Barely a day goes by without me playing at least one Game Pass game. With such a wealth of content – and such a high level of quality – there’s so much that it’s next to impossible to have time to play everything I want to. What has been consuming my gaming time on Microsoft’s subscription service this week though?

The Jackbox Party Pack 3

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore the Jackbox Party Packs. Though not all of the games in each pack are winners, there’s so much inventiveness, fun and accessible multiplayer gameplay included – without even needing the use of expensive extra controllers either, considering everyone uses their phone or tablet to play – that it’s hard to begrudge the inclusion of the odd misfire. The two standouts for me in the third Party Pack are Tee KO and Fakin’ It; the former sees players designing t-shirts with funny slogans and the latter sees one player given a different question to answer than the rest of the group, then try to avoid detection as the ‘faker’. Original, clever and always very funny.

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 Screenshot Watching the destroyed skyline

A massive improvement over the first game, what’s most impressive about Gears of War 2 is how well it holds up from a technical point of view even now, despite not getting the remaster treatment that the original game had (though it has been enhanced for Xbox One X). Bigger, more varied and a lot more colourful than the first instalment (which I really wasn’t a fan of), Gears of War 2 remains an excellent third person shooter – though the ridiculous attempts at tragedy and pathos remain as unintentionally hilarious as they did back in the day.

Crackdown 3

See the source image

Though far from a critical success (and not much of a commercial success either, from what I understand), there’s something about Crackdown 3’s simple, pick up and play gameplay loop that remains joyful even after many hours of play. I imagine it’d feel dull and repetitive over long sessions, but for quick bursts of play it’s a perfect game to return to, no matter how little time you have to give. It keeps appearing in my Game Pass Adventures and probably will for a long time to come. Great fun, despite its less than stellar reputation.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence Screenshot

A new entry on this list, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to trying A Plague Tale: Innocence, given its reputation. That reputation, it turns out, is very well deserved. Though only a few hours into the game, it’s already a hauntingly beautiful, somewhat bleak and – at times – heartbreaking experience. It’s absolutely gorgeous from an audiovisual point of view and the story is wonderfully compelling. Absolutely brilliant.

So there we are. Less games played than usual, but it’s been a strange week, hasn’t it? With lockdown now in place in the UK, it may be that I get more time to play games – we shall see how I got on when I next do a round up!

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