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Games Inbox: What is the best Game Pass game?

Aliens: Fireteam Elite key art

Aliens: Fireteam Elite – coming soon to Game Pass (pic: Focus Home Interactive)

The Wednesday Inbox tries to understand the mentality of whales and microtransactions, as a reader recommends PlayStation Now.

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

More than a Pass
I see that Aliens: Fireteam Elite is coming to Game Pass in a couple of weeks, which is great as I quite fancied playing the game but didn’t want to buy it as the reviews were mediocre. Which made me think, what is the best thing about Game Pass? Is it getting to play top games for no extra charge or being able to take a chance on things you’d never buy except dirt cheap in sales?

Obviously the answer is a bit of both but it’s a great service, even though I acknowledge it’s basically just Microsoft turning on god mode, since nobody else can afford to do the same thing.

I don’t want to talk about corporate bully boy tactics though, but the real issue: what is the best game on Game Pass? I’d say there’s a good argument that it’s Forza Horizon 5, which for me is the only first party game I’ve really enjoyed so far. In terms of other games, Control and Doom Eternal are great but I think my favourite is Hades, which is a great mix of something I’d never usually buy and a really great game. Game Pass at its best!

Is Game Pass sustainable? I have no idea, but it’s already more than paid for itself, as far as I’m concerned.

Now streaming
I subscribed to PlayStation Now the other day, I wanted to play The Last Of Us Part 2 and it seemed like the quickest way to get playing.

Sony don’t seem to push it as much and PlayStation Plus and it generally doesn’t seem to get the attention that Game Pass does, but I’ve actually been surprised by the reliability of the streaming and the variety of games available.

I’m not really sure what the quality of the game selection has been like in the past, but it’s certainly very good now and worth a second look if you haven’t done so for a while.

Take your time
Count me as another person that hopes the new BioShock leak is real because I think the obvious choice would’ve been to do some kind of prequel set in Rapture, again, and I’m really glad they haven’t done that.

That’s assuming it’s true of course but what is definitely true is that 2K hasn’t rushed out a sequel. Instead they’ve given their developers time to work on the game and time for people to actually miss the franchise, rather than just knocking a new one out every other year.

BioShock isn’t even necessarily my favourite or anything but I did enjoy it and the thought that the sequel is actually trying to do the right thing, in terms of taking its time, gets me more interested. Now, just make sure it works at launch, and not six months later, and we’re really talking.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

No pre-orders
So if they haven’t even started Half-Life 3 yet that means it’s not going to be out until 2027 at best? Probably later since it doesn’t sound like they’re going to jump on it straight away in the new year. I just don’t get it. Does Gabe Newell not like making video games anymore? If he doesn’t then isn’t there someone at Valve that does? Or can’t they give it to some fans – the ones that do the remakes – to make it?

I just don’t get it. The people that remember the ending of the last one are going to die of old age before Valve even start work on the game. It just seems like such a pointless waste.

Money trail
So Ludwig has left Twitch because they showed him no love? What absolute rubbish! The reason why he’s said that is because they didn’t offer him more money, that’s why he’s gone back to YouTube. Just another YouTuber that follows the money.

He needs to know in order to get respect you have to earn it. Twitch showed him that by offering him more money the first time and how does he respect them back? Moving back to YouTube! He needs to look up the word respect, might learn what it means.

GC: Why shouldn’t he follow the money? Are you suggesting you wouldn’t in his position?

Horse before cart
RE: Darius. I’m not sure you can lay the blame for the broken battle pass System on ‘Microsoft execs’. Someone at 343i was employed to figure out this system and it’s head bangingly obvious it’s horribly broken.

To me it makes more sense for XP to be given based on your performance in the game and any challenges be game mode agnostic. Complete three objectives rather than capture three flags.

The lack of XP rewarded in-game and the XP available only in multiples of 50 almost seems like 343i designed a points based progression system so it seems daft calling it XP.

They’re set for their second overhaul of the battle pass, so I’m sure it will be perfect by December… 2022.

