Get in the car, punk. Xbox Game Pass for PC is about to pick up three new games, cramming Final Fantasy XV, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Death's Gambit into the back seat of its subscription bandwagon. That's one banger, one bust, and one "huh, seems alright" jumping onto Game Pass' growing catalogue, still available at £1/$1 for three months if you're a first-time subscriber.
But all that's firmly in "coming soon" territory. Before all that, we've got a brief detour to punch-town as Bleeding Edge, Ninja Theory's upcoming multiplayer basher, hops on for a two-day beta on Xbox Games Pass next week.
Let's run through those games first. Katherine hopped on for our Final Fantasy XV review. While it might not be the best of the series, she reckons it's by far the most "interesting, experimental and important" entry in Square Enix's venerable franchise. Even if all but one of its planned DLC packs were quietly tossed out the window , you're still getting a nice ride through the country with four anime supermodels. Can't put a price on that, eh?
Running through with vidbud Astrid, Matt's Wolfenstein: Youngblood review found it to be a totally bogus co-op slog. A repetitive chore of a game, packed with disjointed storytelling and bad-ical one-liners. Even if you're looking for a mindless romp with a mate, Matt recommends you "go play Borderlands, Destiny 2, or Far Cry flipping Five instead."
Maybe it's worth a bash at a quid? I wouldn't stress myself over it.
Finally, Death's Gambit is a side-scrolling souls 'em up. Now there's a few of those (Hollow Knight? Salt and Sanctuary?) going around, and I'd never heard of this one, but it's awfully vibrant given the pitch. You're death's best mate, and you're killing monsters - but you're chopping their heads off in lovely blossoming orchards and crisp alpine valleys. It also looks to have some well good bosses, grappling up their titanic bodies to bash them on the bonce.
But Xbox Games Pass has one last Valentine's treat. From February 14th-16th, subscribers will gain access to Bleeding Edge's first public beta. Ninja Theory's 4v4 punch-up was announced at E3 last summer. This'll be the first time the public at large will get their hands on it. Our lad Brendan got his mitts on Bleeding Edge on the show floor last year.
Is it fun? Yeah, perhaps - but Brendy reckons it'll have a tough fight getting noticed in today's crowd.
"I’m having a good time being a sneaky nan, definitely, but these games always live or die on their numbers, and I don’t know how I would sell this to my friends apart from emphasising the fun character design. ‘Yeah, it’s not bad!’ I’d say. ‘You can be a pink-haired woman whose entire lower body is one big wheel. You can be a ninja who dresses like a spraypainting skaterboy. You can ride around on a hoverboard.'"
I s'pose we'll find out next Friday. I'm quietly optimistic, if only because I've been craving a good team-shooter (well, puncher) to sink my teeth into for years.