Xbox sales: TA Team Picks (February 18th)
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Microsoft’s weekly Xbox sales are back and applying discounts to numerous games across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. Come take a look at what the TA news team thinks are great deals.
It’s that time of the week once again when the TA news team straps on their flippers and dives into the latest Xbox sales across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC, all in pursuit of a good bargain. While the games we choose are our personal choices and not strictly “the best” games ever made, one thing is for sure: they’ll be rocking a tasty discount.
Bargains from the Xbox sales
Heidi — The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass
I know The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been talked about a lot already, especially with the Xbox Series X|S update last year, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass is still one of the best picks of this sale, because even in the eight years since The Witcher 3 launched, its Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine expansions still hold up as fantastic examples of DLC excellence. Seriously, I know Hearts of Stone is amazing too, but Blood and Wine in particular is just incredible — a whole new realm with Toussaint that’s massive in its own right, and along with a new main story, all the side quests, points of interest, and general adventuring potential you’d expect from such a huge new area to explore. Toussaint is a richly complex land and probably my favourite area in The Witcher 3. It’s packed full of content and new characters, and if it was even possible to get bored of Beauclair, you could also turn your attention back to the all-absorbing game of Gwent with a new Skellige deck. And to top it all off — your own little vineyard to make your own!
Before you relax in Toussaint for the rest of time, however, you also have Hearts of Stone to experience, with a new storyline revolving around the intriguing character of Olgierd von Everec, not to mention the endlessly fascinating Master Mirror. Hearts of Stone describes itself as offering over ten hours of content, but considering The Witcher 3’s propensity for gruelling, teeth-gnashing choices, you’ll probably end up playing it for much longer. Altogether, a 30% discount on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass sounds pretty damn good.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass secures your access to two epic adventures set in the vibrant world of monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. Collectively offering 30 hours of new content, gear and foes–all crafted with maximum attention to detail and quality–the expansions feature characters both new and dearly missed while bringing to life stories previously untold within the Witcher universe.
Luke — Exit the Gungeon
I’ve been meaning to return to the Gungeon for ages, so seeing this drop to 50% off seemed like the perfect time to jump in. Given how much I love the original, I’m surprised it took me this long, yet utterly unsurprised at just how much I’m enjoying Exit the Gungeon so far. It’s a really clever twist on the original, switching to a side-scrolling perspective while maintaining many of the enemy attack patterns and familiar power-up from Enter the Gungeon so returning fans will be able to read the chaotic action almost immediately. Reacting to it is another matter, mind, since the game’s initially counter-intuitive decision to count jumps, drops, and any airtime in general as dodge-rolling means it’s often best to fling yourself right through the middle of the bullet hell mess rather than trying to weave around it. It should all fall into place after a few runs and it’s ridiculously powerful, which is partially why this feels so much easier than Enter — the systems clicked nice and fast, so I got my first clear on my third attempt, followed by another two exits, all Master Rounds bar the final one, and my first Glocktopus kill, all in a single sitting.
Another key factor in making this feel more approachable is that there’s a lot less luck involved in getting on a run. With the default settings, your gun automatically changes to a different one every ten seconds or so, with a greater chance at something from the loot pool’s higher tiers the better your combo meter (read: don’t get hit, get better guns). A run doesn’t die when you find a Klobbe; you only have to endure its awfulness very briefly before it magically changes into something new and you can actually start doing damage again. An update did add a mode closer to the original where you still collect guns and manage ammo, but I’ve not tried that yet… I’m still getting to grips with the new systems and getting more of those useful NPCs unlocked for the time being. It feels safe to say that the Exit the Gungeon achievements are a good bit easier than the first game’s list, too. I grabbed a third of them in an evening and the estimate is under half that of the previous game, plus I’m not seeing a lot on the list that worries me so far.
Exit the Gungeon is a small, spin-off ‘dungeon climber’ immediately following the adventures of the misfit Gungeoneers.
Sean — Carrion
If you missed Carrion when it was in Game Pass, now is the time to pick it up, as the excellent Metroidvania is just $7.99/£6.69/€7.99 in this week’s sale. In Carrion, instead of playing as the marine hunting down the alien/monster, this time, you are the monster and seek out revenge on the ones who kept you imprisoned. Starting off as a weak amorphous blob, you have to navigate your way through the facility you’re kept in, skulking through the vents and darkened corridors in search of a way out while avoiding traps and consuming the scientists and marines that are keeping you captive. Eating humans is delightfully gory, with plenty of blood and body parts littering an environment — it also helps you grow in size, and allows you to reach new areas. What I really enjoyed about Carrion was the way the creature moves, with its long tendrils speedily and silently pulling you along to the next unsuspecting victim whose head you will gleefully pull off with a crunch — it’s all very satisfying. If you’re up for something quite original and a short game (a completion takes around eight hours), you can’t go wrong with Carrion this week.
CARRION is a reverse horror game in which you assume the role of an amorphous creature of unknown origin.
Tom — Just Die Already
Yes, I’ve championed this before. Yes, I know it’s not the GOAT. Yes, I’m championing it again. Just Die Already holds a special place in my heart mostly because it was one of the first games I reviewed when I began working here at TA, but it’s also a ton of fun that requires zero brain activity to enjoy. Load in, cause physical harm to an elderly person, and log out in the knowledge that you’ve probably traumatised that poor digital OAP for the sake of ten minutes of laughter. In a world where games like Call of Duty and Elden Ring reign supreme, sometimes it’s nice to switch off and act a fool for a little bit. Just Die Already also has a tiny install size, so it won’t require too much from you if you’d like it as a game you play every now and then. Additionally, it’s on sale for half its usual price, and while it’s not the lowest it’s ever been, I think five quid is a good deal. Xbox Series S, £250. Just Die Already, £5. Blowing Grandpa’s arm off with a firework… priceless!
Just Die Already is an old people mayhem sandbox game created by the designers of Goat Simulator. You are old and angry and you’ve just been kicked out of your retirement home. How will you survive in a world that wants you to Just Die Already?
Will you be bagging any of these bargains, or want to let us know of something else on sale this week? Drop a comment below and let us know!
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