
Until then, Second Extinction’s foundation is so strong that it’s still one of the month’s Game Pass highlights, if you can find a squad.
Destroy All Humans! (2020)
Originally a 2005 cult-classic, Destroy All Humans! brings the raunchy, open-world sci-fi game to the modern era. Players control Crypto-137 as he invades Earth in an attempt to steal DNA and, well… destroy all the humans.
This remake enhances the invasion with a complete overhaul of the animations, graphics and overall presentation. Everything else remains intact including the phenomenal voice work and the politically incorrect caricature of 1950s America.
Destroy All Humans!’s gameplay is just as whacky and hilarious, presenting players with tons of options for environmental destruction, human disintegration and anal probing.
The phenomenal Spiritfarer received its first, free update adding a brand-new character to your ship: Lily. This is the first narrative addition to the 2020 gem, so if you were already a fan, get ready, and if you haven’t tried Spiritfarer, this is the perfect time.
Fable Anniversary and Fable III are now playable through Project xCloud if you have a device that currently supports it, and speaking of streaming, no less than 6 games received dedicated touch controls through April, including Overcooked 2, Wreckfest and gaming’s favourite bird and bear: Banjo-Kazooie.
It’s fair to say that Xbox Game Pass has had another stellar month. But what have you been playing? Let us know in the comments.