On December 13, the shooter High on Life launched on PC and Xbox. Just a few days later, it has become the most popular game on Xbox Game Pass. That’s good for the game – but not so much for Game Pass.
What is this shooter? First introduced at the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase, High on Life was one of the highlights of gamescom 2022. The completely wacky shooter comes from one of the creators of the crazy adult cartoon Rick & Morty: Justin Roiland, the voice of Rick and Morty.
High on Life takes the same line as the cartoon, even if they have nothing to do with each other: Aliens conquer the earth and use humans as drugs. You play as a bounty hunter hunting these aliens with sentient weapons.
The shooter is a mixture of action-adventure and metroidvania, in which you shoot your way through different levels, defeat bosses and collect upgrades for you and your various weapon friends.
Our colleague Sascha Penzhorn from GameStar has already tested High on Life and says: He loves the shooter, but can’t recommend it with the best will in the world
High on Life Beats Minecraft in Game Pass – Lacking in Hits?
The start is so good: High on Life had to deal with problems when it was released, but these were fixed with the first hotfix a few days later. The reviews are correspondingly mixed:
- on Metacritic offers High on Life in the PC version with a score of 67 and a user score of 7.8.
- the official Xbox site indicates 3 out of 5 stars.
- at Steam High on Life, on the other hand, is well received with a proud 90% positive reviews.
In fact, the shooter is quite popular. Playable on Xbox Game Pass with a subscription since Day 1, it has risen to the top of the most popular games there, even surpassing Minecraft. The VP of Xbox Games tweeted the achievement:
High on Life is currently above top titles and long-running favorites such as LEGO Star Wars, Minecraft and Forza Horizon 5. However, it is difficult to say how many players the shooter has in total, because there is no insight here with Game Pass.
Isn’t that a success? Definitely for the game. That’s a potentially bad sign for Xbox and Game Pass, though the US site Kotaku to consider. Because High on Life is a new IP and not a big AAA game.
In 2022, Xbox will miss the big releases from its own production, such as Age of Empires 4 or Halo: Infinite the year before. High on Life would probably have been lost next to such greats.
Unlike Sony alone with God of War: Ragnarök and Nintendo with the new Pokémon Crimson and Crimson, Microsoft and Xbox are missing the big blockbusters this year.
That might be one of the reasons why Microsoft is trying to buy Activision Blizzard right now. The upcoming action RPG Diablo 4, for example, should definitely appear in Game Pass, but would still be an external production.
The purchase is still under review, but there are currently major complications. Competitor Sony has repeatedly lodged complaints, until a lawsuit finally came that put the process on hold for the time being:
US agency sues Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard for allegedly lying to Bethesda