I’ve had Game Pass for about 4 months now, what do I think?
I can’t remember exactly when I got Game Pass, and to be honest I can’t be bothered to check, but I know it was about November 2020.
Why did I buy it? I saw a Facebook post in a Star Trek group about the online game Star Trek Online. I’ve been a Trekkie for years and remember watching it on BBC2 as a kid and Voyager on weekday afternoons after coming home from school at lunchtime (I was in Sixth Form, and we’re talking about 2003). I saw you could explore the Galaxy and command starships, visiting locations featured on the series. I had to give it a go.
One big issue though: although the game was free, and I have an Xbox One to play it on, you have to pay to play it online. I didn’t even have Xbox Live Gold at the time, let alone Game Pass. A decision was required: do I get Xbox Live Gold to play it, at £6.99 a month? I decided yes.
While going on the store to purchase, I saw a window for Game Pass and knowing roughly what it was and how it worked, I had to check out of curiosity. I am so glad I did.
Firstly, to get the Ultimate package cost £11.99, just £4.00 more than Gold, which I then found out was included. I realised it basically cost £4.00 to be able to download and play any of the available games per month. Yes, if they go off you lose access but I am willing to buy physical copies if it comes to it (to be honest I prefer physical but for now this is more practical, especially with shops shut at the minute).
Secondly, I’ve found it’s a great way to try games out before potentially buying an actual copy. For example, I’ve downloaded Train Sim World, a train simulator I’ve previously seen advertised and keen to try. Thanks to this I can try it and will probably buy it now. Yes I could have just bought it and not pay £4.00 a month and it would soon make up for it BUT this allows me to try multiple games at once. I’ve also downloaded Football Manager 2021 and plan to download Star Wars Squadrons to give it a go, having recently been added. Although chances are I will enjoy these games as I enjoy the series as a whole, this allows me to check.
Thirdly, and this may be more of a personal thing and not apply to everyone, but it helps me out with my Twitch Streaming. As I can stream to my Twitch channel (That U.K. Gamer 28 – https://m.twitch.tv/thatukgamer28/profile) straight from my Xbox, until I get a better laptop this presents my only option to do so for now when it comes to game streaming. Game Pass has made the number of options for games to stream a lot higher than it would be otherwise, allowing me to play and share the experience of more games – Train Sim World, Halo Master Chief Collection, Star Wars Squadrons and, thanks to Bethesda’s games having now been added, Skyrim. These are all games I have yet to, but intend to stream and can now do so without having to own the game in the meantime (I probably will at some point though).
Finally, the catalogue is growing. Microsoft have finalised their purchase of Bethesda and 20 of their top game shave now been added to Game Pass such as Skyrim, Doom Eternal, Fallout and Wolfenstein etc. EA is also on their and recently added Star Wars Squadrons, and I am sure more will be added. Some of these have not even been out that long so you can try fairly new games without paying (£50+ for each on release, even better if it turns out you don’t like it). Of course if you do then you may choose to pay the money, but at least you know it’ll be worthwhile as it is a game you enjoy.
I am also definitely making the most of the £6.99 Xbox Live Gold section by playing Grand Theft Auto Online at least a couple of times a week with friends, often for hours at a time, along with Star Trek Online and FIFA 20 at times. If I was not doing this then I am not sure I would pay £10.99 a month to be able to try games. Why? I’m not sure to be honest, I just don’t feel comfortable paying that much, although I do see the appeal at the price. For £4.00 a month though, it’s approximately £1.00 a week, the cost of a sausage roll from Greggs (which I may be slightly addicted to).
So far, I haven’t found any bad points which are related to Game Pass itself. The main issue has been space on my hard drive to try the games, but this would be the case with physical ones after installation anyway. The only issue is having so many games I want to try on Game Pass just makes it more frustrating. I’m just going to have to buy an external hard drive I think.
Overall, I am loving Xbox Game Pass. I’ve been able to try Train Sim World, I’ve been able to get a copy of FIFA 20 to play with a friend until I can buy a physical copy (if you don’t know I collect FIFA games so I’ll buy it regardless), and all this at a sacrifice of one sausage roll a week (which my body is probably grateful for). I also love the expansion being made with Bethesda games being made available recently and can’t wait to see what else is added later on.
In my opinion, if you own an Xbox, and especially if you have Xbox Live Gold anyway, I would highly recommend upgrading it to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, just remember that you may need a new additional hard drive…
Thanks for reading!
P.S. I have not been paid by Microsoft etc for this, I just wanted to share my personal viewpoints of Game Pass
P.P.S Credit for the Xbox Game Pass logo image used for the article goes to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_Game_Pass), all other images are my own