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Xbox Game Pass review

by Arnav Sawant

Photo from E3 2019.


Before I begin, I realize that Xbox Game Pass is a subscription that has been around for years now. The purpose of these series of paragraphs is to establish the current state of the service. Is it still as unappealing as it was on its release? Or has it stepped up its game, completely re-innovating a way to play games?

Despite its shaky start, Xbox Game Pass has managed to hold a pretty formidable standing in the gaming industry. In 2017,  Xbox had promised a completely revolutionary service that allowed gamers worldwide to have access to hundreds of games for a small fee. The small fee ended up being a round figure of $10.00 for an abysmal collection of games. Most of the time, the games would not download, or when downloaded, the games would not launch. The Pass had some classic, retro titles such as the Bioshock collection but it was not enough support for the subscription to thrive on its own. Playstation and Nintendo were releasing quality, exclusive titles around this time, and Xbox seemed to be lacking in both quality and exclusives. The ingredients were there for a perfect storm for Xbox, but Playstation and Nintendo were a hurricane in comparison.

However, around late 2018, things were starting to look good for Xbox. The company had announced and started releasing exclusives for the console roughly a year ago. The catch was that every exclusive released by Xbox Game Studios (the publisher of the Xbox Exclusive titles) was available on Xbox Game Pass starting Day 1 of that specific game’s release. This was something that was never seen before in the gaming wars between the different platforms. A service that allowed you to play exclusive games to Xbox, on day 1, with bonuses, and without bugs and glitches? Everyone was immediately attracted to such an offer, and Xbox got its first permanent customers to their subscription. Games like Sea of Thieves, the entire Halo: Masterchief collection, and the Gears of War collection were released, waiting for twitchy gamers everywhere. In addition, games that were available on Game Pass were discounted at purchase if you enjoyed that game and wished to have it. 

Annnnnd here we are … February 2020. The dawn of something greater in gaming. The Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 have been announced. But current generation consoles are still thriving and Xbox Game Pass is now recognized far and wide, even by Playstation die-hard fans and Switch owners. Xbox had managed to pull off something their competitors were unable to do, regardless of how bad the initial product was. The current library of games not only includes Xbox Exclusives, but those that have won Game of the Year Awards, such as Grand Theft Auto Five and The Witcher 3. The Pass also includes titles that have been released by small companies that are still fun to play, such as Plague Tale: Innocence. Other time-breakers include Rocket League, The Batman Arkham Trilogy, Just Cause 3 and 4, and so much more. 

Xbox has partnered up with a multitude of companies to promote the Pass such as EA back in December of 2019. It also provides services such as Spotify Premium for 6 months and Discord Nitro for 3 months when you purchased 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, for $1.00! That is absolutely insane. Obviously I could not resist that offer and I took it (I am still using Spotify under that promotion, so thank you Xbox!). Speaking of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it was another subscription of Xbox’s that included Xbox Live Gold (a stable multiplayer service) and Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC at no additional cost! Talk about a bargain!

Overall Verdict: 9/10

The Xbox Game Pass has a variety of games and subscriptions that adhere to your choosing, allowing for a custom tailored Xbox experience that is completely fit for you. However, a small amount of bugs and glitches and the ability to not transfer certain Xbox Game Pass console games to Xbox Game Pass for PC ultimately prevents it from achieving a perfect score.

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