Gamepass In-Review : May 2022

The last month of games are being added to the service before showcase season gets into full swing. On the docket this month is an artistic tour de force, the resurgence of a franchise that was getting long in the tooth, and the legendary Jeff Goldblum. Before we jump into some of the new Game Pass additions that jump out this May, here is a quick rundown, or a refresher, on how this series works:

  • These are more or less impressions of the games below with what we hope will be enough information for you to determine if it might be worth your time and bandwidth. These are not intended to replace reviews and, therefore, will not be scored.
  • Although we will do our best to play and provide impressions and information on all games, sometimes there are just so many games added that some fall through the cracks. (Apologies!)
  • We will be focusing mostly on games that launch on the console service, with some PC as well. Games that previously launched on console and are now making their way to PC (or vice/versa) will likely not make the list.
  • We also will not be covering games that are revealed to be making their Cloud Debut on the service.

For last month’s games, checkout Gamepass In-Review: April 2022 here.

Finally, next month is not only showcase season, but also the launch of PlayStation’s new subscription service. To that end I’m pleased to announce that we will have its games featured on the In-Review series going forward… we just need to think of a new name first!

Trek to Yomi – Flying Wild Hog | Devolver Digital

Trek to Yomi is a beautifully stylized action game in the vein of world renowned Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. This is a title that was reviewed by Seasoned Gaming’s own Steve Esposito, and here is a a bit of what he had to say:
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Trek to Yomi. Tight gameplay, beautiful cinematography, and the yells of my slain foes are only a few parts of what makes this game incredibly enthralling. Flying Wild Hog has proved that you don’t need to create an open world pseudo-RPG to be considered theatrical or cinematic. It can be done with passion, heart, inspiration, and a dish best served cold.”

Click here for the full Seasoned Gaming review of Trek to Yomi.

Sniper Elite 5 – Rebellion | Self published by Rebellion

The Sniper Elite series of games is approaching its 20-year anniversary, and, despite what this game’s title may infer, this is actually the 10th game released in the series to date. Known most fondly for its incredible, slow motion x-ray kills, and perhaps most widely for its middle of the road game play and presentation, Sniper Elite 5 looks to be a quasi-rebirth for the long tenured series. The game puts you in the shoes of long standing series protagonist Carl Fairburn as you infiltrate Nazi occupied territories in an attempt to take out high value targets and foil their plans for a secret “Project Kraken.” The story itself is somewhat standard issue, and its cinematic presentation is mostly delivered in intermission voice-over, debriefs, and somewhat average looking in-game cut scenes. It’s at these moments that the game’s AA nature squeaks through, but, thankfully, it is the only place that it’s noticeable as the game rests heavily on its design, and that design is impeccable.


Each mission plays out in massive sandboxes, very similar to the recent Hitman games, and you are free to explore and accomplish your goals in any way you see fit. The series recent transition from mostly sniping to an elegant mixture of sniping and stealth action seen in Sniper Elite 4 is wonderfully done here. What makes things even more tense is the new Nazi Invasion mode. Nazi invasion allows other players to join into your personal campaigns as an enemy sniper, creating a very tense cat and mouse experience. This, in fact, is where I spent most of my time, and it was a total blast. The size and scope of the game’s maps, along with the range at which you can take out a target, means you are constantly feeling the tension no matter which side of the war you are on. The game also features a traditional versus multiplayer suite with everything you would expect from a PVP shooter, with one stand-out edition being the “no-cross” mode, which forces each team to stay on one side of the map, creating very tense sniper stand-offs.

Eiyuden Chronicles Rising – Rabbit & Bear Studios | 505 Games

Eiyuden Chronicles Rising originally began as a Kickstater stretch goal / companion game to the upcoming Eiyuden Chronicles Hundred Heroes, which is, in and of itself, a spiritual successor to Suikoden. It is safe to say that Eiyuden Chronicles Rising is a bit of an unusual release. However, despite this and despite its largely different game-play style over the more traditional JRPG game it is a prelude for, Eiyuden Chronicles is a worthwhile experience and a must play for anyone who is anticipating the release of Hundred Heroes. The game was previewed by Seasoned Gaming’s Steve Esposito at PAX East this year, and he had this to say:

“This side-scrolling adventure was fun and unique while retaining something familiar and classic. Despite the nostalgia trip, it did feel a bit dry for a demo and didn’t seem to show off enough. I saw a bit of the other aspects in trailers and screenshots that involved character switching, additional moves, and more intricate systems. Despite that, I got just a small taste of the basic concepts that stand as the foundation as well as the pacing of the game. This is going to be a somewhat slow burn, but it is a fun title that feels more like it is about the journey more than the destination.”

Check out the full preview for Eiyuden Chronicles Rising here.

