Summer finally seems to have arrived in Holland with high temperatures and a nice sun. If you also want to enjoy the sun and beautiful surroundings in games, then Forza Horizon 5 on PC Game Pass is a perfect recommendation.
In the latest title of the Forza franchise, you take a plane to Mexico, to drive on and off the tarmac with lightning-fast cars. Forza Horizon 5’s world is the largest in the series ever, with an area that is as much as 50 percent larger than Forza Horizon 4. And enough pomp and circumstance to keep your eyes afloat.
There is also a lot to experience in the digital version of Mexico. There are all kinds of activities in the world, from ‘normal’ races to a Battle Royale mode and the brand new Horizon Arcade. Just be careful, because once you start the Forza Horizon 5, you will not go outside for a while.
If you say Game Pass, then of course you can not ignore Halo Infinite. Since the first Xbox, Master Chief has become the mascot of Microsoft’s gaming division and an icon in the gaming world.
After a long wait, the Master Chiefs story finally resumed in December, when it campaign by Halo Infinite was launched. The lone hero ends this time on call the world Zeta Halo, where he must face Atriox, the leader of the Banished.
Zeta Halo has the largest open areas in a Halo game to date, and Master Chief luckily gets a handy one tool to cross the world. With Grapple Shot you can easily reach high areas and it is also a powerful weapon in the many firefights with aliens. And when you’re done with the story, an extensive multiplayer mode awaits you too!
Talk about a long wait. After more than sixteen years, there is finally a sequel to Psychonauts. Like in the original, players take control of Raz, a psychonaut who can invade the minds of others to solve problems or thwart evil plans.
In the first Psychonauts, you already had to deal with bizarre and surprising levels, but developer Double Fine Studios has taken everything to the next level for Psychonauts. You will also have to deal with unique levels, very memorable characters and crazy humor that creator Tim Schafer is known for. If you’re a platformer fan, you should definitely try Psychonauts 2 on PC Game Pass.
Microsoft has been working hard to revive old franchises lately. Despite the fact that Ensemble Studios no longer exists, a brand new Age of Empires has recently emerged. Microsoft has enlisted the help of Relic Entertainment, largely the developer of RTS games in 2022.
Relic Entertainment has therefore not done half of the work on Age of Empires IV. The strategy game feels exactly like previous titles in terms of gameplay, but the studio has made the strategic options a little more streamlined. This way you can better focus on the matches themselves.
You can also get started with no less than four different single-player campaigns where you can relive important moments in the story. For example, you could fight in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France or help the Mongols build one of the greatest empires ever.
If you are a fan of co-op, there is one title you should download right away via PC Game Pass. It Takes Two is not just a co-op game, as the name suggests, the game can only be played with two players. There is no way to let the computer control the other character.
In the game from Hazelight Studios, the players take on the role of Cody and Mary, a married couple who decide to divorce. Their young daughter Rose just disagrees, and supernatural circumstances make Cody and Mary two dolls.
Together, the couple will face many obstacles in the suddenly very large world. It’s about working together and using Cody and May’s unique skills as you get past the puzzles and others challenges will come. It Takes Two is an ingenious co-op game and has won many awards at the Game Awards.
Europe’s royal houses have long been controlled by only a few families. Even the current kings are often related to each other. In Crusader Kings III, you have the task of creating your own dynasty and leaving an indelible mark on the world.
You can start the adventure in 867 or 1066, where you can also choose where the origin of your dynasty lies. A campaign also does not end when your custom character dies, in which case you can take control of your heir to continue the dynasty. Over the years you must expand your family and gather as much empire as possible until the end of 1453.
To achieve this, you need to use the same strategies that were used previously. For example, you can marry to gain power, but you can also marry off your children. Or of course you can start wars or send assassins to win land with a hard hand. Religion also plays an important role, for without the approval of the church one is nowhere. As well as when you are so unlucky to have half of your family wiped out by the plague.
The start of No Man’s Sky was not perfect to say the least. Developer Hello Games promises too much and delivered too little. Since then, the studio has only put a lot of effort into it, so the game is not only as shown in the trailers at the time, but offers much more content!
Hello Games is constantly coming up with new, free updates, with which the game is continuously expanded in terms of opportunities and activities. And it’s on top of No Man’s Sky’s impressive base.
In the game, you crash with your spaceship on a planet, and you must first gather materials and learn the basics before you can explore space. And do not expect to be bored in space yet, for it is the planets procedurally generated and are theoretically infinite. Add to that the ability to build bases, space battles perform, discover new flora and fauna and assemble an entire fleet of spaceships, and it’s clear you will not be done with No Man’s Sky at some point soon.
In recent years, the 2D sidescrolling genre has experienced a true renaissance. The games pop up like mushrooms, with a number of modern classics instantly. One game that definitely deserves the title is Dead Cells, which you can play via PC Game Pass.
In Dead Cells, you play as the nameless Prisoner who ends up on a dangerous island. Just like in the Dark Souls games, a little information is given and you have to invent a lot yourself. Nor is it the only resemblance to FromSoftware’s titles, as Dead Cells is quite challenging. For example, you will lose all your cells – which you will need for upgrades – when you die.
You will also need to learn the attacking patterns of the enemies if you want to defeat them successfully. So do not be surprised if you die a lot in the beginning, but gradually you will become stronger through your experience and defeat seemingly invincible enemies. The sense of triumph that you then feel can have games give you.
If you can not get enough of planes, there is only one game you need to play on PC Game Pass. Microsoft has been making flight simulators since 1982, but the publisher has provided a gem with the latest edition. A lot of time was spent on development because there was a gap of fourteen years between the last two flight simulators.
In the game, you can get behind the wheel of more than twenty different aircraft, from a small Cirrus SR22 to a large Boeing 747. All aircraft are realistically recreated, right down to the cockpit.
Where Flight Simulator really takes a big leap into realism are the environments you fly over. It is the earth itself, in detail. Microsoft uses more than two petabytes world map data from Bing Maps. That information is also updated every 28 days so everything stays up-to-date. In addition, some landmark added by hand so you can spot cities like Amsterdam and Paris straight from the air.
Games based on movies are not often a great success. Sometimes only one gem pops up, which is the exception to the rule, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one of them. The game managed to amaze friends and foes, especially since the game came out not long after it flopped Marvel’s Avengers.
Developer Crystal Dynamics has chosen not to follow the films, but to tell their own story of the unlikely heroes. In this way, the players know what to expect in terms of dynamics between the characters and humor, but the story is one big surprise.
Another golden decision is to let the player only control Peter ‘Starlord’ Quill, instead of the whole group. Like Starlord, you can use your guns, dodge attacks, and use special abilities, but you’re also a team leader. This way, other Guardians will fight alongside you and you can control them for skills to use for the right situation. And when it gets really hot underfoot, you can gather everyone for an encouraging speech. This way, the Guardians really feel like a team and the gameplay is very tight!
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