Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC, and Android

I played the tutorials and started a campaign playthrough for Surviving Mars this weekend. It certainly feels like a Paradox game! The tutorials weren't especially effective at explaining the things they sought to explain, and were even less effective at explaining the game as a whole. But they at least gave me a handle on some of the ideas in the mechanics and some of the ways the UI works. Starting a campaign with the easiest settings (or at least the easiest that don't disable achievements), I've got a working colony with 12 colonists. I think my 2 biggest holdups at this point are 1)figuring out how/why to do anything that wasn't addressed in the tutorials and 2)figuring out some sort of goal that I'm working towards. An interesting aspect of the campaign when you start it is you get to choose a story sequence to interact with throughout your game. I like the idea of having my choice among storylines that can play out in each playthrough, as it may provide some of that motivation that feels lacking but...I'm not sure where this story lives or what I need to do to progress it. Like a lot of Paradox games, I'll probably end up fiddling with it for 10-20 hours until I get frustrated or bored or confused and then just delete it.

I found Quill18's getting started videos very helpful for figuring out Surviving Mars when I was getting started after I flailed around for a couple of hours. I am not sure if he updated them for the latest builds but I imagine most of it still applies.

How long do the adventures take?
If just playing solo, is this game a "better" gaming experience on the Switch than say other board game-like games on the Switch?

Thank you,
Chad

LeapingGnome, thanks for the suggestion, I started Quill18's beginner tutorial videos and they're definitely helpful. As always with this sort of game, I realize now I should just scrap my 4-5 hour initial investment and start fresh with this new knowledge.

(Chad, I'm guessing you posted in the wrong thread?)

Void Bastards is out on May 29th and will be on Game Pass that same day.

I started playing Shadow Complex last night and I loved it. I love searching for secrets, the graphics, the weapons. I think I like it enough I will actually finish it!

For the King is kind of adorable; a roguelike procedurally-generated turn--based RPG that has some online co-op. It's a bit dodgy from a technical perspective as I've had a few crashes, but, for free, it's a darn good time.

Turn-based RPG with online co-op. Interesting!

farley3k wrote:

I started playing Shadow Complex last night and I loved it. I love searching for secrets, the graphics, the weapons. I think I like it enough I will actually finish it!

One of the best!

Running Man wrote:

Turn-based RPG with online co-op. Interesting!

There's actually a bit of depth with different classes, and whatever weapons you equip give you different abilities. So, if the Minstrel has one lute that might have a standard attack and then an area effect attack, you could find a different instrument with a standard attack and then a stun attack. Has some adorable old-school graphics, and I can just get on, screw around for a bit, and then log off; I was referring to it as an anti-live service game the other day, because it hasn't ever made me feel like I "have" to be playing it. It's just relaxing, simple fun.

Nice new selection coming to Game Pass:
- Metal Gear Survive (5/23)
- Banner Saga (5/23)
- Void Bastards (5/29, new release)
- Dead by Daylight (5/30)
- Outer Wilds (5/30, new release)
- Full Metal Furies (6/6)
- Banner Saga 2 (6/6)
- Superhot (6/6)

Do you know if any of those are available for the PC version?

I look forward to the ten minutes I spend playing Metal Gear Survive, which will pretty much serve the same purpose as the ten minutes I spent playing Agents of Mayhem; is it really as awful as everyone says?

I randomly jumped back in to Descenders over the weekend and am surprised by how much I like it. It is very weird that this biking game is basically SSX + FTL, but it really works. I've now opened up a shortcut to the second zone, and have leveled up with one of the sponsors a few times too. This is listed as being "Game Preview" (i.e. early access), so I'm curious to see what they will end up adding to it. I think I might stick with it longer if it had a a less rougelike-y career mode, something like Trials where there's an end goal I could work towards more directly, but we'll see where they take it...

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I look forward to the ten minutes I spend playing Metal Gear Survive, which will pretty much serve the same purpose as the ten minutes I spent playing Agents of Mayhem; is it really as awful as everyone says?

Agents of Mayhem.... dang I wanted that to be good. Hated it.

How does everyone feel about the idea of doing a “GWJ Game Club” thing for Gamepass?

I would participate, but I’m not the right person to organize something like that. I just thought that I would float the idea in case someone felt like running with it.

I would definitely follow that thread with the intention of participating and yet always find a reason to fail to actually participate, as I do with several other game club threads

I played both of the hot new Game Pass games over the past week or so, Void Bastards and Outer Wilds.

