Xbox Game Pass, March 2021: the third batch of free games for subscribers

Xbox Game Pass, March 2021: the third batch of free games for subscribers

Xbox Game Pass, March 2021

March 2021 could be remembered as one of the most interesting months seen in these years of Xbox Game Pass, considering the news that have alternated within a few days and the amount of games arrived in a few weeks. After a rather quiet first delivery, entrusted above all to EA Play titles, there was the bomb of the confirmed acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft and the addition of 20 games from the publisher's catalog, the new first party of Xbox Games Studios.

In a short distance, here we are again talking about a third batch, still full of interesting games ready to further expand the oppressive backlog of all subscribers to the Microsoft service. Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass for PC has finally received the addition of EA Play with its injection of 60 games (approximately) to expand the catalog, just to please. So let's start the overview of the 12 games coming in the next two weeks.

Undertale - Cloud, Xbox and PC, March 16th

Surprisingly but long awaited by Xbox users, the first game of the third round of March 2021 is Undertale, one of the most interesting and discussed indies of these years. It is a seemingly simple game that hides different levels of reading and decidedly deep contents behind the surface, which deliberately plays with the clichés of the JRPG to undermine the preconceptions of gamers, both in terms of narrative and gameplay. Having become a real cult for many fans, Undertale seems to tell the usual epic and redemptive story for a girl thrown into an underworld populated by exiled monsters, but it will soon be discovered that the distinction between good and evil is not a simple matter.

Empire of Sin - Cloud, Xbox and PC, March 18th

John Romero, a true legend of videogame development, is back on the scene with a strategic one and this alone is enough to arouse considerable interest, given the resume of the character in question. Even more so if you look at the subject of the game: Empire of Sin is in fact set in the USA in the 1920s, at the time of prohibition and gangsters, and puts us in control of a family of criminals intent on making the climb to success for control of the city of Chicago. By mixing fantastic elements with real characters and events, the game lets us immerse ourselves in the particular atmospheres of the time and puts us to grips both with the legendary and bloody clashes between gangs, and with the numerous and complex aspects of managing the various criminal activities. br>

NieR: Automata - PC, March 18th

Finally NieR: Automata is also available in PC version on Xbox Game Pass, after having been a major element in the Xbox catalog. There is little to say about the game itself: it is one of the most popular and interesting action of the generation that is ending, still perfectly enjoyable on new platforms and on PC. It combines the oddities derived from the direction of Yoko Taro (the game starts from a rib of Drakengard) with the crystalline gameplay of Platinum Games, which in NieR: Automata reaches remarkable peaks with lots of sudden and various bizarre variations, recovering the peculiarities in some respects of the previous chapter but with a much more action vein. The Game Pass version for PC also appears to be newer and better than the one that has been around for some time on Steam, with various technical issues fixed.

Star Wars: Squadrons - Xbox, March 18th

Among the most interesting titles of the month, Star Wars: Squadrons is a mix between simulation and shooter based on the Star Wars universe. Recovering the tradition of the unforgettable simulations of LucasArts, X-Wing and Tie Fighter (with due proportions), the new game by Motive Studios manages to propose on the screens what is its main intent: to put us in the cockpit of the iconic ships and starfighters characterize the tradition of Star Wars, on both sides of the Star Wars. Almost a pure simulation, but with shooter elements, it focuses above all on flight and immediate action, with dogfight representing the soul of the gaming experience, but it is easy to find yourself in highly spectacular situations that make us feel truly inside. to the world of Star Wars.

Torchlight III - PC, March 18

Historically considered one of the most valid alternatives to Diablo, after two very successful chapters, Torchlight 3 has represented a certain fall qualitative for the series, which was reflected in a welcome to say the least cold. The game has been criticized for some shortcomings and inconsistencies probably due to a complex genesis, given that the project was modified in the race and finally emerged with features apparently derived from the initially planned MMO-style structure, but returning to be officially a hack RPG. and classic slash. The result is a not entirely convincing mix of ideas, with a good combat system and character management but a less complex progression than that found in similar games and a simplistic level design.