Loot River – Straka Studio | SUPERHOT Team

Loot River is a top-down, isometric rogue-like with an interesting exploration mechanic. As the game’s title implies, the majority of the game takes place on a very large river that is traversed via floating platforms that take the shape of what you would expect to see on a Tetris board. Playing as a nameless warrior, you are able to control these platforms on the fly with the right analog stick, connecting them with surrounding platforms just like Alexey Pajitnov intended. Tetris is one of the most beloved games in the world for a reason as the simple act of sliding these blocks within each other is a very satisfying endeavour, and its implementation here strikes a similar nerve. This mechanic also ties in deeply with the game’s combat system as the various enemies in the game are not able to cross between detached platforms. So sliding these platforms in and out of each other to escape enemy hordes becomes a vital survival tactic.
The game also features some of the most gorgeous pixel art I have seen this year, both in its environments as well as its characters and animations. There is a story here that is told through the game’s many NPCs, but it is mostly delivered in the game’s hub world, disconnected from the moment to moment game play. Like any rogue-like, the game also features a ton of loot and other equipment you can use to tailor your individual runs, something that is definitely a must as this game can get surprisingly challenging.

This War of Mine: Final Cut | 11 bit studios

This War of Mine from 11 bit studios is somewhat of an older title, originally releasing in 2014. The game is an artistic re-imagining of the Siege of Sarajevo that took place during the Bosnian war. However, unlike most war games, you don’t play the role of an heroic soldier on the front lines. Instead, you play as one of many civilians who are scared, homeless, starving, and just trying to survive the real terror that takes place during a war. The game has a black and white sketched look and subtle ambience that really helps sell the feeling of helplessness and dread that you would expect, being a civilian trapped in a war torn city. Since this is the “Final Cut” version of This War of Mine, the game features enhanced visuals and UI over its previous incarnations. This game takes away glamorization of war and really focuses on the realities that the people behind the movies, books, and video game depictions have faced, and it’s a very important thing to focus on now, especially, since as I write this there are people dealing with a similar reality in Ukraine.

Aside from the powerful story the game delivers, the game plays as a 2D survival game. You will spawn in a run down building with a band of survivors, each with their own unique characteristics. One may be a great cook, while another may be a great scavenger. You must find ways to scavenge what you will need for survival as well as find materials to upgrade your shelter. As the game progresses, you will need to make decisions on who to send out further into the war zone to find more supplies and who will get the luxury of a night’s sleep. All the choices you make will impact everyone’s chances of survival.


Little Witch in the Woods – Sunny Side Up | SK Telecom

Little Witch in the Woods is a story-driven adventure game where you play as Ellie, a Witch’s apprentice. When I say this adventure is “story-driven,” that is somewhat of an understatement as this game has more dialogue then possibly any other game in the genre. That may be a turn off to some, but considering how adorable some of the characters are, both in terms of their writing and pixel art, it might also end up being some people’s favourite aspect. It is important to note that this game is launching into Game Pass as a Game Preview, so it will continue to be updated by the developers as it approaches its final form and release.

The bulk of the game play revolves around exploring the game’s large areas, finding hidden secrets as well as materials and equipment. Ellie has a sketchbook which she uses to jot down notes about all of the creatures and other things she comes across, which provides the player with useful information on how to best interact with them. When not exploring the woods, you will also come across towns full of NPC’s to interact with and get quests from. A lot of these are simple fetch quests, but there is also a main story to follow along with as well. This is a very relaxing game that is a great way to sit back, unwind, and just soak up its many charming qualities.


Jurassic World Evolution 2 – Frontier Developments | Fireshine Games

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a sequel to the one of the first good Jurassic Park games in a long time. The game is in the “Park Management” genre, but instead of managing roller coasters, you are building your own dangerous dinosaur zoos. The game features voice work from the excellent star of the film series Jeff Goldblum, helping the game to really nail the Jurassic Park aesthetic. Unlike a lot of games in the genre, you are able to zoom in pretty close up, giving you a great view of all your patrons, as well as the giant prehistoric creatures in captivity.

The game play is all about management and deciding how, exactly, your park will run. You will decide on large macro things, like what types of attractions to have and where to place them for maximum profitability, as well as smaller-level decisions like where the roads between buildings will go and when your park scientist can take vacation time. The game is not always played from an overseer position, though, as you can also take control of the iconic 90s Jurassic Jeep and stroll around the area, or man a helicopter and take aim at wild dinosaurs with your tranquilizer gun. This game is an improvement on its predecessor in almost every way, and it is a must play for anyone who ever wanted to run their own Jurassic Park.


Honorable Mentions

Pacman Museum+

Farming Simulator 22

Umurangi Generation Special Edition

NHL 22

Floppy Knights

Danganrampa 2: Goodbye Dispair

Citizen Sleeper

By Eric Bezanson

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