My first few hours impressions of each of them have now totally flipped after a few more hours. Initially, I was really excited about Void Bastards, love the look, like the feel, intrigued by the idea of things. Yet, with a few more hours in, I'm not having very much fun. I think I need to try dropping the difficulty to easy. I feel like I go to one or two ships and take out most enemies and do some minimally useful scavenging, then get to like the third ship and suddenly have basically no ammo and sneak around trying to find useful stuff before getting overwhelmed and killed, and then start that loop over again without making very much progress. It doesn't help that I am a tense weenie--I move through the levels very slowly and cautiously and the whole thing stresses me out. I could see having a lot more fun though if every enemy just had like 50% fewer hit points and did 50% less damage.

Outer Wilds I completely and utterly did not get until last night. On first attempt with the game, I explored the starting planet and did all of the things that are basically mini-tutorials. Then I managed to land on the moon and explored around there, but didn't really find anything of interest. Then I flew around a little more and got killed trying to land somewhere else. My next 3-4 play sessions all consisted of 10-15 minutes of me trying to go somewhere and either crash landing on the planet, crashing into the sun (auto pilot is NOT very smart), or landing somewhere and finding nothing of any interest. Finally, though, last night I stumbled across a very interesting region on a planet I landed on, including discovering a bunch of text to translate, and suddenly I think I understand what this game is. I also discovered that choosing to speak with your buddy at the camp fire after a few runs, he actually has useful new info to share. As one not too revealing example, I had a dialog option where I could say "hey, the autopilot just crashed me into the sun!" (something that happened to me literally 3 or 4 times before I understood that that's what was happening) and he had a helpful response explaining/confirming the limitations of the autopilot. Finally, just this morning, I listened to Austin Walker describe the game on Waypoint Radio, and that, too, helped me get my mental bearings with the game and understand why it is the way it is. I am a little wary to have heard him say that it's more like a 25 hour game--I think I liked the version of the game in my head where the thing I did last night that opened up a bunch of info to me was something I just needed to repeat 3 or 4 times and then I'm done in 5 hours--but I'm definitely much more interested in this game now that I finally understand what it is.

I'll play anything with orbital mechanics in it. Do you get to manually do burns to get transfer orbits, or is the planetary system just a bunch of balls you blast off to?

Somewhere in between, I think. Your joystick and triggers burn thrusters in different directions, and it's definitely complicated enough that I have crashed or accidentally blown past a target way more times than I have safely landed my spaceship, so it's not like you just click on a planet and zip over to it, but it's not Kerbal-level simulations either.

mrlogical wrote:

Initially, I was really excited about Void Bastards, love the look, like the feel, intrigued by the idea of things. Yet, with a few more hours in, I'm not having very much fun. I think I need to try dropping the difficulty to easy. I feel like I go to one or two ships and take out most enemies and do some minimally useful scavenging, then get to like the third ship and suddenly have basically no ammo and sneak around trying to find useful stuff before getting overwhelmed and killed, and then start that loop over again without making very much progress. It doesn't help that I am a tense weenie--I move through the levels very slowly and cautiously and the whole thing stresses me out. I could see having a lot more fun though if every enemy just had like 50% fewer hit points and did 50% less damage.

My first few runs were a lot like yours, then it kind of broke open for me. Maybe because I found the shotgun/stapler pretty early. It may help to think of the game less as a stealth creeper and more of a high speed room clearing game. Run/Sweep/Murder/Escape. Also, in the early game, it helps to focus on ships that just have tourists and janitors.

Outer Wilds: I feel like I should love this game, but it just hasn't quite clicked with me. It's probably me. I'm just not in a spot where I can give this game the time and attention it needs.

I’ve been enjoying War Groove over the past few days. I’ve done 5 missions now and I’m feeling like I fully understand the gameplay loop. If the rest of the game is just more of the same then I will probably lose interest quickly.

I’ve been really tempted to move on to Void Bastards. It’s art style looks incredibly cool. And I love the FTL references that I noticed in the trailer.

Void Bastards looks cool, but the gameplay is . . . fine. There's nothing particularly innovative outside of the graphical choices, and I don't think people would be talking about it much at all without the comic book feel. Kind of a style over substance thing for me.

Void Bastards kind of looks like the non vr version of From Other Suns. I dug that game but developers abandoned it quickly and there was only so much content hidden behind the rogue like aspects.

