My Xbox Game Pass membership solves a big problem for me: I love first person shooters but I lack the skills to mix it up with elite online opponents, and I’ve rage-quit many an FPS because of sudden and insurmountable difficulty spikes. That means Game Pass is ideal for me: I can play stacks of FPSes on my Xbox Series X without any financial risk, so I can quit the ones I don’t love and concentrate on the ones I do.
And there are some absolute crackers on Game Pass right now. I’m not going to recommend Halo: Infinite here because if you’re a Halo fan you’ve already completed it and if you don’t like Halo it isn’t going to change your mind. Instead, I’ll suggest three titles that I think you’ll like as much as I do: two new ones and an often overlooked classic.
I’ve only been playing this for a short time and I’m already hooked. Set aboard a massive starship at the very edge of known space, The Anacrusis is a four-player co-op FPS that eschews the usual industrial design and grunty soldiers of the genre for something that owes more to brightly coloured sci-fi shows such as The Jetsons. There’s a wonderfully 60s aesthetic at play here that makes the game feel very different from similarly collaborative shooters, and while at heart it’s really a kind of Left 4 Dead it has much nicer trousers. This is an Early Access version so it’s not the full game, and that means the developers may still fix the minor irritations here: the guns don’t feel radically different from one another, it’s a little buggy and the story needs a bit of fleshing out: it’s not entirely clear why you’re running around shooting aliens.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
The latest in the sterling shooter franchise has proved divisive: where other Rainbow Six titles have focused on realism, this game throws in some SF elements of the most pulpy kind. That’s good if you like that kind of thing, and I really like that kind of thing, but it has upset players who loved the previous titles for their gritty realism. But at its core it’s a fast and thrilling co-op shooter that rewards stealth and plays at a slower pace than the more heated multiplayer action of the main Rainbow Six titles. Some critics have suggested that it should have been a DLC for Rainbow Six Siege, and that’s fair comment, but it’s a fun tangent from the main franchise and of course, when you’re on Game Pass you can play it for free.
If you have Game Pass Ultimate that means you also have access to EA Play, whose catalogue includes some stone classics including the Crysis trilogy, Battlefield V, Star Wars Battlefront II and more. And it also includes this absolute gem of a shooter, Black. It’s been around for a very long time – it came out on the original Xbox – and that’s apparent in some irritations such as the rather tedious, unskippable cutscenes and the relatively low-res textures. But it’s one of the shootiest first-person shooters ever made with some great level design, well-weighted weapons and plenty of worthy opponents. Although it’s a very different game it has a lot in common with the original Halo: it hits the ground running and never forgets that gaming is supposed to be about fun.
Want even more great games to play on Xbox this month? Here is T3's roundup of the top 3 new Xbox Game Pass games available in February 2022.