Every game service needs a Geometry Wars, a truth that has held since the days of Xbox Live Arcade, whose Geometry Wars was the actual Geometry Wars. Anyway, a Geometry Wars is a game to play in between other games, a game to glue everything together, a game which, after it's all over, turned out to be the game you most enjoyed anyway. Real talk: scattered throughout your brain are these things called neuroglia, little bits and pieces that keep everything ticking over. The word translates as "nerve glue", which never ceases to delight me. Geometry Wars was the nerve glue of XBLA. Testify!
And I reckon ScourgeBringer is going to be the nerve glue of Game Pass. Oh my God, ScourgeBringer. ScourgeBringer is a hyper-violent 2D thing in which you play a buzzing spark of malice who fidgets and swoops around various caverns beating up everything that crosses its path. There are things that look like orchids, things that act like bees and like slugs. There's a light attack, a heavy, a dash and a bunch of recharging specials. You level up in interesting ways, make tricky decisions about perks, and work your way through a bunch of bosses.
It's amazing. I'm playing the Alpha on Steam and it's already amazing. Once this thing is actually done and playable on a big telly I am going to be lost in it.
But here's why I think it can be Geometry Wars for Game Pass, a service it is headed to next year I gather. Firstly, you can have a lot of fun in a minute or less here. You can win big and lose everything. Secondly, it is absolutely knackering. I play for five minutes and I need a lie down. I haven't blinked. I've hunched forwards. I've shattered the controller by gripping it so hard. This kind of attention comes at a price. Like Geometry Wars!
Thirdly, even though it's absolutely knackering, I find it very hard to stop playing. It's got that one-more-go thing that some games do (Geometry Wars) and some games just don't (it would be mean to call them out here). So yes, ScourgeBringer is coming to a lot of things, I imagine, but Game Pass is where it is going to absolutely kill. Srsly, it will be carnage. Carnage m8.