Genesis Noir - Xbox and PC, March 25

One of the most bizarre games to have happened within Xbox Game Pass (and there have been many, so far), Genesis Noir presents itself as a sort of point and click adventure, but the definition is certainly reductive. It is a mixture of an interactive artistic installation, a musical tale and a real adventure, which uses graphics but above all audio - in truly excellent quality - to tell a story that touches profound metaphysical and philosophical elements, all with an impeccable style. In what appears to be an interactive film noir, we find ourselves jumping between temporal dimensions trying to save a woman's life, because in the end the main theme is a desperate and romantic love story.

Octopath Traveler - Xbox and PC, March 25

The big surprise of this March 2021 on Xbox Game Pass is Octopath Traveler, the splendid Japanese RPG from Square Enix that has suddenly popped up on Xbox and directly in the catalog of the service. Remained until now an exclusive Nintendo Switch and PC, the game also arrives on Microsoft consoles and in a completely unexpected way. In addition to being a stylistically very refined game, it is a direct evolution of the classic tradition of the JRPG, which carries with it many basic characteristics of the genre, with all its strengths between narration and atmosphere, but also offers some ideas particular, such as the different management of the characters and the fact of being able to freely follow the stories of these, without having to follow a narrative path already prepared.

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition - PC, March 25

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition enriches the RPG lineup on the Microsoft service with its Obsidian thickness. Summarizing it in a few lines is practically impossible, but just think that it is the heir to the classic tradition of cRPG, not for nothing built on the same historical basis of the Infinity Engine. Compared to the first chapter, Deadfire takes on a wider breath by opening the map to a freer exploration, where the use of navigation becomes a fundamental element of gameplay and role progression. The powerful narrative of Obsidian and the game mechanics are faithful to the origins, but the second chapter is more advanced in many aspects, although less impactful than the first. In any case, absolutely to be played especially for fans of the genre (who probably have already done so).

Supraland - PC, March 25

The odd moment of this Xbox release Game Pass could be assigned to Supraland, a very special title even for the varied standards to which the indie scene has now accustomed us. The Supra Games developers call it "a mix of Portal, Zelda and Metroid" and this may already be bizarre beyond the very high caliber examples that have been chosen by the team, but in fact the definition comes quite close to this peculiar experience. It is about exploring a microcosm of a few square meters from the perspective of a tiny little man, finding ourselves fighting, gathering resources to increase our equipment and solving various puzzles and puzzles in this particular microscopic condition.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - Cloud, Xbox and PC, March 25

Kazuma Kiryu, the dragon of Dojima, once again caresses the dream of a quiet life, but always the idyll is shattered, as per tradition . In this case it is a serious accident to Haruka, which forces the protagonist to get back into action to protect the girl's son, Haruto, and at the same time understand what happened. Obviously behind there are further suspicious maneuvers between the families of the underworld, in this case again the Tojo Clan and the Yomei Alliance, which in some way have expanded their influence and their clandestine wars in Onomichi, Hiroshima. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life should represent the conclusion of Kazuma Kiryu's narrative arc and for this reason alone it should be downloaded by everyone in the meantime and then maybe even played as soon as we catch up with the story.

Narita Boy - Cloud, Xbox and PC, March 30

Among the most stylish indie titles of this period, Narita Boy deserves a special mention. Its launch will take place directly in Xbox Game Pass from day one, which already makes it an interesting introduction in this release, but those who have followed the development of this game know that there are several reasons to consider downloading Narita Boy. , beyond the absolute novelty. It is true that the pixelated style of the 80s is no longer, at this point, the very last of the novelties in the videogame field, but the mixed structure between action adventure and the strange story about the meta-video game that invades reality and vice versa are elements always of great interest. In short, there also seems to be a good basis in terms of gameplay behind the excellent aesthetics with which this game by Studio Koba and Team17 presents itself.

Outriders - Cloud and Xbox, April 1st

Technically more the first title of the first batch of April than a representative of this March issue, however, we also include Outriders in the summary also because it comes right between the batches of games. Moreover, it is one of the most interesting titles in this list, because it is the case of a triple A third party launched directly within the Xbox Game Pass on day one and it is not something that happens often. It is a third-person shooter with a sci-fi setting that recovers the classic basics of the genre but transports them to a slightly richer context, with some RPG elements and the possibility of playing in single or multiplayer. The four character classes ensure different approaches, with a style close to that of Destiny.

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