A much bigger problem for me so far is the prevalence of PC players in most of the game modes I’ve played. Their ability to instantly turn and unload their entire pistol mag completely changes how much I enjoy the game.

After finding the controller-only option playlist I was in heaven, actually having duals with other players (and occasionally winning) and if I did get the jump on an opponent it actually felt like an advantage. Sadly, its only available in the solo/duo ranked playlist right now.

Sorting out the cross-play so that old fogeys like me can enjoy Halo should be 343’s main priority in my humble opinion.
DarKerR (gamertag)

GC: So far, the biggest push seems to be to have keyboard and mouse options on consoles. Which is basically the opposite of what you, quite understandably, want.

Strange rumours
So this whole Chrono Cross thing is pretty weird, huh? I do like Chrono Cross but what made them pick that game, of all things, to do a remake? And why not Chrono Trigger? Why is such a classic game always ignored and never rereleased?

It all seems so strange but I can see how, as GC suggested, the success of NieR may have convinced Square Enix to do it. Here’s hoping it’s true, but is there any real evidence so far?

GC: There’s an Another Eden crossover reveal event for an unnamed Square Enix on Saturday, so that half of the rumours looks like it’s going to check out.

Whale hunting
I’ve mentioned before that I use Reddit for information on games, it’s handy and in amongst the people who will tell you a game is great to justify their own purchase, they feel they have to like it having bought it, there will be a handful who give you a honest opinion.

A little while ago I saw a post on one of the gaming subs saying that to unlock everything in the new Halo it would cost over a thousand units of real money, they didn’t specify if it was dollars or pounds.

I replied to the post that it was mad to spend that much real money on a game, but what really surprised me was the replies I got to my reply.

One person told me that they had spoken to people who had spent over 100,000 on certain mobile games.

I also got some saying that FIFA is similar to Halo, and it just seemed that there were a lot of people on that thread who didn’t have any issue with it.

Coincidentally last night I saw that S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 for Xbox Series X is listed for £319 on Amazon, I nearly had a heart attack because I’ve been curious about that game, then I could see that it’s the Ultimate Edition, but still.

There is obviously a big difference between the intrinsic value the people spending this much money see in a video game and what I see. I’m okay to pay £60-£70 for a AAA game that isn’t riddled with microtransactions, if it’s FromSoftware and maybe Bethesda I’m also happy to pay for the DLC as well because those two have been proven reliable when it comes to putting out DLC that has value – apart from horse armour, but that’s it.

I’m not paying real money either for pretty skins or for more powerful gear and weapons, I’d rather just not play a game that was set up like that.

When I asked the person who said they knew people who had spent a hundred grand on a mobile game what the payoff was? What they got for their money? They never answered me, but another person said ‘sexy waifu’ so I’m not sure what to think about that mentality.

I get that people can spend their own money on whatever they like but it just seems like a massive waste to me. Not to mention the problems it causes for the rest of us when companies that used to be respected, that used to put out quality games like Ubisoft, decide they want in on the action – they gain massive profits but lose their integrity, their soul.

I’m curious as to how other readers and GC itself sees this, I know the genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back now but surely everyone can’t be okay with this?

GC: Only a tiny proportion of players spend that sort of money, that’s why publishers refer to them as whales. It definitely happens though and it’s absolutely baffling.

Inbox also-rans
Hey, thought you might enjoy this site that sells Halo themed tea bags (for obvious reasons).

GC: We’re not going to lie, Pine Needler is a great name.

I don’t about being ‘awful’ but Resident Evil Village is definitely middle-of-the-road for the serious, if not actual bottom tier.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Straybe, who asks what’s the best acting performance you’ve ever seen in a video game?

Even if you don’t know the name of the actor involved what character do you think is the best acted in terms of the voice and/or motion capture performance? What was their best scene (please try to avoid spoilers) and how do you think it compares to a performance in live action media?

How much do you tend to notice good or bad acting in a video game and how important is it to you enjoying a game? Also, are there any that were bad enough to put you off an otherwise good game?

E-mail 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, 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.

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