Key art from High On Life, showing a person in a spacesuit aiming a sentient, smiling alien gun at a cowering enemy

Key art from High On Life, showing a person in a spacesuit aiming a sentient, smiling alien gun at a cowering enemy

Squanch Games’ foolish sci-fi shooter High On Life shouldn’t be solely the preferred game on Game Pass proper now, it’s the largest Game Pass launch of 2022 and the largest third-party launch in Game Pass historical past, based on Microsoft. Not content material with simply two records, High On Life can also be the “biggest single-player game launch on Game Pass ever,” based mostly on “the number of hours played in the first five days of release,” Microsoft says.

As of Monday, Squanch Games’ new Xbox and Windows PC launch was the preferred game on Game Pass, outpacing different titles on the service like Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Minecraft, FIFA 22, Forza Horizon 5, Rainbow Six Siege, and Halo Infinite on console and PC. That’s a formidable feat for a game independently revealed via Microsoft’s [email protected] program, however there are a couple of causes that assist clarify why High On Life managed to set so many records.

For one, High On Life shouldn’t be obtainable on competing platforms — there’s no Nintendo Switch or PlayStation model of the game. It’s a de facto Microsoft unique. High On Life additionally dropped through the usually slower month of December, the place new game releases are few and much between, which means it had little compete with.

Game Pass hasn’t seen many AAA marquee releases in 2022; the delays of Arkane’s Redfall and Bethesda’s Starfield to 2023 meant that Microsoft’s lineup for this yr was skinny in comparison with the subsequent, when video games like Forza Motorsport, Minecraft Legends, and STALKER 2 will even be part of Game Pass. An unique title like High On Life — which comes with a built-in viewers, due to Squanch Games founder Justin Roiland’s work on Rick and Morty — will get the possibility to face out and set records on this atmosphere.

It helps that High On Life is a fairly good game in its personal proper, with first rate taking pictures and stable first-person traversal, drawing a few of its inspiration from the Metroid Prime video games. Whether Roiland’s model of humor aligns with yours is one other story. But it’s the proper instance of a Game Pass game, as Polygon’s Ryan Gilliam famous in a latest Sub Gems column:

High on Life is a game that may both make you cringe so arduous that you just flip it off within the first 10 minutes, or chortle your ass off all the best way to the game’s first boss. The magnificence is that, with Game Pass, both of these outcomes are completely acceptable. Either you’ll discover a new game that you just’re excited to see via to the tip, otherwise you’ll delete it off your arduous drive ceaselessly and by no means give it some thought once more — no hurt, no foul.

High On Life is playable on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X via Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass each value $9.99 a month. PC Game Pass contains EA Play entry, which gives one other 70 video games on PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, at $14.99 per thirty days, provides subscribers entry to every part — the PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass libraries, EA Play on each console and PC — as properly as Xbox Live Gold membership, which is required for on-line multiplayer.

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