I’ve played several hours of Void Bastards. Once you unlock a few perks it becomes easier to have successful runs. You can learn ways to deal with the various enemies. You can select your weapon load out to deal with certain types of enemies. For instance, if the ship has a “shedload” of tourists all you will need is a pistol. They explode like a grenade and you can clear entire rooms with a one shot chain reaction of exploding tourists.

I finished Void Bastards last night and really enjoyed my time with it. It's a shooter, but the focus is strongly on exploration and crafting. It's technically a rogue-like, but death is a much, much smaller penalty in VB than traditional rogue-likes. This will probably turn off a lot of rogue-like fans, but for those looking for something a little more laid back, VB will be much more appealing because there's very little in the way of backward progress. The most you lose when you die is your ammo, food, and fuel supply, all of which are very easy to build back up.

I found it to be relatively easy on the normal difficulty. The beginning is a bit tougher, but once you start to build up a reasonable stock of food and grab a couple weapon upgrades, it's smooth sailing. I think I died 3 or 4 times in total.

General tips:

  • Tailor your load out to the enemies on the vessel. Don't waste your stapler if all you're up against is tourists and juveniles, bring stun to deal with screws, etc.
  • If you aren't bringing your stun gun, make sure you have a plan to deal with security elements (gun turrets, peepers, and sectbots). You're going to eat a lot of damage trying to take down a turret with a pistol without a stun. Combo it with some bangers or bushwhackers to take them down quickly.
  • Determine your current goal to help you plot your course on the space map. It's tempting to always go for the next major crafting part, but if you are low on merits and staples, and you see a ship that is filled with merits and staples, it might be worth taking temporary part hunting break to stock up a little.
  • When you first load in to a level, use the map to plan your route. I usually head for the map room asap and try to hit O2 near the halfway point of a level. If there's a recycle or conversion room, leave those for the end so you actually have junk to recycle and convert.
  • If you are en-route to a particularly dangerous level (such as one that's on fire before you have the fire damage reduction), just fly by. You don't have to dock at every station.
  • If you see an opportunity to pick up torpedos and warp keys, take it. Torpedos are invaluable for dealing with pirate ships. Warp Keys let you cheat the map navigation and hit stations you wouldn't otherwise be able to.
  • When in doubt, bring the stun gun. It's good against almost everything.

Here are ways I dealt with the tougher enemies:

Spoiler:
  • Screw - Stun and run. Lock them in rooms. Trying to kill them is a huge waste of ammo.
  • Gun turrets/secbots - Stun and destroy.
  • Scribes - Spike 'em. They'll run away and die.
  • Spooks - Spike em. Or stun and shoot before they stealth again.
  • Patients - Rad gun. 1 shot kills the herd.
  • Zec - Rad gun. If you don't have a rad gun, try to throw an explosive (bushwhacker or banger) behind them, or just run.

It's very disappointing they don't offer the majority of games on their PC version of the pass. It's quite frankly a rip off with the selection available.

I don't think they officially offer a PC version of the pass yet, right? You can access a small selection of stuff on PC through your membership right now, but they only recently (last week?) announced an official PC version of the pass that they will be selling, for which they have allegedly lined up a whole lot of games, but I'm pretty sure that's not out there yet (maybe after E3?). Also unclear whether it will be a separate membership or not...a lot of coverage I've read/heard, people are inferring that it will be a separate product but I'm not convinced that Microsoft has made a meaningful statement about that yet.

The Xbox Game Pass for PC won't be unveiled until Sunday during their E3 conference. It's supposed to have over a hundred games, and they've literally upended Microsoft's primary strategy with the Windows Store to make it happen. I'll be really curious to see what it includes and what pricing looks like.

I’m still liking Void Bastards. I’ve definitely died more than four times. More like countless times. I have it on the default difficulty, which I think is called “normal”.

I’ve dipped into Outer Wilds. It is interesting, but I will probably check a guide before going back in. Mostly because I will travel to a planet, but then die while trying to get inside of a structure that I’m locked out of. I’ve had some interesting encounters to be sure. Sort of feels like early access, though I haven’t encountered any bugs. It’s just a bit obtuse about what it expects from you.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m still liking Void Bastards. I’ve definitely died more than four times. More like countless times. I have it on the default difficulty, which I think is called “normal”.

Dyni also only died like five times in Below, so just ignore him. He's a freak of nature.