Game Pass October 2022 Review – Impressive games and an important update

I’m Kinglink and it’s the middle of October so it’s time for the Game Pass October 2022 review.

I’m back once again with 16 titles new to Game Pass with a focus on PC.  I’ve spent a night, about three to four hours on almost every game and now am ready to talk about it, what’s good, what’s bad, and who will like each title. 

I am putting this video out before Plague Tale Requiem, and I really want to cover that game, but then this video would come out later than I wanted.  Don’t worry I’ll get it next month, and I have a good feeling that it’ll be another high-quality title. 

I do have some news for the channel and this series, but I’m going to save that for the end so we can focus on what’s important here.  

We’re going to start with a familiar title for this channel.   It’s a game I already have talked about this month, so let’s roll back time and go over it once more. 

Deathloop. Reliving the same day over and over again. 

Deathloop is another time loop game, but unlike 12 Minutes, this is a great action game by Arkane Studio.  Players will relive the same day trying to break the loop but will explore four different areas, with four distinct times of days, and be tasked with taking out eight targets, and yes that will be as hard as it sounds.  But after each day is over, time restarts, and everything you’ve done will revert.  Mostly.  

After 4 hours here, I still need more time to get to the meat of the game, there’s a great concept here, and I am excited to play more. However I’m still unlocking key pieces of the game, and a large amount of the game is discovering key intel.  Also while this is solid, I still think Dishonored is the better title from Arkane.

Pick this up if you like the idea of a time loop mechanic. You’ll be replaying the levels a few times trying to find out all the tricks but this time loop mechanic feels just as comfortable as The Forgotten City and Outer Wilds.  This is a title I will be revisiting, more on that later. 

Beacon Pines: A furry storybook.

Beacon Pines has the player taking on the role of a young child who is exploring the town they live in and finding several mysteries that will intrigue players.  The game is mostly a simple visual novel but has an interesting method of a choose-your-own-adventure.  Players will use words to decide which way the story will go.  Part of the fun in these games is rolling back time and trying something different, but in Beacon Pines, that’s what the game expects you to do.  Some of the choices are only available after you go down a different path. 

It’s the writing that will keep players engaged with this story, but also, it’s a lot of colorful coating on a simple visual novel,  but unlike typical visual novels, the gameplay here pretty much requires players to go down all the wrong paths.  It’s a design choice but might upset some players. 

Pick this up if you want a strong story and a visual novel.  I’m intrigued by what’s going on here.  Going down all the branches of every story reminds me of Zero Escape, but here every branch feels different, and it’s a joy to explore this story rather than needless repetition. 

Slime Rancher 2.   Growing slimes and profiting from their delicious poo.

In Slime Rancher you grow slimes, farm gems from them, and sell the gems to earn money and make upgrades.  The fact is, right now that’s also pretty much Slime Rancher 2.  There are a few new features and changes including needing materials for your upgrades, but in general, this is a very similar game, with even more Slimes, as well as new pieces to farm.

And as a fan of the first one, I’m sad to say, I don’t like this. Hold up, I don’t like this version of it.  This is early access, but it feels almost the same as the original game.  The story is weak right now, no tutorial and the first three hours feel exactly the same as the first game.  That’s not exactly what I was hoping for right out of the gate.

Pick this up if you absolutely must have some Slime Rancher.  On Game Pass, they removed the original game, and this is still good, but I’m struggling because Early Access makes it so I can’t tell if this is a great game that is currently lacking major features, or if it’ll feel functionally the same as the first title because if so it’s going to be too similar.  I’ll give them time and revisit next year or when it leaves Early Access. 

SpiderHeck. Co-op Brawling with spider-drones

SpiderHeck is designed to be a co-op or multiplayer battler.  Players get various weapons and use them to blast enemies, whether those enemies are humans or AI drones.  The gameplay here is fast-paced and has a decent number of weapons.  It’s the controls on the spider that make this work.  Players can swing around the arenas, grabbing weapons with a quick button press, and then attacking. 

