If you prefer Earth be but a blue marble alone in the void, two of the latest Game Pass additions might tickle your spacefancy. Microsoft's subscription service today adds BioWare's remastered Mass Effect Legendary Edition trilogy as well as the beautiful clockwork mystery Outer Wilds, which was our favourite game of 2019. The cooperative and chaotic first-person firefighting game Embr hit Game Pass today too but that has, like, gravity? So passé.
First-person adventure game Outer Wilds is a beautifully intricate thing, a multifaceted mystery set across a simulated solar system which runs like clockwork within a 20-minute time loop. Chasing threads reveals a little more, then a little more, and a little more, until you have revelations which suddenly change how you understand something, leading you deeper into the mystery to chase new inquiries. Discovering and solving its secrets is a joy, and sometimes a terror. A big sense of wonder. Splendid.
"Outer Wilds has more character in its handful of planetoids than No Man's Sky had in 70 squinjillion," Brendy said in our Outer Wilds review. "I have loved my time trekking across the dust or ice of these distant dirtballs, seeing the curvature on the horizon and wondering 'what's over there?' This is a solar system in miniature, full of secrets and marvels."
Game Pass doesn't include the recent Outer Wilds expansion, mind. And that is a cracker, as Matthew's Echoes Of The Eye review tries to cautiously explain without spoilers.
As for Mass Effect Legendary Edition, well, it's Mass Effect. The 2021 remasters of BioWare's sci-fi RPG are solid, with the first game tweaked the most. It's, you know, Mass Effect, again. I like the series but quite not enough to pay £55 for a glow-up so cool, thank you game Pass.
As for Embr, it's a silly co-op game about putting out fires and saving people using water and weird gadgets. I've heard it's fun? Haven't played it.
Yes, The Outer Worlds is still on Game Pass, damn its eyes. God I hope I've got through this post without using the wrong name for either game.