Our recap of the best Game Pass additions for each month of 2022 reaches the halfway point today as we arrive at June, which saw a solid selection of new arrivals in the service, including some absolute classics…
A pair of classic trilogies, a big third-party AAA title, some low-key gems, and a pizza loaded with 16-bit nostalgia… yeah, it’s fair to say that Game Pass wasn’t messing around in June. Along with some other niche bits like the oddly popular House Flipper and melee battle royale title Naraka Bladepoint, the best games on Game Pass were joined by some fine company in June — here are our highlights.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
June kicked things off with a bang, dropping Assassin’s Creed Origins into the Game Pass library on June 7th as another great example of Game Pass delivering some great heavy-hitters. Origins had also been given a performance-boosting update a few days before, making its drop into Game Pass even more timely. Origins was, fittingly enough, the beginning of a new type of Assassin’s Creed game that we’ve since seen expanded upon in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Origins saw us heading to Egypt as Bayek of Siwa, who, together with his wife Aya, fights in defence of the people of Egypt and sets out on a mission to destroy the Order of the Ancients. True to its name, Origins had us explore the beginnings of the Assassin’s Brotherhood too. It was a great get for Game Pass, and with the completion estimate for the base game sitting at around 60 to 80 hours, it offered up a hefty amount of content — all-in-all, definitely one of the highlights of Game Pass this month!
Assassin’s Creed® Origins
ASSASSIN’S CREED® ORIGINS IS A NEW BEGINNING
Ancient Egypt, a land of majesty and intrigue, is disappearing in a ruthless fight for power. Unveil dark secrets and forgotten myths as you go back to the one founding moment: The Origins of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.
Space combat games often have a habit of being pretty overwhelming — give a controller to someone who has never played Elite Dangerous and watch how they get on for a bit to see that first-hand, it’s pretty amusing — or degenerating into going through the motions with dogfights that all seem to play out much the same way. Chorus looks to barrel roll away from these common issues and make everything feel snappy and satisfying, helping you feel like an ace pilot and pull off some supremely cool stunts and takedowns without having to first master a million different buttons and systems. This results in spectacular fast-paced ship combat as you boost, drift, and warp around enemies to quickly get the upper hand, and it’s quite the power trip. On top of that, the Chorus achievements are pretty manageable, with an on-site estimate of around 20-25 hours for the completion.
She was once the Circle’s deadliest warrior – now she’s their most wanted fugitive. As Nara and her starfighter, Forsaken, journey across the galaxy to unite resistance forces against the Circle and free the universe from oppression.
A JOURNEY OF REDEMPTION – Play as Nara and her sentient AI companion and starfighter, Forsaken on her quest to face her haunted past and destroy the cult that created her.
VENTURE BEYOND THE VOID – Experience fast-paced, frenetic action that evolves the spirit of classic space shooter and engage in exhilarating zero-g dogfights, from epic cosmic vistas, to tight crystalline corridors.
ONE PILOT, ONE SHIP, ONE LIVING WEAPON – Attain powerful and distinct weapons and combat upgrades. Master your ship’s unique drift mechanic and deadly mind-bending abilities, including extra-sensory perception, teleportation and telekinesis, to overcome massive hordes of enemies and take down titanic battleships.
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection
If you want to talk about achievements that are very much not manageable, however, oh boy, have you come to the right place. Team Ninja’s hardcore action trilogy sits among the hardest and longest Game Pass games, with each of the three games presenting an absolutely brutal challenge that you pretty much have to be an actual ninja to overcome. They’re still some damn fine games, of course — especially the original — but even just getting through them is no joke, let alone ramping up the difficulty and putting yourself through all the gruelling challenge content in each, so you certainly need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Thankfully, despite coming bundled as a trilogy, it’s still just three separate lists, meaning completionists won’t find themselves locked into three painful grinds just from starting one of these classic games.
There are plenty of upbeat games to check out on Game Pass, but Omori exists so far to the other end of the spectrum that it needs to come with trigger warnings. The game tackles themes such as suicide, depression, and anxiety head-on — and incredibly well, it must be said — so it’s not something we’d advise starting unless you’re in a good place mentally as a lot of the subject matter is very heavy. To that end, the remarkable thing about Omori is that it is able to explore such themes so well and while building a somewhat typical, even whimsical RPG framework around them without confusing its message. It’s a powerful game if you’re up to dealing with the hardships it presents during its surprisingly long runtime, but it’s probably best to leave it there for now — Omori is something you really need to experience rather than watch or have explained, and the less you know going in, the more impact it’s likely to have on you. Just be sure you’re prepared for it before starting the game.
Explore a strange world full of colorful friends and foes. Navigate through the vibrant and the mundane in order to uncover a forgotten past. When the time comes, the path you’ve chosen will determine your fate… and perhaps the fate of others as well.
MATURE CONTENT DESCRIPTION
The developers describe the content like this:
This game contains depictions of depression, anxiety, and suicide, and may not be suitable for all audiences. It also contains bright flashing imagery that may cause discomfort and/or seizures for those with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
We’re back in the lighthearted fun part of Game Pass Town again now, with Tribute Games’ spiritual successor to the classic 16-bit Turtles beat-’em-ups from back in the day. The team really went all out in nailing that early Nineties vibe, from the new animated intro to the joyful butt-rock anthems that blast during some of the stages, and with new six-player co-op allowing for even more chaotic action than ever before. It’s tight and enjoyable, even if still only a little deeper than the simple arcade game it emulates — you’re not going to find the fighting game-level combo potential of something like Streets of Rage 4 here, but you will find a fantastic retro romp that anyone can pick up and play. Shredder’s Revenge seems like one of the more popular Game Pass additions of the year overall, too, just today earning itself a place in the quarter-finals of our ongoing Game of the Year voting bracket. Not bad going for some mutated turtles who live in a sewer…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge reunites Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael as they kick shell in a bodacious, beautifully realized side scrolling beat ’em up invoking the Turtles’ legendary 1987 design and paying homage to classic TMNT games like Turtles In Time.
The second of the big June Game Pass trilogy arrivals saw legendary RPG series Shadowrun drop three retooled classics at once, introducing a whole new audience to the unique flavour of the cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun. Returns is the weakest of the three as it feels a lot more pared back than the others, although they’re only quite loosely linked so it’s not like you have to do all three and you can just pick and choose as you see fit. They’re unapologetically old-school in their design, but they do channel a bit of that old tabletop roleplay magic if that’s something you’re into. This trilogy likely wouldn’t have found much love outside of existing fans were it not for Game Pass throwing wide the gates, and these games make for another great string (well, three) in Game Pass’ bow.
Pre-Order the Shadowrun Trilogy bundle now and get a 25% discount off this buy-2-get-1-free bundle! Prepare to explore this dystopian cyberpunk future in which magic has re-awakened!
The definitive and complete experience of the tactical RPG series from developer Harebrained Schemes. Shadowrun Trilogy contains Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall – Director’s Cut and Shadowrun Hong Kong – Extended Edition.
We’ll be looking back at July tomorrow, but for now, which June Game Pass addition(s) have you got most mileage out of so far, or are some of these maybe on your backlog? Or perhaps there was something else in June that you prefered to these games? Let us know!