This is designed as a couch co-op game for in-person play to get the best experience.  There is content players can play through themselves, focusing on wave attacks, but it’s not as fun and can still be played in multiplayer.   If you have people you want to play with and want to play something different than Smash Brothers, this is perfect choice to mix it up.  But outside of the couch co-op, I don’t think this is amazing

Pick this up as I said if you want to play some couch co-op.  This is pretty fun and will entertain a group of friends for a while but it’s so limited outside of that.  And honestly couch co-op is still a very rare occurrence in 2022.  Still, it could be quite fun for the right group. 

Grounded.  Honey, I Shrunk the Survival Game.

I’m old, I grew up in the 80s and one of the best movies, when I was a kid, was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, where four teens had to explore the outdoors and survive.  Grounded takes that plot and makes it into a video game and that works extremely well.  The environment is huge, and spotting different landmarks from juice boxes to baseballs is a unique feeling.  There’s an imposing feeling to the hostile world as well. 

While Grounded has a story and quests, at its heart Grounded is a survival game.  In the beginning, there are a lot of dangerous enemies, and stealth or evasion is most of what the player will be able to do.  This can be frustrating when enemies sometimes camp on top of your corpse, but the building and exploration work extremely well here.

Pick this up if you like Survival games and this sounds interesting.  This is intended to be played by up to four players, and I’m curious how the game will work with more.  Even solo, the experience went rather well, and I’m oddly curious about how the rest of the game will play out.  If you like the idea of being shrunk down and experiencing the world from a new view, this is a perfect choice. 

Moonscars. It’s a souls-like Metroidvania. 

Moonscars remind me of Blasphemous.  Adapting the challenging Souls formula to a 2d game isn’t a new thing, but it works well here.  Moonscars will punish players but also includes enough features that players should be able to master it.  The most essential move is a parry that will let players inflict huge damage on a risk-reward system. 

Moonscars loses me on its story though.  The game constantly tries to tell this large story but doesn’t introduce players to the narrative concepts.  It’ll be a great story for someone who studies all the lore in Dark Souls but is a bit too present to be ignored by everyone else.   This is also decently hard, where I’ve spent at least three hours and have yet to reach a boss, but have grown bored of it a couple of times. 

Pick this up if you like the Souls formula and want to play a solid Metroidvania of that style, there are a lot of fresh ideas here, but at the end of the day, the world-building wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to continue.

Paw Patrol Grand Prix.  An Average Racer.

Ahh once again I have to tackle a Paw Patrol game, and in Paw Patrol Grand Prix it’s a racing game.  This is done in the Mario-Kart style. Race your Karts around a track, pick up attacks, use a super ability, it’s pretty typical for the genre.  You’ll race through a rather boring story but get to see all the characters from the show. 

I was ready to enjoy this but my god, playing on hard you dominate the entire race for 90 percent where you never see another kart, until the final two turns when someone comes out of nowhere entirely too fast, and even if you’re using a special ability they can move in front of you and win.  It’s the worst rubber band AI I’ve ever seen.

Pick this up if your kid likes Paw Patrol. It’s a simple cart racer, but I would avoid the hard difficulty.  It’s probably better in multiplayer than even playing the story.  It’s not awful, but seeing the AI cheat in the same way in five consecutive races is kind of insane. 

Valheim.  A Norse survival game. 

Valheim got popular at launch very quickly, and it’s easy to see why.  This is a well-designed survival game focused more on exploration and discovery rather than normal survival.  Players will start scavenging and need to build tools and a camp, but will quickly move on to different locations as they have to hunt down large and impressive bosses.

But Valheim is still a survival game, and it will leave most players rushing to wikis.  I couldn’t figure out how to mine ore, which it turns out you need to wait til after the first boss.  A lot of this game still feels confusing and if I was going to stick with it, I feel like I would require a lot of tutorials.

Pick this up if you love the survival genre, honestly, this is probably the best I’ve seen, and that’s saying something because if you can’t tell, I play a lot of games.  If you’re a fan of experimentation or trying to learn a new odd game on your own you’ll get more out of this. 

