Microsoft have announced the next handful of games coming to Xbox Game Pass For PC, and one of my absolute faves is on the list. The gloomy turn-based roguelike Darkest Dungeon will be available on the subscription service on June 10th; an excellent chance for players who might've missed it to give it a go before the sequel launches later this year. On June 8th, the raccoon detective game Backbone is hitting the service too.
Made by Red Hook Studios, Darkest Dunegon will have you dragging adventurers into dire dungeons, slaying monsters and working to discover what strange things are afoot. It started life in early access in 2015, and I recently interviewed the devs about that experience. They loved early access, and plan on doing it all again when they release the sequel this year.
It's the sort of game that can be terribly difficult, but that just makes you wanna stick with it all the more. Joe Donelly puts it best in his Darkest Dungeon review from 2016:
"You’ll lose lives, money, resolve and the marbles of your crew, before you’re back at the hamlet with nothing to show, no further forward, another four bodies resigned to the graveyard. You’ll incessantly tour a ragtag mob of reluctant rookies into foregone conclusions. You’ll laugh at the fact you’ve wound up with a nymphomaniac alcoholic who is barred from both the Tavern and the Brothel. You’ll cry. And cry and cry and cry. But I think you’ll love it."
As for Backbone, it's a gorgeous adventure game about a racoon detective working cases in a city full of animals. It's hitting Game Pass on its launch day, June 8th, and will be available to buy on Steam, GOG, the Epic Games Store then as well.
Alice Bee played a Backbone demo a while back, and was struck by the writing when it came to chatting with folks for your investigations.
"The way the conversations flow and loop back around, but without any, 'Wait, can you repeat that?' options make them, I think, the most natural dialogue I have ever seen in a video game," she wrote. "I still have some reservations about the ol' animals-as-metaphor-for-racism chestnut, but I'm trusting that the game is smart enough to play out its themes well."
Alas, as always, we must say goodbye to a handful of good'uns this month as well. Here's what's leaving Xbox Game Pass For PC on June 15th:
- Night Call (Cloud, Console, and PC)
- West of Dead (Cloud, Console, and PC)
- Wizard of Legend (Cloud, Console, and PC)
- Observation (Cloud, Console, and PC)
For info on what's coming to and going from the console version of the subscription service, check out the Xbox blog. And if you don't have a game pass subscription, you can nab one for just £1/$1 for your first month, with the price going up to £8/$10 per month after.