Over the last year or so, a healthy supply of titles have been added to Xbox Game Pass' cloud gaming service. In just the last week, both Cricket 22 and MLB The Show 22 have been released on the Cloud streaming platform, being readily available across all devices without the need to install anything. April 7 sees a total of four games hitting Xbox Game Pass' Cloud service, most of which will be available via EA Play.
Set in the neon-soaked cyberpunk streets of 2037 Singapore, Chinatown Detective Agency puts players in the shoes of Amira Darma, an ex-INTERPOL officer who's decided to go out on her own and set up a private agency. Players will accept their own cases, and travel around the near-dystopian world to solve cases.
One of Chinatown Detective Agency's most unique selling points is that it will apparently require the player to conduct some research outside the game itself. This can allegedly include searching for a pass code, or discovering the meaning of a mysterious quote.
Players will journey across over 100 environments, each one rendered in stunning pixel art fashion, with vibrant neon lighting dominating the art style. Chinatown Detective Agency should appeal to Xbox Game Pass Cloud users who are fans of the point-and-click genre.
The 2011 sequel to the beloved Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age 2 didn't quite meet the same critical reception as its predecessor, but being a decade removed from it now, some Dragon Age fans have given it another chance. Set in the fantasy world of Thedas, players take control of Hawke, a refugee who soon becomes a legendary warrior.
Dragon Age 2 scored well amongst critics, but for fans of the original, its combat system changes, lackluster narrative, and reused environments and assets seemed like a real step back. Some of the game's faults lie behind the scenes, with BioWare only being given 14-16 months to finish Dragon Age 2, leading to some extensive crunch on the developer's part.
Despite its shortcomings, Dragon Age 2 is still a good game. Its focus on sharp dialogue and relatable companion relationships still holds that high level of BioWare quality, making it certainly worth playing for any RPG fan, or fan of BioWare's other works such as Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic.
EA's time with the Star Wars license hasn't been too excellent, but Star Wars: Squadrons is a bit of a diamond in the rough for many fans. Though it doesn't quite live up to the legacy of the Rogue Squadron and X-Wing games it's trying to imitate, Star Wars: Squadrons is the best modern day Star Wars space combat game.
Players get to choose from 10 of the most iconic Star Wars ships, ranging from the X-Wing and Tie-Fighter, to the B-Wing and Tie-Defender. Each ship has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and has its own purpose in battle. Players will need to choose the right ship for the job, and carefully manage the power settings of their Shields, Engines, and Weapons.
Players can also unlock a plethora of cosmetic options for their ship, ranging from external decals and skins, to cockpit knickknacks like a Grogu bobblehead or dangling Death Star chain. There's plenty of references and Easter eggs for Star Wars die-hards to discover.
Star Wars: Squadrons' single-player campaign is a little lackluster, with barely any character motivations or context between missions, but its multiplayer truly shines. Squadrons offers two multiplayer modes, the Dogfight mode, which sees two teams of five go head-to-head, and Fleet Battles, where players try to destroy their opponents' capital ship. Gameplay can be a little difficult, with some pretty complex controls, but once the player has gotten the hang of it, they'll be space-drifting around their enemies in no time.
It isn't the best Star Wars game by a long shot, but Star Wars: Squadrons will definitely scratch that itch for fans of the old school Star Wars dogfighters. And with enough references and authentic-looking environments and vehicles, there's more than enough here to keep a Star Wars fan happy for at least a few hours.
The last game headed to Xbox Game Pass' Cloud service on April 7 is Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. In a departure from the series' Tower Defense roots, Garden Warfare instead shifts the series to the third-person shooter genre, infused with a few Tower Defense elements.
Using the Frostbite 3 Engine, Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is surprisingly good-looking, holding up fairly well even eight years after release. It isn't the most complex third-person multiplayer-focused shooter, but it's unsuspectingly fun, with its more arcade-y gameplay lending itself well to the game's more casual and light-hearted tone.
It might not capture the attention of any die-hard shooter fans, but there's enough charm here to warrant a quick match or two. And for those with younger gamers, or those who are looking for a few hours of light-hearted fun, Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is certainly a game worth checking out via Xbox Game Pass' Cloud service.