Let’s Build a Zoo. A cutified zoo manager. 

Let’s Build a Zoo feels like the Simcity of Zoo management, a heavily simplified but interesting sim.  The art is pixelated which looks acceptable, and most tasks at the zoo are straightforward.  Players need to find animals, build habitats for them and get as many people to come to the zoo to keep growing. 

But Let’s Build a Zoo has a few negatives too.  The tutorial is extremely weak.  The gameplay is rather slow and dull, a lot of the game is just waiting for more money.  My biggest complaint though is Planet Zoo is almost 3 years old and is significantly better than everything I’ve seen here.  Some breeding systems will be interesting though. 

Pick this up if you want a simple zoo simulator, but this has been done bigger and better, and all this game makes me think about is the other versions of this idea.   Still, I did have fun looking at this, and if you have a young kid this is probably the easier version to understand. 

Despot’s Game.  A rogue-lite tactics game. 

Despot’s Game has players enter a dungeon and lead a squad of humans, though leading is a relative term.  You’ll be able to equip your humans, put them in a formation, and then they’ll fight the enemies with minimal interactions.  Players will have to balance, food, upgrade, and replace humans who unfortunately die. 

At the same time, there’s a definite lack of interactivity.  The strongest moments of the game are when you have to play out a short scene at the beginning of a level, but outside of that, you’ll mostly be moving through the same encounters you saw in the previous runs.  There are some great synergies but a lot of the game comes down to being limited to what you can find to buy.

Pick this up if you like what you’re seeing on screen, but also realize you’ll barely be doing any of this, it’s mostly a game that plays out, and you’ll have a very small amount of interaction here.  I’m torn on it, but I’d recommend it to fans of rogue-likes who want to replay the game a lot, otherwise, I’d definitely pass on it. 

Walking Dead Season 1 and Season 2:  Just going to combine these two titles here. 

Walking Dead captures the ambiguous morality that is at the center of a zombie apocalypse.  Players take on the roles of new characters, in the first game it’s Lee, an escaped prisoner who finds a young girl Clementine and then navigates a lot of dangerous situations.  It’s a typical Telltale game in that respect. 

That’s also my biggest problem.  The first game is the exact moment when Telltale stopped trying to make interesting games and just bought expensive licenses and made average choose-your-own-adventures stories out of them.  Then they did that about a million more times until everyone got bored of it.  There are no real puzzles, no real challenges, just make choices and see the heavily scripted experience play out. 

Pick this up if you’re a fan of the Walking Dead.  This is not a great game, but it’s a great Walking Dead story, and that’s what Telltale made.  They took a good story, put it in a weak game, and then just gave minor choices pretending they will have a big impact, and honestly… they don’t.  But also if you like the Walking Dead, you probably already played this, so you know. 

Chivalry 2.  Epic medieval melee combat. 

I’m not one for multiplayer games usually, but I picked up a copy of Chivalry 2 for Steam after playing this.  In Chivalry 2 you will play as one of many knights on either side of massive conflicts with up to 64 players on each side.  You’ll choose from one of four classes, with more advanced versions unlocking as you move up in the levels and ranks.  There’s a pretty solid combat system that also can go out the window in the middle of the massive melee where everyone is just running around slaughtering each other. 

And while I like this game, there are still a few issues.  There are UI problems, including points where I was unable to join either team.  The control layout for the controller is weak, though Mouse and Keyboard are better.  Finally, there are microtransactions for no reason.  They’re offered as a time saver, but that’s the point of the game, to play and level up.

Pick this up if you like strong melee combat and massive battles.  I have previously covered Mordhau and I like Chivalry even more.  If you don’t have Game Pass, there will be a Melee Mayhem bundle with a PC version of this on Humble Bundle for about a week more.  Also, this game is better if you have a small group of friends but it’s not required at all because this is a big wild battle, and you can just go in arms flailing. 

Eville.  Making me regret the social part of social deduction. 

