It’s been a while since I last covered the games I’ve been playing on the Xbox’s subscription service – and there’s been an awful lot added in the last few weeks, not all of which I’ve been able to try yet. Let’s take a look at some of the games I have tried, shall we?

Outriders
I’ve only played the opening few stages of Outriders and I have to say, it hasn’t really grabbed me. It’s nicely produced but it feels like a pretty bog standard third person shooter to me, albeit with some decent worldbuilding and RPG-esque character progression. Perhaps it’ll impress me more if I’m able to give it a bit more time to develop, but for now consider me underwhelmed.

Rain On Your Parade
Now this is more like it. A small scale indie that’s absolutely stuffed with charming touches and unexpected surprised, Rain On Your Parade sees players embodying a cheeky little cloud who rains on anyone and everything in the various situations and settings it finds itself in. There’s a nice layering of mechanics as you progress and so many neat little references and jokes that it can’t help but raise a smile. Excellent stuff!

Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Though I’ve never actually finished a Sniper Elite or Zombie Army game, I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve played of them. Zombie Army 4 is, like its predecessors and Sniper Elite stablemates, excellent fun. Sniping never gets old, but here you have to ensure to go for the head unless you want your undead enemies to rise again, causing you to waste valuable ammo on dispatching them. Shorn of much of the planning and stealth that forms the basis of Sniper Elite, the Zombie Army games instead mix up the long range sniping with hordes of undead enemies and plenty of environmental kills to add to the gory fun. It still doesn’t get old to watch your enemies die in slow motion via the X-Ray bullet cam either.

Alien Isolation
Not a new addition to the service, but one I’ve returned to after first completing it upon release on PC, way back in 2014. An absolutely astonishing game that was criminally overlooked, underrated and sold way less than it deserved to, it’s one of my absolute favourite games of all time. I’ve always been heavily invested in the Alien franchise and its lore, and Isolation is as perfect an Alien sequel there could be – nailing the atmosphere, clunky retro tech aesthetic and blue collar worker exploitation of the first film masterfully. Oh, and the Alien is fucking terrifying.

And that’s it for this week. I’ve not had much time to play games at all recently, but with a few big articles now out of the way I can hopefully resume a more regular gaming schedule.

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