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There’s a clear metal theme with today’s two Game Pass additions. There’s the day-one release of Chained Echoes (Cloud, Console and PC), and the devil horns of Metal: Hellsinger, which is arriving in its Xbox One form (it has been available on Series X|S for some time). 

Chained Echoes knows its audience. If you go all gooey-eyed when talking about favourite 16-Bit RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Suikoden or Final Fantasy then this is a love-letter written specifically to you. 

Set in the fantasy land of Valandis, it tells a story of a world that’s been battered for decades by war. Tyrants have used kingdoms as their pawns in battle, and it’s time for the people to rise up. You are among the rebellion who aim to return power to humanity, and you will wade through turn-based battles to do it. 

Chained Echoes has ambitions to elevate the usually quite stuffy turn-based RPG by making it dynamic and fast. Games have tried that in the past but fallen between stools, so it will be interesting to see if Chained Echoes can manage it. We also like how combat seems to be played on two planes, with your dinky, human-sized character on the floor and massive mechs straddling the globe. Oh, and there’s airships, because what is a steampunk fantasy game without airships? 

Metal: Hellsinger doesn’t need to worry about being fast or dynamic: it’s about as hyperactive as you can get and is now available on Xbox One as well as the previous Xbox Series X|S version. This is the uniquely branded ‘rhythm FPS’, where you become a devil bent on revenge, and the damage you deal on your journey is completely dependent on whether you can match the beat of the music. Match the shuddering drumfills or guitar solos, and your enemies will explode in gib-filled showers.

Metal: Hellsinger has quite the pedigree, as some household names in metal have lent their musical chops to the soundtrack. Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) and Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) are just some of the artists that are involved. 

So those are today’s new Game Pass releases, but December is not skimpy on the Game Pass treats. We are particularly looking forward to High on Life (Console, Cloud, PC) on Dec 13th, but that week also brings Potion Craft (PC). Also coming to Game Pass is Hot Wheels Unleashed (PC and Console) and Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan (Cloud, Console and PC) on December 15th. 

Unfortunately, there are leavers too. On the 15th of December, you should know that the following will not be playable on Game Pass: Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Cloud, Console, and PC), Breathedge (Cloud, Console, and PC), Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Cloud, Console, and PC), Firewatch (Cloud, Console, and PC), Lake (Cloud, Console, and PC), One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (Cloud, Console, and PC), Neoverse (Cloud and Console), Race with Ryan (Cloud, Console, and PC), Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (Cloud, Console, and PC), Rory McIlroy PGA Tour (Console) and Transformers: Battlegrounds (Cloud, Console, and PC). 

So, what will it be? Turn-based RPG or rhythm-shooter? Let us know in the comments or on our social media.