Eville is yet another social deduction game, similar to Town of Salem, or Among Us.  The difference here is that Eville put in a lot of time to make a 3d world, where players can complete quests and move around the map.  In addition, with 3d there’s an ability to place traps, and character ability matters more. 

At the same time, while it sounds like a good system, this is dreadful.  Playing with random players, I’ve already heard racist and sexist comments, enough so that I have disabled the sound for this part of the video.  I tried to play three games, and the two times I successfully got into a game, the game ended after five minutes, likely when the evil characters disconnected.  The gameplay feels the opposite of the normal social deduction that draws me to this type of game, with more focus on quests here.  And I tried to text chat, and that didn’t seem to work either. 

Pick this up if you’re going to play this with friends, but even so, I mean, Among Us is still solid and free on mobile. The Town of Salem is exactly this without the 3d world for a third of the price and there are even more choices out there.   Ultimately, I struggle to recommend this to anyone.

Coral Island.  Stardew Valley 2 or something like that. 

Coral Island can say it’s based on anything, but it’s so obviously an improved version of Stardew Valley.  This isn’t a bad thing. You have improved visuals, what feels like an even larger world, and many more characters.  There’s a skill tree and also an ability to go catch bugs.  

But at the same time, this feels like Stardew Valley 2, only from someone else.  So what stands out to me are features from Stardew.  People like the diverse cast but their personalities are much more subtle at first.  Perhaps that’s due to the number of characters here or the other thing…  This is in Early Access so part of this game will change, expand, and more. Like the story, the romance, and more are all not here yet… 

Pick this up if you want an incomplete but improved Stardew Valley.  This does feel very ambitious but it’s also early access so, who knows what this game will be like when it finally is finished.  I am curious about it, but I also want a full experience, not a piecemeal one.  It is worth checking out though, but I will wait for the final game.

Dyson Sphere Program.  A true nerdish delight. 

Dyson Sphere Program feels both fresh and familiar.  A big piece of this game is building logistics, similar to Factorio.  You’ll mine ore, create smelters, assemble features, and then build upwards.  But unlike Factorio this isn’t about a single planet.  You’ll be able to travel planets and build bases.  At least I assume so, it takes a long time to get going on this game.

However the addictive elements of Factorio are still here, and after three hours of playing I had to choose between losing myself in the game or stopping for the night, I stopped but it was close.  However this is still in Early access, which is a shame because it’s so well done, but major features appear to still be missing such as enemies to fight. 

Pick this up if you like Factorio or any of those nerdy games I like.  Pretty much anything by Zachtronics probably would put you in the right area for this title.   Honestly, this feels really well done, and highly polished to the point that I’m likely going to be coming back and spending way too many hours here. 

Scorn. A lot of Body Horror. 

Scorn is a bit of a horrific game, as you’re about to see.  I’ve said often I’m not a fan of horror, but Scorn didn’t scare me.  It’s more that I hate the visual style here, which is trying to make people uneasy and succeeds.  Players will move around a strange location, solve puzzles, and eventually fight enemies, but do so as this gruesome character, who often attaches weapons and items to their body. 

Scorn has some big problems, there are lengthy parts of the game where you’re just walking in large uninteresting spaces.  The combat that I’ve seen isn’t scary, it’s more abysmal.  And ultimately I’m not that scared, more just turned off by the art, which some people will love, but this doesn’t feel like a true horror, just more a game to make people disgusted.

Pick this up if you like what you’re seeing on screen. I picked this scene on purpose, but at the same time, this was probably the best moment of my experience.  The rest was pretty underwhelming.  

In fact, I’m going to get rid of this video, it’s a bit much and let’s bring some cutesy animals back.   That’s better.

So what about this month’s lineup?  There’s a lot of variety here.  I will say that I am finding myself put out on the Early Access titles.  I have a ton of faith in all three, Slime Rancher 2 feels on the edge of greatness, the same is true for Coral Island, and Dyson Sphere Program has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention in the last year.  

