With Vampire Survivors I finally get the charm of Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming

You know those games you start, spend about 20 minutes in, then realize “oh shit”. Did I have it? Here it is vampire survivors. I come to this charming little sprite-based game as a creature that has sunk over 1,000 hours into The Binding of Isaac on the many platforms I own – a binding of sorts that focuses on these games and their endless and powerful uses. as a form of meditation. So when I upgraded my first garlic and started throwing knives at the thrashing dead, I knew I had it.

I’m not kidding: I can’t let go.

But I am also 30 years old, I live with my partner and I have responsibilities. That’s why I can’t sit in my pants all night, dip bread in something more watery than bread, drink beer, play games. I have it Damn it: communication with my partner, walking the dog, seeing friends. But how the hell you need to get all Damn it completed and check all 1200G vampire survivors in a week? How can I make sure I beat the game and unlock all the characters when I see who won this round of Bake Off? I didn’t think it was a clean fix until the Xbox itself sent a push notification to my phone.

“Remember, Dom,” he said (I’m paraphrasing), “you can play whenever and wherever you want! Sitting in the swamp? Queuing at Asda? Bear with another joke from your most milquetoast friend? Download Xbox Game Pass now and play wherever you want. What do I do next? you know? I downloaded Xbox Game Pass and since then I’ve been playing wherever I want.

I don’t care who won the Bake Off; I was too busy making sure Poppea could upgrade her weapons when I killed the next boss. I don’t think I really understood the impact of Diana burning down the royal system in The Crown; I was very focused on making sure the clock lancet was upgraded enough to survive a minute against the Reaper in the Bone Zone.

I’m not kidding: I can’t let go.

And you know the best? When I got back to my desk to play the game when I should have been working (sorry, boss), it was all there: all my upgrades, all my characters, all my progress… everything was magically transferred to the Xbox Series X. No. questions were asked. Then when I wanted to play the game on the train to my other partner’s house, I downloaded the game to my laptop. There is no additional charge. Here I am using Vampire Survivors PC version, Cloud version and Xbox version – and I didn’t pay a dime for it. Compare that to the PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 pipeline (where I lost half my save games and nearly destroyed my hardware) and the difference is night and day.

Vampire Survivors are there for me. In everything I own, all in the Game Pass feature. If I want a more engaging session, I turn on the Xbox and play it on the big screen. If I want to play it while half paying attention to Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs, I can download it on my phone and play it with one of my spare Xbox pads. It’s ready to run on my computer if you want to run quick sessions between other activities (like writing a report…).

So simple, so effective.

This speaks to ease of use, which Microsoft has recently put at the center of its philosophy. For all the company’s PR-filtered talk about “removing the barriers to play,” it wasn’t any powerhouse with a big budget and a big budget, but it was this interesting little survival interest that really showed it to me.

I was there playing Destiny 2 when this advanced, cloud-based streaming technology was introduced in the UK: I worked in Canary Wharf (the only place in London that supported 5G, at the time) and I started Destiny on my PC. Call in on Friday at 5pm to steal the delights of Khur. At the time, the technology wasn’t good enough to support it. Now – almost 3 years later – I can’t put the damn Pixel down and it’s all because of Vampire Survivor.

I can safely say that this indie gem made me realize how valuable Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming is now that I can fit it into my life and I won’t be going back.

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