I don’t know if we’ve mentioned it, but we’re big fans of the Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft has done a great job of keeping their subscription based service supported and updated, so much so that we named it Service of the Year in our End of Year Awards 2018 (have we told you that before?). The Game Pass is showing no signs of slowing down, with Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Crackdown 3 joining the games roster this month.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the final installment in Lara Croft’s “origin trilogy” which has rebooted the franchise in recent years. The game is bloody gorgeous to look at and incredibly fun at times, with a greater emphasis on actual tomb raiding than in previous entries in the trilogy, but it does rely on old mechanics a bit too much. In my review of the game, I said:
“Indeed, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is at it’s brilliant best when it simply lets us do what we signed up for – platform, raid tombs and solve puzzles. The games most memorable moments often come away from the main story, when you’re on your own, with no enemies to face in optional Challenge Tombs. What this all ultimately means is that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an enjoyable yet slightly disappointing end to this origin trilogy, largely in part due to its poor story and its reluctance to try anything new. Despite this, I did still enjoy my time with the game, particularly its emphasis on puzzling and stealth combat. The game is still absolutely worth a purchase—particularly if you’re already a fan of the series—and it will give you a solid 15 hours of gameplay if you’re only interested in the main story, or a possible 25 hours if you’re a bit of a completionist.”
Now, you don’t need to worry about the cost of a purchase, because Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be added to the Xbox Game Pass tomorrow, Thursday 7th February, and will be fully playable just with the cost of your monthly subscription. If you haven’t experienced the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise then I highly recommend it, and the addition of Shadow of the Tomb Raider means that the entire trilogy is now playable through the Xbox Game Pass.
Joining Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox Game Pass on 7th February is the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, which is ideal for anybody who has had their interest peaked by all of the recent goings-on with the game since Telltale’s closure, and the impending release date of the final ever episode. Indeed, if you’re suddenly feeling an urge to check out the series then tomorrow will be the perfect time. If fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled trickathons are more your thing then Pumped BMX Pro will have its launch on the Xbox Game Pass tomorrow.
Pumped BMX Pro won’t be the only game to launch on Game Pass in February though, because—as we already know—Crackdown 3 will arrive on the Game Pass on its launch day of Friday 15th February, as is the case with all Xbox One exclusive titles. That’s not all for February though – a day prior to Crackdown’s arrival, excellent puzzle platformer de Blob will also land on the Game Pass. For those of you paying attention to the date, yes that is Valentines Day, so maybe cancel your dinner reservations and settle down for a nice romantic night of puzzling.
You thought the Game Pass was finished there? Think again. Thursday 21st February will see the arrival of the Xbox One X enhanced version of Batman: Return to Arkham, which brings players the Xbox 360’s fantastic Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City together in one package, updated for the current gen.
It’s yet another very strong month for the Xbox Game Pass which continues to grow and almost become an absolute no-brainer of a subscription. The Game Pass has so far allowed me to play both Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves at launch without having to fork up the full cost of a purchase, and I also finally experienced the fantastic Life Is Strange through the service, which I probably wouldn’t have played otherwise. For just £7.99 a month, how can you go wrong?