Every month Microsoft adds new games to its hit gaming subscription service, Game Pass. Easily one of the best additions of this console generation, the service provides new and old first-party, third-party and indie games, all available for a reasonable cost.
This month sees a combination of major triple-A hits, open-world games and RPGs coming to Game Pass, the most significant of which is the 2018 hit Red Dead Redemption II. However, the service is also losing some heavy-hitters this month. Fortunately, most of these don’t leave until May 15, so you still have some time to try them out.
In DayZ, players must stay alive in the midst of a zombie outbreak while exploring the fictional former Soviet Republic of Chernarus. It’s a punishing, open-world survival game in which players start with almost nothing and have to travel and scavenge for food, water, clothing and weapons. Players are also encouraged to interact with others on the server through voice and text chat and in-game actions.
Originally developed as a mod for military simulator ARMA II, the mod was praised for its innovative gameplay and variation on the often repetitive first-person shooter genre. The mod has even been credited for helping drive ARMA II sales. After years in development and five years in early access, DayZ finally released in late 2018 to mixed reviews. While some have said the game has some great but poorly executed ideas, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out for yourself. DayZ comes to Game Pass May 7.
Easily one of the biggest games of the past generation, Red Dead Redemption II is coming to Game Pass, giving anyone who missed it a chance to experience this epic open-world action-adventure. A prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption, the game follows Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang living at the turn of the twentieth century and the end of the Wild West era. As the gang runs from federal agents, their loyalties are tested, and Arthur must choose between the gang and his ideals.
The game is a critical and commercial success, breaking a variety of opening weekend and pre-order records and selling over 29 million copies as of February 2020. It’s been praised for its masterfully designed and detailed open-world which, combined with the story and combat, creates an immersive gaming experience. Red Dead Redemption II comes to Game Pass on May 7.
Whether you’ve experienced Final Fantasy VII Remake on PlayStation or your a fan of recent entries in the long-running franchise, Final Fantasy IX is always a great title to return to. Widely regarded as one of the best games in the series, FFIX takes the medieval style of earlier games and combines it with later developments and new features. One of these is Active Time Events, which added more character development and options when exploring towns.
Final Fantasy IX follows Zidane, a member of the Tantalus Theater Troupe who helps kidnap Princess Garnet. To their surprise, the princess actually wanted to leave the castle and, alongside her loyal knight Steiner, sets out on a journey. Along the way, they encounter a variety of unique and colorful characters, including the tragic black mage Vivi, before saving the world. Final Fantasy IX comes to Game Pass on May 14.
Another RPG joining later this month, Fractured Minds is a puzzle game meant to give players insight into the experiences of people living with mental illness. Each chapter takes players through different obstacles that those dealing with mental illness face, such as anxiety, isolation and paranoia.
The game has received praise for how it portrays mental illness and encouraging empathy and understanding towards those who are struggling. The game was designed by then 17-year-old Emily Mitchell, who won the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award for her impressive work. Fractured Minds comes to Game Pass on May 19.
When subscribers gain access to Red Dead Redemption II on May 7, they’ll also be saying goodbye to Grand Theft Auto V. Another massive hit from Rockstar Games, GTA5 is the second hight-selling game of all time. It allows players to explore the fictional state of San Andreas completing missions and heists as each of the game’s three playable characters: Michael De Santa, Trevor Philips and Franklin Clinton.
Other games will leave Game Pass a week later on May 15. These are Black Desert, Doom, Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, Metal Gear Survive, The Banner Saga and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. While one week certainly isn’t enough time to fully experience these games, you still have the chance to try them out and save 20 percent with your membership discount.
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Every month, Microsoft adds and removes games from Xbox Game Pass. Here's what's subscribers are getting (and losing) in May.