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Grand Theft Auto 5 comes back to Xbox Game Pass in July

Plus two day-and-date launches: Exoprimal and Techtonica

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Three guys in suits sit around a desk plotting some kind of bigtime crime. Rolls of cash are laid on the desk. Image: Rockstar Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Grand Theft Auto 5 returned to Xbox Game Pass on Wednesday to kick off the next month of titles coming to subscribers. Others on the way include Capcom’s dinosaur-shootin’ Exoprimal, and Double Fine’s 2013 adventure The Cave.

GTA 5 had been available on Xbox Game Pass from April to August 2021, and before that from January to May 2020. Like those first two runs, Rockstar’s open-world crime epic is only available to Xbox One and Xbox Series X subscribers (both versions of the game are available), though it can be cloud-streamed to mobile devices or a PC.

Exoprimal is a July 14 same-day launch on PC and Xbox Game Pass. Somewhat channeling Capcom’s other over-the-top dinosaur bulletfest, Dino Crisis, it’s a multiplayer-only game with PvE and PvP elements. Players won’t face the lizards’ sharp pointy teeth without plenty of protection; they put on one of several class-based exosuits to take the fight to T-Rex.

The Cave, available on console and cloud beginning July 18, may be 10 years old, but it’s a narrative adventure created by Ron Gilbert, the developer behind the venerable Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion series. In it, players choose a squad of three adventurers (from seven overall) as they explore the mysterious subterranean chambers.

In addition to these three games, PC and Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to:

  • Sword and Fairy: Together Forever (Cloud, Console, and PC) — July 6. This Chinese-made role-playing game first launched in 2021, and is a party-based adventure in which players explore the stories and rivalries among three factions: Human, Deity, and Demon. It’s also available on PlayStation 4 and PS5.
  • McPixel 3 (Cloud, Console, and PC) — July 6. Though this is billed as the third game in the puzzle/point-and-click adventure series, it’s actually a direct successor to 2012’s McPixel. There is no McPixel 2.
  • Common’hood (Cloud, Console, and PC) — July 11. This is a settlement/base-builder sim with survival elements. Players are squatters salvaging materials, growing food, crafting tools, and building shelter for a community short on all four.
  • Insurgency: Sandstorm (PC) — July 11. Insurgency: Sandstorm is a tactical FPS that launched in 2018. It combines co-op and PvP multiplayer modes in “a contemporary conflict,” which sort of sounds like a less-obnoxious Six Days in Fallujah, which launched June 22.
  • Techtonica (Game Preview, Cloud, Console and PC) — July 18. Techtonica, whose early access launch is the same day, takes players beneath the surface of another planet to explore and construct huge factories. They’ll uncover long-forgotten secrets along the way.

Of course, with a batch of new games joining the service, some older titles will be leaving as of July 15. They are:

  • Exo One (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Spelunky 2 (Cloud, Console, and PC)

Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass both cost $9.99 a month. PC Game Pass includes EA Play access, which offers another 70 games on PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, at $14.99 per month, gives subscribers access to everything — the PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass libraries, EA Play on both console and PC — as well as Xbox Live Gold membership, which is needed for online multiplayer.

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