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Xbox Game Pass January 2023: First games of the month for subscribers

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While we wait for more news, let’s start with an overview of the first available games arriving in January 2023 on Xbox Game Pass.

A really strange late 2022/early 2023 occurrence of Xbox Game Pass, which, contrary to what usually happens, hasn’t received regular updates or accurate communication from Microsoft, for almost a month now. The Redmond house have specifically informed that they will not be going through with a second round of games in December 2022, unlike usual, by deferring everything to the news at the beginning of the year, but we are now in the middle of the month and have had very little communication in that regard anyway, With the only official announcement directly related to the arrival of some games in the second half of January.

In short, we’re clearly outside the service’s standard rules, and the now close proximity to the announcement of the Xbox Developer_Direct event can explain these communication gaps with the potential news that will be revealed there. Anyway, we’re now moving towards the second half of the month, so it might not make sense at this point to talk about the first and second rounds of games, given that they will all be concentrated roughly towards the end of the month and placed within short distance of each other. However, some titles have been posted on the sly for a few days already, and we have grouped them with the (already known) ones listed in the first official announcement to make up an overview of First games January 2023 on Xbox Game Passwhile also remembering those who will be leaving the catalog as of January 15, 2023.

Stranded Deep – Console, PC, Cloud, Jan. 3

Stranded deep, a glimpse of a tropical environment
Stranded deep, a glimpse of a tropical environment

The first game of the year arrived without much fanfare, users discovered it by accident and then confirmed it with a short tweet from the official Xbox Game Pass account. Around Stranded deep, a game that certainly deserves more space and attention, being good and pure survival, than one that makes us deal with wild nature, with a shipwreck as a starting point. The protagonist of the game survived a plane crash and found refuge on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean: he will really have to survive in this regard, trying to make the most of the available resources in a procedurally generated world. Following the classic setup, it is about fighting hunger, thirst and various threats also presented by the rich fauna that populate the environment between sea and land, all with a dynamic day/night cycle and scenarios that are built differently each time according to the of the game being played. Stranted Deep offers great freedom of approach and the possibility of even exploring different islands by building boats, walking through different biomes and swimming in the ocean, all in first person.

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Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition – Console & PC Jan 5th

Mortal shell, fight scene
Mortal shell, fight scene

After it was first made available in 2021, Deadly shell Back in the Xbox and PC Game Pass catalog for the second installment, in this case in the “Next Gen” Enhanced Edition version. On the other hand, there’s always room for soul-style RPGs, the type of game that continues to be a hit. Mortal Shell represents one of the most convincing examples of this subgenre among productions of non-massive proportions, clearly surpassing the From Software series itself. Developed by Cold Symetry, the game was released in August 2020 and has since garnered a lot of attention and gained popularity and respect among Dark Souls fans and the like. The main element of the Mortal Shell game is the system that provides a clear change in the gameplay and the characteristics of the character through “Shells”, which also give the name to everything, while for the rest the general structure of the action RPG in the third person perspective, and the dynamics with a high level of The challenge, the importance of the battles and the general atmosphere clearly reflect the classic canon.

Persona 3 Portable – Console, PC and Cloud January 19th

Persona 3 Portable, screenshot showing the improvements over the original
Persona 3 Portable, screenshot showing the improvements over the original

We come to one of the hottest releases this month with Persona 3 Portable, which is technically part of the second half of January 2023, in this odd arrangement of the month on Game Pass. Atlus has finally decided to bring its popular JRPG series to other platforms as well, and after the arrival of Persona 5 Royal, those other redeemed chapters are also welcome with interesting remastering work. Persona 3 Portable, in this case, is an improved version of the original released 12 years ago on the PSP which in turn was already a rich and expanded version of the version released years ago on the PS2. The story is one of those that left a larger imprint in the world of Persona, and sees us discover the mystery of the Dark Hour, which lurks between day and night outside of the normal 24 hours. Also in this case, we find ourselves living between reality and an alternate dimension, between the normal student identity and that of the character, who fights against shadows and tries to save the world from darkness. In short, another dose of enveloping, surreal narrative from Atlus, with this retelling of a historical chapter of the series, now finally in a “Next Gen” edition.

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Persona 4: Golden – Console, PC and Cloud, Jan. 19

Another unexpected rebound from Atlus’ previous successes, Person 4: Gold Not only does he return to the scene, but he also arrives for the first time on unexpected platforms, notably including Xbox direct on Game Pass, with the Series X ‘Next Gen’ update | S. Gold Edition itself is really a remake of the original Persona 4, which originally came out nearly 15 years ago on the PS2, which still makes for quite the fun, having in fact undergone two adaptations for modern hardware.

This chapter also deals with themes typical of the series, such as dual personalities and parallel dimensions within a general story of growth and maturation, but with particularly disturbing ramifications, starting with a kind of real thriller. Finding himself shipped to the rural town of Inaba after his parents leave abroad, the protagonist seems destined for a quiet life, but the tranquility of the place is shattered by mysterious murders and strange rumors about the “Midnight Channel” secretly broadcast from the TV. On rainy nights, which seems to be hiding an even more disturbing secret. In short, another good dose of weirdness awaits us in Persona 4 Golden.

Monster Hunter Rise – Console and PC, January 20th

Monster Hunter Rise takes us to the exotic land of Kamura
Monster Hunter Rise takes us to the exotic land of Kamura

Still from Japan comes the other game of great importance in this version of Xbox Game Pass, perhaps the most important if we also take into account the fact that it is not published on different platforms: Monster Hunter Rise It was surprisingly announced recently that it was coming to Xbox and it was even more surprising to find that it is aimed squarely at Game Pass. Previously released only on Nintendo Switch and then on PC, the game continues the series of monster hunting based RPG after the great global success of Monster Hunter World and its expansion Iceborne. Set in the land of Kamura, Monster Hunter Rise, inspired by the classic Japanese folklore, takes the classic structure, and obviously introduces new creatures to hunt as well as new weapons, equipment, and fighting styles, which actually represents a new life for enthusiastic players of the series. Everything is brought to 4K on Xbox Series X | S and 60fps, with a mode of 120fps, which should improve the feeling in the middle of the action, while increasing speed, dynamism and responsiveness to commands. However, these are the original releases, with Sunbreak expansion expected at a later date.

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