But except for Dyson Sphere Program, I wouldn’t say the other two are that good at this moment.  They are so early and they’ll change quite a bit that I feel uninterested in experiencing something I’ll have to play again later to get the real experience.  And I’m also forgetting some Early Access games like Valheim 

While there are 16 titles this month, honestly not many stood out to me.  I found five I wanted to highlight but I also felt quite a few were lackluster, and even for games of specific genres could have been a lot better.  

And again, I know Plague Tale Requiem is coming, but I chose to release this video on schedule, and I promise to talk about it next time. 

Let’s just talk about the five strongest of the month.  

Starting at the bottom, we have a surprise for me, but I have to admit, Valheim lived up to the praise it’s gotten from a lot of people.  I’m not a huge fan of the genre, and I think the game could have had a better tutorial at least showing how to approach the first boss, but that’s why there are wikis.  If you want a manly survival game, this is the one, if you don’t, there might be another on the list. 

The fourth strongest game this month is Dyson Sphere Program.  This is completely a personal pick, but damn it, this was so good.  When something is this addictive, I just want to play many more hours of it, well that’s kind of what you’d want from a game where you’re exploring planets and creating massive logistical monsters.

The third strongest game this month is Grounded.  I told you there might be another survival.  While Grounded frustrated me more because of how aggressive the enemies were, the art style is what made it stand out from all the other survival games I’ve seen.  It’s using the thematic elements of being shrunken in a yard to maximum efficiency, and it was extremely fun to see, I actually might play more, which is not normal for that genre.

The second strongest game this month is Chivalry 2.  I’m shocked that a multiplayer-only game is on my list, but that’s how much I enjoyed this experience.  The large melee.  The more tactical battles.  Dealing with archers, and being able to snipe as two opponents face off.  Trying to avoid hurting your team, while wading into large combat.  All of this works and creates a fantastic experience. 

My favorite game of this month… It’s Deathloop.  This is the game I definitely will be playing more of, and after playing it for this video, I added it to my wish list to own, and I now own it, thanks to Humble Choice.  Arkane tackled a hard concept and is doing a solid job with it.  The time loop genre is not something many studios can exceed at, and there doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of repetition required here.

And that’s what I had this month. I’m amazed, I have done a Humble Choice and a Game Pass video and the best game for both videos is the same… I mean it’s totally not, and you should watch the Humble Choice video. 

So with that out of the way, I need to discuss something with you. So.  After last month I did some soul-searching and the fact is, I don’t know if I can continue covering Game Pass like this. I’ve heard tons of good suggestions, but it’s a bigger problem.  I can spend anywhere from 60 hours to 100 hours a month on playing the games, covering them, making the video, and more.  That’s on average two hours or more a night for a month, and remember about a week there, I’m doing another video.

This video has rarely got the viewership I think the topic deserves, but I’ve been spending a hundred hours on a video and usually see around five hundred views.  It’s something I’ve done since august of last year, and it limits what I’m doing for almost the whole month.  There’s a need to play “what’s come out on Game Pass” as fast as possible just in case more stuff just appears.  

There’s a lot more to this.  But I also generated a list of games I would play if I had more free time and found 46 modern titles, like God of War, Elden Ring, and Spider-man that were left unfinished this year.  The first two were barely started.  Even games like Deathloop I know I won’t have time to focus on.  There’s also Judgment and Lost Judgment that I’m unwilling to start because I don’t think I can give it the proper amount of time.  That’s two Yakuza games I own and I can’t play them.  AHHHH. 

I don’t want to bore everyone with a long video, so the quick version and the good news is I’m going to finish out the year, November and December will have videos, that way I can say I covered the entire year.   After that point, this series will be paused, probably ending completely.   I’ll talk more about what I think will happen, or my future plans next month, but I want to take a moment and thank everyone who has supported me on this series or channel. I know this isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but I think it’s the right choice to make at this time. 

Thanks for listening, if you do want to see what’s coming next, or the absence of such, make sure you’re subscribed and ring that bell.  Listen I have to say, that’s how this youtube thing works.   Like, comment, and subscribe, and I’d love to hear from all of you about this month, or the changes coming to the channel.  And like always… 

See you next time. 

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