Game Pass is on a roll, continuing to deliver fresh gaming goodness to players on Xbox and PC. But as July 2023 comes to an end, it’s time for the subscription service to mix things up slightly, adding in a new game whilst saying goodbye to multiple others.
The new Game Pass movers and shakers
As a Game Pass subscriber, you should be used to amendments to the service. Whether it be the new games you embrace, or the old favourites that move out, it’s the constant rotation which keeps things exciting. And that’s the case today as Game Pass players get access to a brand new Day One addition.
But on the flipside, a host of games leave the service.
We’ll start with the positive news as we see a new game arrive on Xbox, debuting on Game Pass for good measure. That game is Venba from Visai Studios.
A cooking narrative affair, Venba is one that we’ve been hotly anticipating, ever since getting hands-on for a preview a few weeks back.
Our full review is fast incoming and will let you know the score, but Venba is a bit of a delight. It has you playing as an Indian immigrant mum, moving out to Canada in the 1980s. It’s here where you’ll help her out in the kitchen, creating dishes from her homeland.
A tale of love, loss, family and food, Venba has been hugely inspired by the South Indian culture and food, pushing you through deep branching narratives, beautiful visuals and more.
We’re very excited to see this one arrive on Xbox, especially as Day One debutant on Game Pass. Grab a copy from the Xbox Store today.
But for the new addition, a number of games are moving away from the joys of Game Pass play. in fact, there are no less than five games leaving today. And a good few of those are going to be sorely missed.
This one has been sitting pretty in Game Pass since early 2022, when the endlessly replayable action roguelike first dropped in for play.
From Freedome Games and Afterburner Studios, it’s a game which can happily take you into the subconscious, left to do your best as you face the nightmares on offer. With combat at play, narratives to take in, we very much fell in love with Dreamscaper.
In fact, we loved it so much we hit DreamScaper with a 4.5/5 review score. That was accompanied by a concluding line that pretty much sold matters – ‘If you’re looking for a roguelite game, or something that is story driven and easy to pick up and get invested in, I highly recommend Dreamscaper.’
Next on our list of games leaving Game Pass today is that of Expeditions: Rome.
A PC only title, the future of Rome is in your hands with this one. It has you attempting to subdue a Greek rebellion, making waves across the country and into Rome. How that plays out is entirely in your hands, as every choice you make matters.
We’ve not reviewed this one – what with its PC exclusivity – but an 80 Metascore over on Metacritic means this is one that has gone down pretty well.
If you want to play it though, you’re now going to have to fork out.
Marvel fan? Avengers fan? Marvel’s Avengers will probably have been on your playlist for the majority of the last few years. If not, we’re not sure there’s enough here to keep those excitement levels high.
Having first launched back in 2020, Marvel’s Avengers pretty much split the community. Some loved it, others hated it. For the most part though, it delivered on the single player side of things, yet struggled a bit in multiplayer. But it’s a game many would have at least dabbled with through Game Pass.
But no more, at least not if you’re planning on playing Marvel’s Avengers on Xbox. That will now require an opening of the wallet and a splashing of the cash. Unless of course you wait for it to get added again further down the line…
If you want to know more about Marvel’s Avengers, get your eyes on our review. We mentioned ‘The single player is Hulk: strong, fast and a surprise when you aren’t expecting it. The multiplayer is Bruce Banner: calculated, small, and has the potential to be something powerful but isn’t quite there yet.’
The last two games that are leaving Game Pass today feel like the biggest hits.
We loved The Ascent when it launched on Xbox back in 2021, even though we finally settled on a 4/5 review score.
Read our review and you’ll find out why, mentioning the following…
‘We dithered with knocking a half mark off, but opted to go high, simply because experiences like The Ascent don’t come along often, and it really should be experienced. Game Pass may well turn out to be The Ascent’s redemption.’
But now that Game Pass love is gone and so might the player base. Of course, if you’ve got some friends to hand all willing to drop some money on The Ascent, you’re going to find a game that has peaks that are skyscraper high.
And we think those peaks save this one.
Two Point Campus
Surely you’ve played Two Point Campus? Whether you were a fan of Two Point’s arrival with Two Point Hospital, or jumped in fresh with the academic side of things, this is a game that you’d be crazy to miss.
A game in which you’ll find yourself losing hours – days even – at a time, the cycle that takes place in here is its charm. And the chaos that ensures from that is only of the very finest. Content rich, we think that Two Point Campus is the perfect game to keep you busy, stuffed full of great ideas.
And we don’t even care that it is vaguely similar to Two Point Hospital. They are both games that you should be playing. Through Game Pass or not.
‘Despite seeming similar to Two Point Hospital on the surface, Two Point Campus is stuffed with enough new ideas and irresistible charm to ensure it is a sequel well worth playing.’
What’s next for Game Pass subscribers?
We’re expecting August to be a busy month for Game Pass players, whether that be on Xbox or PC.
You can expect the brilliant Celeste to arrive for play on August 1st, whilst EVERSPACE 2 appears on the horizon for a mid-month porting. But there will be loads more too. Just stay tuned and we’ll let you know what they are once the big dogs at Microsoft HQ lift the lid.
For now, let us know how you’ll be cooking with the latest Game Pass movers. Will you be scouring the recipes of Venba, or are you going to sit in the corner and lament the loss of Two Point Campus, Dreamscaper and The Ascent?
The comments are below.