Now that my period of being insanely busy is (mostly) behind me, I decided to pull the trigger on a month of XBox Game Pass for PC. Even if I only play one of the games that I’m interested in – or play a couple long enough to realize that they’re just not for me – I will have gotten my dollar’s worth out of it.
With a free month of Origin Access starting on November 1st, I’m currently a little bit overwhelmed, so I decided to start making some notes on the games that interest me on both services.
XBox Game Pass for PC
- We Happy Few
- Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
- Night Call
This is actually more or less in order for me – I’ve been curious about We Happy Few for a long time (and I adored Contrast), but it’s not anything I would ever consider paying AAA pricing for. That makes it a perfect candidate for me to try out via subscription. Both Prey and Vampyr are games that I expect to pick up on sale or in a bundle at some point, so if I don’t get to them now, it’s not a big deal for me.
Origin Access Basic
I struggled a little more to fine Origin Access games that were of interest – I will absolutely play through Unravel (and the sequel, if I enjoy it). The rest of this list is basically things I’m interested in, but not interested in enough to buy just yet. I might play through one, or treat them all like demos to pinpoint which of them I’d actually want to add to my library.
Probably the biggest thing I’m learning is that I am so far from the target market for most of these services. I was underwhelmed by the UPlay+ selection last month, Origin Access has never had enough that interested me to pony up a measly $5 a month, and although the XBox Game Pass looks pretty good for $1 (and admittedly, still pretty good for $5), it’s not anything I’m likely to keep paying for once it hits its full price.
These big brand-name services are – I’m sure – more appealing for folks who haven’t been compulsively collecting free and cheap games for the past five or so years, as well as those who want to jump on the latest hot new multiplayer titles.
Still, I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to sample from all of these gaming buffets without taking a big hit to my wallet, and I have to acknowledge that anyway you look at it, it’s cheap entertainment.
… at least, if you can choose just one. As someone who subscribes to more television streaming services than I care to admit, I can also see how it would add up fast.
More interestingly, I’m keeping an eye on how all these subscription services are going to effect more traditional game publishing, as they become more popular. Just as digital downloads have all but replaced physical PC games, will subscription services be the next big thing for gaming? I guess we’ll see.