Gears 5 headlines a bumper February 2021 Games with Gold

After Microsoft’s VERY brief dalliance with increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold (!) during the last couple of days (which they quickly backed down from), there was also a surprise with the announcment of five games (instead of the usual four) coming to February’s Games with Gold. The full details are here about the incoming games but the short of it:

  • Gears 5 (Feb 1-28)
  • Resident Evil (Feb 1-28)
  • Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition (Feb 16-Mar 15)
  • Indiana Jones and The Emperor’s Tomb (Xbox BC, Feb 1-15)
  • Lost Planet 2 (Xbox 360 BC, Feb 16-28)

Gears 5 is still a great deal packing plenty of campaign and multiplayer content. Game Pass Ultimate players also have access to the new Hivebusters DLC too for free making this an even better deal. Still one of the best looking games on Xbox and even more so on the Series X/S.

The timing of Indiana Jones and The Emperor’s Tomb couldn’t have been better with the Bethesda announcment still fresh in people’s minds but this was also a good game when it was released which combined the action adventure play of Tomb Raider with a combat system similar to the developer’s earlier game Buffy the Vampire Slayer (also for Xbox). Resident Evil making a appearance here looks like it’s due to a new game being a couple of months away from release. Most of noise has been coming lately from a PlayStation exclusive demo but having this here on Xbox might still be a useful reminder.

It’s been clear for some time that Game Pass is Microsoft’s preferred subscription model in the long term as it combines everything with a slightly higher monthly fee but increasing the price to drive that migration was not the best way to make it happen. Can understand them wanting to simplify the subscription models they support but there’s also going to be a few Xbox die hards who’ve been there from the beginning who will stick with Gold for as long as they can. Making some of the additional Games with Gold titles Game Pass only could have worked better by further shifting the value proposition more to the new service without impacting the existing one. This would be much like how Game Pass Perks have been giving away DLC bonuses for Warframe, Phantasy Star Online and World of Tanks so they need to keep working on highlighting the advantages. This migration might take a long time but it will happen… they just need to be more patient with how they deal with users.

At least now it’s also been confirmed that free to play games on Xbox are no longer gated behind the Gold paywall so that’s also a big win this week for many users. Still… It’s not the end of the Gold vs Game Pass debate but some good has come of it. 🙂

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