February 2021 Games with Gold announced

Gears 5 leads the lineup.

Listen here, you little brats. Microsoft has heard you all talking smack about Games with Gold. Sure, you may be right about how the various months have really fallen off in terms of quality these past few years. But the Xbox team doesn’t have to stand around and take that! The February 2021 Games with Gold lineup has now been revealed, and if it says anything, it’s that Microsoft is tired of hearing your complaints. Either that, or the company realized just how badly PS Plus has been cleaning its clock.

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Resident Evil Village release date: May 7, 2021

That’s a tall woman.

The Resident Evil franchise has been all about remakes lately. Early 2019 brought us a pretty stellar remake of RE2, and the middle of 2020 served up a remake of RE3. There is another game in the series on the way in Resident Evil Village, though up until Jan. 21, 2021, we hadn’t heard much about it. On that fateful day, however, Capcom let loose with another trailer of the game and finally announced the Resident Evil Village release date.

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Control is now on Xbox Game Pass for PC, and it has achievements

Achievements unlocked.

One of my biggest pet peeves is a game on Xbox Game Pass for PC that comes without achievements. Xbox Game Pass is supposedly part of the Xbox ecosystem, right? On PC, games in the Xbox app should hold to the same standard the console versions do with regard to the features that are included. Yet that too often has not been the case. Fortunately, Control is now a part of Xbox Game Pass for PC, and good news: it has achievements.

A post over on the Xbox blog highlights a number of titles coming to Game Pass soon, including:

  • Control (PC) – Jan. 21
  • Desperados 3 (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 21
  • Donut County (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 21
  • Outer Wilds (Cloud) – Jan. 21
  • Cyber Shadow (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 26
  • The Medium (Series X|S, PC) – Jan. 28
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 28
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 28
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered (Cloud, Console, PC) – Jan. 28

But Control really deserves a highlight here, as far too often, games that have already released on console get dropped onto PC lacking any achievements whatsoever. Heck, you can boot up Alan Wake — another Remedy game — on Game Pass for PC right now and not get a single achievement from it. Even Remedy hasn’t been entirely consistent on this front.

I have complained plenty about this in the past, so it’s only right to dish some praise at the PC games that put in the extra work. I presume, based on the past Yakuza releases on PC, that Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 will also support achievements. Maybe we are finally getting to a place where developers will put more effort in on this front and take being part of the Xbox ecosystem seriously.

And maybe, just maybe, Microsoft will start forcing developers to add achievements at some point, just like it does on console. Let us pray.

It Takes Two release date: March 26, 2021

Bring a friend. It’s required.

Couples therapy usually doesn’t involve being dropped into a whimsical fantasy universe, but in It Takes Two, that’s exactly what happens to Cody and May. With the Book of Love as their guide, they’ll have to work together to platform and solve puzzles, all while doing their best to get along. This new game from Josef Fares and Hazelight is really getting a lot of attention, which is why you’re probably wondering: what is the It Takes Two release date?

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Little Nightmares 2 release date: Feb. 11, 2021

The nightmares continue.

What do you get when you mix a puzzle platformer with the horror genre? You get the first Little Nightmares, a game that released back in April 2017. Little Nightmares was fairly well received, earning numerous high scores from various video game publications. Now we’re just weeks away from a sequel, and there’s more to say about the Little Nightmares 2 release date.

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Bethesda’s Indiana Jones game release date: TBD

A new Indy from an established studio.

Back on Jan. 12, 2021, the video game world got some pretty huge (and unexpected news). A new Indiana Jones game is on the way, and MachineGames — the Bethesda-owned studio behind the Wolfenstein series — is making it. On top of that, Bethesda’s Todd Howard is on the project as executive producer. All of that is a lot to take in, sure, but you’re probably wondering: what is the Indiana Jones game release date?

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Friday fun: Josef Fares hates the Xbox Series X name

The man has a point.

You all remember Josef Fares, right? He worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and, with his studio Hazelight, A Way Out. He’s also the guy who had some words for The Oscars at The Game Awards a few years back. Fares and Hazelight have a new game on the way in It Takes Two, which is set to release on March 26, 2021. That game looks interesting, but Fares’ thoughts on Microsoft’s Xbox branding seem like a much more entertaining topic to cover.

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Star Wars: Squadrons is free to play right now, and the campaign isn’t long

New Star Wars story. Free. What more do you want?

Every now and again, Microsoft will do a promotion called “Free Play Days,” putting several titles up in a sort of “preview” period for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The games are fully playable and typically stick around for about three days. The latest batch includes Star Wars: Squadrons, and if you’re quick, you can play the entire campaign for free before Free Play Days ends.

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When is EA Play coming to Xbox Game Pass for PC?

Game Pass for PC subscribers deserve some answers.

You might recall that, back in the middle of December 2020, EA Play was supposed to become part of Xbox Game Pass on PC. That addition would’ve been a huge win for Game Pass subscribers on PC, adding dozens more titles to the Game Pass library. Unfortunately, Microsoft announced on the scheduled day of launch that EA Play wouldn’t come to Game Pass until 2021. Game Pass is usually a bright spot for the Xbox brand. This particular episode wasn’t great.

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Backward compatible games that play better on Xbox Series S

Oldies can still be goodies.

If you follow Xbox news, you’re likely well aware that the Xbox Series X is a monster. It has a slew of new titles that run at high resolutions and frame rates. It can run older Xbox One X-enhanced games even better than that console could. But what about the Xbox Series S? Which games get some benefit from Microsoft’s other next-gen console?

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