Xbox Sales: TA Team Picks (March 17th)

Tom West - March 17th 2022

Xbox sales are always a great time to pick up some games that you might have missed previously, or might not have even thought about playing when they were first released. As always, the TA news team is here to help with their choice picks, and this week has quite a diverse lineup for you. Dive into the selection of titles below, and don't forget to let us know what you have found in the comments section...

Heidi — The Big Con


50% off for The Big Con is such a steal that it seems a con worthy of the game itself. I had such fun with the Nineties crime adventure, which takes you on a whirlwind tour with pickpocketing, eavesdropping, disguises, and just generally learning how to make as much mischief as possible. The Big Con is packed full of humour and nostalgia, and the dialogue kept me chuckling in the hours I spent with the game. The achievements are doled out pretty regularly, keeping up with the game’s fast-paced story. The Big Con also features a bright, cartoony art style which makes even the most basic detail interesting to look at. It was also a lot of fun to play a game that actively and gleefully encourages wrongdoing, with a Rad Ghost occasionally popping up to dish out advice. I had a blast with The Big Con — I initially played through it a little more quickly than I expected, but at half price, you can’t go wrong.
The Big Con

Hustle your way across ‘90s America as a runaway teen con artist. Choose how to make your scratch as you don disguises, pick pockets, and rip people off in this comedic crime-filled adventure. Experience the totally rad '90s in all its plaid and payphone glory!

Kes — Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs gets a bad rap — but a deserved one. The marketing was misleading and that would rightfully haunt this game until well after release. However, and I think this is the big misunderstanding when it comes to the first Watch Dogs, this is still a very good game. Tonally, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Protagonist Aiden Pearce’s nephew was killed, and it was kind of his fault. So, he seeks revenge by hacking his way to the top of the Chicago underworld. It’s pretty dark, with scenes that really present some disturbing stuff about the criminal underbelly while perversely reflecting on the fact that Aiden’s world isn’t that different from our own. Some of the characters, like Raymond Kenny and Clara, are compelling oddities to keep you plugging away at the narrative, though they aren’t explored as deeply as I’d have liked.

That being said, Bad Blood was a great DLC pack for Kenny and worth the playthrough. 'Amazing ideas, shallow execution' is a perfect descriptor for the whole experience, but don’t let that dissuade you. Hacking people around you, traffic lights, bollards, and cars is a magnificent idea and it works with a tap of the button. Small combat scenarios are punchy and fun when used in combination with your gadgets, and car chases are a real joy when police start feeling your digital wrath. The story hits some interesting notes, and I am gutted Ubi took the easy route out for the sequel by making it quippy and brighter than a Pop-Tarts packet. A nugget of something special is here and undiminished from the first reveal, so check it out and see if you agree (also, the achievements are really easy).

WATCH_DOGS™

Play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, monitor and hack all who surround you by manipulating everything connected to the city’s network. Access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy. Use the city of Chicago as your ultimate weapon and exact your own style of revenge.

Luke — Yoku’s Island Express

I love pinball and I love Metroidvania-style games, but I would never have considered slamming the two together. Fortunately, the creative folks at Villa Gorilla had precisely that brainwave, and this quirky gem was born. It did a stint on Game Pass a few years ago so some of you may already have had the pleasure of bouncing around the world as a tiny courier bug. I caught it a bit late and still have some Yoku’s Island Express achievements to mop up, so I'll be grabbing it this week while it's 75% off — as low as the price has dropped to date. Genre mash-ups have a habit of falling a bit flat, but that just makes it all the sweeter that Yoku manages to fuse two completely disparate game styles and make it work. Part of the secret sauce is that there's way more skill involved in pinball than a lot of people give it credit for, and while might take a few goes to feel out each area here in order to hit the right ramp or grab some goodies, it feels great when you do finally manage to nail it.

Yoku’s Island Express is interspersed with some more traditional platforming to help those fairly complex pinball table-style sections avoid getting stale, along with plenty of exploration and backtracking if you want to see and do everything. Ultimately, flinging a jolly little bug on a bouncy ball around is just a hell of a lot of fun, and Yoku’s Island Express is a perfect reminder that even the most unlikely of genre combos can be made to work — the dev team just needs to lean into its crazy concept and own it, as Villa Gorilla does with aplomb for this awesome little oddity.

Yoku's Island Express

Meet Yoku, the pint-sized postman protagonist of Yoku's Island Express!

Use a unique blend of pinball mechanics, platforming and open world exploration to unlock the secrets of Mokumana Island, help the locals, awaken ancient deities and much more in this amazing new tropical adventure!

Tom — Dead Island Definitive Edition

Choosing a game to recommend can be quite a difficult task some weeks, especially when you’ve only played a small selection of the titles offered in the sales. Luckily, I’m an unpredictable lad, so I offer you zombies, but not just zombies, mind you; zombies on a tropical island where anything can be turned into a weapon… and you can work on your tan. Dead Island is one of the best zombie games to grace my screens... well, gameplay-wise, at least, due to the story kind of fizzling out once you leave the picturesque beauty of the beachfront. The premise is that a zombie outbreak has ravaged a holiday destination on the paradise island of Banoi. You get to choose a character to play as, with a great backstory about why they are there, as well as a specific class type — boosts to various weapons, mostly. Combat is great fun and lets you play around with various crafted weapons, which you can make out of different items looted from the world.

I played through the whole game with my brother and loved every second of it. Believe me, working through the Dead Island achievements is awesome in co-op, and really boosts the game’s entertainment value... at least, that’s how I felt when playing. Like I said before, the story loses its lustre once you leave the beachfront area and work your way inland through the city and jungle, but having a co-up buddy ensures that it’s always a good laugh. Dead Island is down to £1.91 this week, a discount of 85%! It’s worth spending that even just to realise that a tropical destination is a perfect way to survive a zombie apocalypse — beach and brains!

Dead Island Definitive Edition

The game that re-defined the Zombie genre - fully remastered.
Paradise meets Hell!
Welcome to the Zombie Apocalypse experience of a lifetime – and now more beautiful than ever.
Caught in the midst of an epic zombie outbreak on the tropical island of Banoi, your only thought is: Survival!
Including all previously released DLC

Will you be grabbing any of these, or do you have any recommendations of your own for us? Let us know down below!