Well, it took time. It’s seven months into the year and Game Pass just received its first first-party offering of 2022: the narrative party game. As dusk falls. But it’s not the only title on its way to Microsoft’s on-demand games service. Here is everything coming to Game Pass in the coming weeks:
- As dusk falls (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (CP)
- Watch Dogs 2 (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- MotoGP 22 (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Torment: Tides of Numenera (Cloud, Console)
- On the inside (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
In the meantime, the following items will be unavailable starting July 31:
- dodgeball academy (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Katamari Damacy raises (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Lumines Remastered (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Omno (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
- Raji: an ancient epic (Cloud, Console, Desktop)
Game Pass’ main selling point isn’t just that you get instant access to a Netflix-style digital library of hundreds of games. It’s that you get every first-party Xbox game, tent poles like Forza Horizon 5 at smaller pricing like Obsidian coming soon Repentance– the day of their release at no additional cost. Here’s the full list of games released by Xbox Game Studios, Microsoft’s proprietary publishing label, so far this year:
Yes, Xbox Game Studios hasn’t released a game since last fall. Infinite Halo. This dearth of first-party versions has led some Game Pass subscribers to report publicly how the service does not fully deliver on its promises. But at his non-E3 press conference in June, Microsoft has claimed 50 major games would be heading to Game Pass over the next year, many of which are expected to be released by Xbox Game Studios.
The first of them is As dusk falls, developed by the British studio Interior Night. It’s not strictly exclusive like, say, Sony’s proprietary games are; like all games released on Xbox these days, it’s also coming to PC, a measure of Microsoft’s eternal quest for cross-platform play. As dusk falls will also be available on Steam and the Microsoft Store. But players on PlayStation and Switch won’t get it, so the game is for all intents and purposes exclusive.
I had the chance to play one of the first chapters of As dusk falls at a preview event last month. While this is ostensibly a choose-your-own narrative adventure game – a detective mystery set in the late 90s – the story isn’t the main draw. As dusk falls is really a board game. Up to eight players can play at once by connecting their smartphone to the game. At any narrative crossroads, the game pauses while players vote on what actions a certain character should take, but each player has of a limited number of derogations that he can use to decide in a dictatorial way on the choice of the group. (My choice, every time? Chaos.) It’s a riot.
Although it’s great and definitely worth visiting with a group of friends, As dusk falls isn’t the kind of big first-party blockbuster that funnels new subscribers into the folds of Game Pass. But hey, at least it’s something.